Who is the programme for?
This programme is aimed at individuals with an interest in engaging in a deeper relationship with Biodynamic Agriculture, integrated thinking, and conscious care and stewardship of the environment, in order to grow the land, positively sustain the environment, promote community, and support individuals to re-imagine their potential. Participants are likely to have an interest in ecology, organic food and farming, sustainability, education, spirituality, self-development, and health.
There are five entry routes available to those who wish to undertake the full Ruskin Mill Trust Biodynamic Training:
- BD Trainees (Charity Volunteers)
- Direct applicants
- Waldorf Teachers and School Staff
- Ruskin Mill Staff
- Land based
- Non-land based
- Ruskin Mill Volunteers
Biodynamic Trainees (Charity Volunteers)
RMT is offering a number of trainee placements in its provisions, which provides full time unpaid work in a biodynamic or aspiring biodynamic setting working alongside the students. In return trainees will receive RMT training, accommodation (if required), subsistence and expenses, and will have the opportunity to undertake the Ruskin Mill Biodynamic Training programme. This scheme is open to EU citizens. Please see General Arrangements for full information.
Direct applicants are expected to attend at least 80% of all the delivered weekend and block training sessions.
They must also commit to spending an average of 4 hours a week (over 45 weeks) working with their own piece of land as part of their independent learning. This is the equivalent of approximately twenty 8 hour days over 45 weeks.
Certificates for Continuing Professional Development are granted to direct applicants itemizing the learning and learning hours of the units they have undertaken.
Weekends are priced at £90 each, block sessions are priced at £55 per day. Fees include mentoring, all meals, and refreshments. The total cost for the 2 year course is £ 1290.
Waldorf Teachers and School Staff
The training will enable Waldorf Teachers to bring the benefits of a biodynamic location into the heart of their school campus and teaching practice.
The Biodynamic Training for Waldorf Teachers and School Staff will:
- Provide opportunity for participants to deepen their understanding of the natural world.
- Inspire thriving, vibrant school communities who nurture healthy relationship to land, plants, animals and people.
- Enhance sustainable, on site food production for school meals.
- Support Land Craft Education curriculum development
Certificates for Continuing Professional Development are granted to Waldorf teachers itemizing the learning and learning hours of the units they have undertaken.
Ruskin Mill Staff
To express an interest in the programme staff members need to fill in a CPD request form and return it to their local HEaRT Coordinator. A learner agreement should be completed and approved by the Ruskin Mill Education and Training Committee between staff member and the centre. Details about the level of participation and assessment requirements are set out in detail in this document.
Ruskin Mill Long Term Volunteers
Ruskin Mill volunteers can be internal or external. On request, or by recommendation of the local BD land manger, they can attend (selected) seminars; Travel, accommodation and fees expenditure are negotiated with the different centres.
In order to undertake the programme, it is advised that applicants have a minimum qualification of a GSCE (Grade C or above) in English and Maths. All applicants must satisfy visa requirements and will be required to obtain a satisfactory DBS check and overseas police checks (where necessary).
Charity Volunteer Scheme – General Arrangements
General arrangements of the Biodynamic Trainee
- The trainees will have a 3-month trial period and if this trial period is mutually successful between yourself and Ruskin Mill Trust then you are expected to commit yourself to work on the holding for the remaining 21 months until completion of the training.
- It is expected that the trainees attend work, tutorials and seminars regularly and inform the coordinator of any reasons in advance of any absences or failure to meet deadlines or targets set for coursework. Attendance of 80% of all seminars is a requirement of successfully completing the course.
- Most learning takes place in conjunction with practical work; however, certain times have been set aside for study/tutorials. There are 16 theory seminars throughout the two-year course and these take place at various centres, learners will be expected to travel to participate in these. The timing, number and location of these seminars are listed in the above but they may vary depending on the availability of the trainers and the locations and you would be given sufficient notice in the event of this.
- Trainees will work under guidance of the local Biodynamic Land Manager who oversees the Land work of the site.
- As part of the charity volunteer scheme we are looking that you can commit to be engaged on the scheme for 35 hours a week, at a time arranged with your manager, however, flexibility is required and any work carried out required out of these hours will be compensated by taking time off in lieu at another mutually convenient time. It will not be expected that Trainees work the full number of hours during weeklong study blocks or weeks that include seminars.
- Trainees are expected to join in the support of the College students with learning disabilities within daily work and wherever possible facilitate the therapeutic education.
- Trainees are expected to help at the open days and join in the weekend rota, which may include animal care and watering or produce when necessary. The hours for weekend work can be taken off as time in lieu during the same week as the hours worked.
- Trainees are expected to attend 12 College training days including September training week, 4 mandatory training days and 3 PSTE Friday training days annually.
The position of Biodynamic Trainee is rewarded the following in return for their work contributions:
- Board – Lunchtime meals will be provided Monday to Friday and this is eaten with the students and staff at the site.
- Accommodation – You will receive £85.00 per week to cover rent and utility bills with the exception of telephone bills. This is paid monthly and in advance to you or paid directly to the accommodation provider.
- Living Allowance – £85.00 a week will be provided as a living allowance for the trainee. This will be paid monthly and in advance. This will be increased by an additional £2.50 per day outside of term time if/when lunchtime meals are not provided.
- If your accommodation is located away from the college or school and public transport is required you will receive £15.00 per week travel allowance.
- The course fees for the Biodynamic Training will be paid by the Trust, as will seminar travel costs. Costs of books and training materials are not covered in this agreement.
- The trainees are required to attend the placement training for 52 weeks of the year.
- Trainees are allowed to take time off. This must be discussed and booked in advance with the local Biodynamic Land Manager of the College. These may be restricted at various times of year due to term times and agricultural requirements.
Working with the College Team
- You will be expected to support the College students when working alongside them and support their experience on the land.
- Working on site brings the responsibilities of acting as a role model for our students and also responsibilities for safeguarding them.
- You will be expected to read the student protection policies and attend all mandatory trainings such as Safeguarding, Equality and Diversity and Health and Safety, Keeping Children Safe in Education as well as Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE) training. You will also be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement that you will not share any of the information you learn about our students.
The application process
As part of the application process, you are invited to:
- Complete the application form; indicating whether you wish to apply as a Charity Volunteer or Direct applicant (Waldorf teachers who wish to engage in the programme should contact Victoria Wren directly)
- Submit a letter explaining why you wish to become a Charity Volunteer with the Trust and/or undertake the Ruskin Mill biodynamic training
Following your application we will contact you to discuss the next steps.
Click here to download the application form. (Word format)
Please complete the form and return it to us by post, as detailed on the form.
Please note that there are no closing dates for applications, as we will offer multiple start dates during the year.