The Practical Skills Therapeutic Education Curriculum

Since its beginnings, hundreds of students have benefitted from the Trust’s innovative Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE) method that draws its inspiration from the insights of Rudolf Steiner, John Ruskin and William Morris. Through engaging with crafts, many of which are specific and connected to the history of the location, the learner is immersed in a whole therapeutic process from beginning to end. Through these process they learn more than purely academic and functional skills but also transferable work skills, independent living skills and, most importantly, they learn to value themselves and others again.

The progress of learners through the Practical Skills Therapeutic Educational Programme is evidenced and tracked by the Three Stage Process Assessment Framework in the Day and Residential Provision:

Stage 1 - Overcoming barriers to learning

Through our apprenticeship model, students are helped to identify and work through their barriers to learning and other authority issues.

By supporting them to engage with practical skills and communicate both challenges and achievement, young people learn the first steps in following instructions, respecting social boundaries and observing safety protocols.


Stage 2 - Becoming skilled

As confidence and self-respect grow through practical and social achievement, levels of support are reduced according to need while simultaneously offering new challenges to widen their skill-base.

This includes a variety of internal work experience, accreditation and qualification opportunities to support their goals to future work and independent living.

Becoming Skilled

Stage 3 - Contributing to community

This stage is focussed on outward-facing social and vocational enterprises and opportunities offered through both the day and residential programmes.

External work experience, social enterprises, leisure programmes, living skills, cultural and social activities are all tied into their goals and pathways through college and transition out into their communities.

Contributing to Community

The three-stage process is translated into a bespoke study plan for the student aligning to agreed outcomes and integrated into both day and residential provision, as appropriate.

It is important to note that the student’s movement through the three stages is not timebound but driven by the student’s own ability.


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