Alaa is a refugee from Syria and spent 6 months in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais.

While there he chose to volunteer as a cook for a charity that provided meals for his fellow refugees. This experience inspired him to become a chef.

Earlier in the year Alaa had to move to an ESOL - Level 1 class due to his Entry 3 class closing. This meant he had to skip an ESOL level, a challenge that he rose to with determination, and always with a big smile on his face. Alaa has put in hours upon hours of work outside the classroom, as well as committing to the demanding schedule of his Professional Cookery course, where he also has to put in extra hours to keep up with the writing assignments.

Alaa has climbed the ESOL ladder from Pre-Entry. He has gained qualifications in Entry 1 and Entry 2, to achieving a Level 1 Speaking and Listening qualification. He was accepted on his Professional Cookery course, despite not having the required level in ESOL, because of his talent in the kitchen and his dedication to his studies.

Alaa would like to continue his English studies by achieving his English Functional Skills - Level 1, achieve his Level 2 Professional Cookery qualification, and then to open his own restaurant serving healthy Syrian food.

His tutor says,

“Alaa’s positivity, work ethic and generosity shine through in everything he does. Despite many and varied challenges he has faced, he embodies the dedication we aspire to inspire in our learners and it is a privilege to have him in my class.”

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