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Café Vanilla promotes independence by giving pupils responsibility.  This builds self-confidence, self-worth and their advocacy skills whilst making a positive contribution to their community. Café Vanilla teaches pupils to follow instructions, the importance of team work and following health and safety for themselves and the environment. Working in the Café teaches our pupils problem solving, personal hygiene and life skills and of course, how to cook.

Café Vanilla is a social enterprise which means that all profit is invested back into the business. With our own business account, we are continuing to raise funds which will allow us to purchase resources and supplies and to save towards our future goal – to own a catering van or trailer to be able to go out into the community quicker and easier, to be better organised, more flexible and more visible.

In 2008 the former FEG (Further Education Group) started a café as part of their enterprise activities. The students prepared tea, cakes for a café they held in their class room during break time once a week. Learning outcomes varied, based on individual needs of each student but the main focus was on:

  • Communication skills: listening to adult’s and peer’s instructions when setting up tables, speaking and listening to a customer placing an order,
  • Vocational skills: getting ready for a task, beginning to recognise the benefits of team work, helping each other, following simple instructions, gaining independence with simple tasks in a working environment
  • Maths: measuring (ingredients in standard and non-standard measurements), Using and applying (understanding and continuing a pattern, e.g. matching saucer to cup, plate to fork etc.)

2015 – 2016 academic year saw the biggest changes and the greatest development for Café Vanilla so far. We moved from a small in-house Café to a pop-up Café that served different libraries in the Richmond Borough as well as catering for special events.

Through our work in the community and our Facebook page, Café Vanilla is known in its community as the Post 16 students’ enterprise at Strathmore School, a place to learn key skills for life and work within a fully functioning business.

Learning outcomes

Our overarching goal is always to enable our students to make a positive contribution in their community, to be seen by others as able to communicate using their preferred way, to carry out meaningful and motivating work related tasks and to be a part of life beyond school continuing to build skills and gain experience.

To achieve this, students follow a variety of learning objectives which are set depending on their individual needs and abilities. Their numeracy skills are developed through copying simple sequences, counting, measuring units for cooking and gathering information. Literacy skills involve listening, greeting customers, reading and recording information

Café Vanilla is now held at our Grey Court Campus on a Friday morning. Thank you to everyone who has already visited us and supported us! We are looking forward to seeing you soon!

If you would like to donate:


Vanilla Café

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