Our French bakery and pastry classes are taught by two SYB graduates: one each from the 4th and 5th batches. Based on their outstanding capabilities, SYB selected Jin Huizi (Inès) and Zhang Shuai (Julien) to study at the “Ecole Française de Boulangerie et Pâtisserie d’Aurillac” (EFBPA), a partner of SYB and one of the best French bakery schools in France. Prior to their studies in France, the students enrolled in an intensive French language course thanks to the support of Alliance Française in Shanghai. They also had the opportunity to take two additional months of French classes at Vichy Cavilam in France before starting their programme. After a lot of hard work in both the theory and practical classes, they successfully graduated with the C.A.P. diploma from EFBPA. Following their return to Shanghai in June 2015, they are now teaching our current students: Zhang Shuai is teaching bakery and Jin Huizi pastry.
Our efforts towards a sustainable training/sustainability
The two teachers are already the second group of graduates who were selected to study at EFBPA in France. Indeed, in 2011, Zhang Zhenghai, Wang Li and Xiao Jinjin, graduates from the first class of the SYB program, obtained their C.A.P. diploma and went on to teach SYB students for four consecutive years. All five of them are living examples of how our programme can successfully train bakers, but more importantly, develop socially-minded citizens who are ready to give back to society through the skills that they have acquired from SYB.
Previously, SYB was blessed with having Thomas Kalkhoven to teach in our program. Thomas Kalkhoven is a Chinese-speaking French baker with a passion for teaching. Thanks to Lesaffre’s support, who recommended him to SYB as a part-time trainer, Thomas taught the second and the third batches of students with unwavering dedication and patience.
The pilot programme (Feb-July 2009) was taught by volunteer bakery teachers Loic Ledru and David Shen during their free time. Read more about SYB’s history here.
SYB hires a full-time social educator to coordinate student activities and accompany the students during their one-year training programme. As all of the students have encountered family and financial difficulties and come from rural areas, Ms Zhu's experience in teaching and guiding Chinese youth is particularly valuable in cultivating the students’ self-esteem and independence. Under her guidance and encouragement, students develop a sense of responsibility, team spirit and find their own direction in life.
Chinese-style Western Pastry
Since the founding of SYB, the Caoyang Vocational School has assigned professional Chinese pastry teachers to teach our students. Currently, Xu Laoshi leads the training by providing practical classes every Monday.
For marginalised youths to succeed in modern society, a technical skill is but one of the many skills that they have to master. They also need to be strong mentally, so as to able to cope with stress, setbacks, and difficulties in life. Since most rural youths grew up in environments in which they were not nurtured with love and were exposed to numerous negative habits and influences, SYB aims to rectify this situation by instilling the students with a conscientious spirit of citizenship, responsibility, optimism, and respect for others through a life skills curriculum developed by an expert team led by Professor Li Xiaowen of East China Normal University. The curriculum is taught by professionals with extensive experience in guiding and nurturing young people, and will equip the students with the mental fortitude and personal discipline necessary for them to succeed in the future.
In order to better communicate with foreign chefs in hotels, students need to learn basic English. To this end, SYB collaborates with Stepping Stones to deliver English classes to our students. Twice a week, volunteers from Stepping Stones teach oral English and kitchen vocabulary to our students through interactive games and dialogues. Learning a foreign language is more than just learning to communicate; it also boosts our students’ confidence in themselves. In general, our students really enjoy the English classes.
Zhang Shuai graduated from the 4th batch of students and did his internship at the JW Marriott. After graduation, he decided to accept a full-time position at JW Marriott and worked there as a baker until June 2014 when he went to study in France.
Jin Huizi is a graduate from the 5th batch. During her training at SYB, she did her internship at the Sofitel Hyland Hotel. After graduation, she took a full-time position at the French bakery chain Brioche Dorée, which she held until she left for her training at EFBPA.
Born in Henan province, Wang Li was working at a toy factory in Guangdong before enrolling in SYB’s pilot programme. She worked as an intern at Paul, first in their bakery department, and then in pastry, prior to continuing her education in France. She taught French bakery for four years and was subsequently hired by Lesaffre, one of SYB’s main partners. Under Lesaffre’s sponsorship, Wang was able to further her studies of French bakery in France where she graduated with a B.P. from IBP. Wang Li is currently in charge of training at Lesaffre’s Shanghai office and regularly dedicates her time to support SYB students.
Born in Shaanxi province, Zhang Zhenghai enrolled in SYB’s pilot programme in 2009. He previously worked in an electronics factory. During his SYB training, Zhang was an intern at Paul, one of Shanghai’s first French bakeries, and later, at the Hilton hotel. Zhang Zhenghai taught French bakery to the 4th through 7th batches of SYB students, and later on served until May 2016 as the supervisor of two new teachers (Zhang Shuai and Jin Huzi) for SYB. In May 2015, Zhang Zhenghai won first prize in the baguettes category at the Lesaffre Cup in Shanghai and was selected to compete as a member of the Chinese team during the Asia-Pacific qualifiers in Indonesia in November 2015. The Chinese team qualified for the World Bakery Cup in Paris, which took place in February 2016, and proudly placed fourth among twelve countries. Zhang Zhenghai has now taken on another exciting challenge within the R&D department of a Singaporean company that specialises in baking ingredients and maintains very close ties with the SYB team and students.
SYB hires a full-time social educator to coordinate student activities and to accompany the students during their one-year training programme. As all of the students have encountered family and financial difficulties and come from rural areas, Ms Zhu’s experience in teaching and guiding Chinese youth is particularly valuable in cultivating the students’ self-esteem and independence. Under her guidance and encouragement, students develop a sense of responsibility, team spirit and find their own direction in life.