Ruskin Mill Trust schools deliver a Steiner based curriculum that incorporates the curriculum areas listed in the Independent School Standards (in force from 2014).

In accordance with this, Ruskin Mill Trust undertakes to provide a curriculum that meets the needs of each student based on the student’s Education, Health and Care Plan as well as their needs and interests. All students receive full time, supervised education that offers a range of linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human, social, physical, aesthetic and creative aspects appropriate to their age, aptitude and stage of development. All students receive Personal Social and Health Education and those of secondary school age receive impartial careers advice and guidance. The overriding aim of the curriculum is to prepare our young people for life in modern Britain, by achieving the best possible outcomes for students in terms of individual learning, independence, personal growth and development. For more information on our Curriculum Policy, please click here.

The curriculum for Ruskin Mill Trust schools is informed by Practical Skills Therapeutic Education, and children and young adults are encouraged to learn through practical activity. Literacy and numeracy is embedded into the practical activities and then further addressed in small groups when appropriate. Science is delivered using practical applications, and ideally in the natural environment or using natural materials.  

Students can access a range of qualifications appropriate to their needs and interest through the Open College Network (OCN). Schools offering a 6th Form option also provide students with opportunities to achieve GCSE’s and A Levels.


Ruskin Mill Trust Colleges use Practical Skills Therapeutic Education as their method. Students follow individual programmes that are a combination of land, craft, arts, living skills, social enterprise and therapies, depending on need and interest and the outcomes identified in their Education, Health and Care Plans. Students are encouraged to engage in a range of activities to help them identify what they enjoy and where they have strong skills.

Through the practical activities, studentS learn essential life skills including social and communication skills, vocational skills, including focus, following instructions and working independently, personal skills, including developing strategies to manage emotions and behaviour, self awareness and self management, and executive functioning skills such as understanding cause and effect and sequence. The practical skills curriculum also provides opportunities for students to learn about the natural world around them, the qualities of the materials they use, the history of the processes they follow, and the cultural connections.

This learning about the wider world and their relationship to the world around them cumulates in the students making and item of service, using traditional methods, that they then use or gift to someone. The aim of the colleges educational programme is to help students become more independent and active in their communities, and to understand their relationship to others and their world.

Students can gain a variety of vocational qualifications depending on need and interest. Ruskin Mill Trust works closely with the Open College Network to develop and provide appropriate qualifications that are accessible to a range of abilities.


Gateway is available at all Ruskin Mill Trust College sites. Gateway is an education programme for any young people and adults who do not require full time education, but do still require some educational elements to support their vocational and independent skills development. The Gateway programme offers individualised plans that can include educational training/ courses, vocational skill development and independent living skills development. The programme is designed around individuals’ needs and interests, and is available to young people and adults who still have an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Participants on the Gateway programme will have a different rhythm to their day than if they were in full time education. There will be a rhythm of work and training, where they will be supported to develop key employment skills such as timekeeping, presentation, and responsibility. They will train in one of the site’s social enterprises or farms and work alongside a dedicated Gateway team member who will ensure that students are empowered and enabled to reach their potential.

Gateway is available as a day and residential provision at all the Trust college sites. Participants will live in houses in the community and be supported to fully engage in the running of the household, meal planning, budgeting, shopping, cleaning and organising social activities. Participants will be supported to ensure that they are ready for their day on the programme, mirroring a work environment and may be asked to prepare a lunch to take in, or dress appropriately for a task.

For those individuals who are able to explore work opportunities, the centres will offer opportunities to work at on-site businesses such as cafés, bakeries and shops, or with one of the community business partners. If appropriate, participants can undertake a relevant vocational training to support their employment.