A contemporary curriculum

Grace Garden School’s curriculum is based on Ruskin Mill Trust’s Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE) approach to human development, which has been researched and established through more than thirty years of the Trust’s work with special needs children and young people.

The gardens and seasonal rhythms of the land provide the framework for the curriculum, bringing in maths, English, sciences and social skills, using practical activities to embed learning.

At Grace Garden School, children and young people are supported to learn as much as possible outside, participating in crafts, gardening and the exploration of nature. From these experiences our young people will come to understand the larger world and their place in it, along with the connections between themselves and their community.

The curriculum offer includes:

  • Green woodwork
  • Weaving and felting
  • Pottery
  • Horticulture
  • Farming
  • Kitchen
  • Preserving and bottling
  • Living skills
  • Therapies
  • Art history
  • Performing arts
  • Complementary therapies
  • Sharing in community


Grace Garden School is a facility for children with special education needs and will need to facilitate and deliver vocational qualifications, Functional skills qualifications and GCSE. The AIM frameworks will be embedded alongside the Ruskin Mill method and provide meaningful outcomes and a rewarding progression for our 14+ pupils with additional needs.

Practical skills therapeutic education is central to our practice which incorporates our crafts (green woodwork, clay, wool, preserving), and land-based work (learning in the garden and animal care). Our curriculum fully embeds the independent school standards and Steiner ethos.

The AIM frameworks will provide:

  • necessary outcomes in English and Maths, working towards functional skills and GCSEs. 
  • learning progression in areas which support our curriculum such as Catering, Food hygiene and health and safety.
  • support the social and emotional development of our pupils with areas such as wellbeing, staying safe in the wider community (safeguarding related topics) and a healthy lifestyle (healthy mind, body, nutrition, awareness of substances and sleep).
  • Give a framework which develops confidence and ability post 16 in vocational areas.