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Steven Haughton-Campbell is lead learning mentor at Twyford C of E High School in Acton, London We have three students at Kids Cookery on London Open College Network courses, and two other groups go on alternate Fridays. The Friday students are looking for enrichment: building confidence and self-esteem. The effect has been fantastic. Students come up to me at school and say: "Sir, can I get on the course?" The buzz is really terrific.

The Year 89s are not very academic, but when they do something practical like cooking they have to get involved and get their hands messy. At the higher level, students like Chris, Libby and Nathan discover how cooking relates to aspects of technology. Chris has found a sense of direction - cookery has given him a chance to be successful. Libby and Nathan were both very quiet before they went to KCS, but the encouragement they have had there to think for themselves and the increase in confidence has helped their communication skills greatly. KCS manages to engage young people and encourage questioning, which is a really good learning technique.

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