Pyrites - Living & Learning with Nature

Practical Skills Teacher Development Course (PSTDC)


PSTDC- For January 2019- Now Recruiting


Invite to sign up for Pyrites PSTDC 2019 Course

Now Accepting Applications for this course

as of 1st January 2018

Venue: Wynstones Steiner School, Church Lane, Whaddon. Gloucestershire GL4 0UF


See below for  PSTDC Details

Please contact Bernard Graves if interested for more details  

Hosted by:
Wynstones School

Church Lane






  • Applications welcomed from teachers, Craft tutors & Parents from across the UK
  • 7 Weekends spread over the year - Jan > July 
  • Starting Saturdays 8.30am & concluding Sundays 5 pm
  • All meals provided: Included
  • Accommodation can be arranged at the school

Dates for PSTDC starting Jan 2019 - see below:


Wynstones Steiner School

Church Lane




The 7 WEEKENDS PROGRAMME– Saturdays & Sundays –Starting Sat 8.30am & finishing 5pm Sundays.


  • From Fleece to Felt: 18th/19th/20th Jan 2019
  • From Skin to Leather: 16th/17th Feb
  • Willow Basketry: 23rd/24th  March
  • Green woodwork: 27th/28th April
  • Clay & Ceramics: 18th/19th May
  • Blacksmithing:22nd/23rd June
  • Leaded Stained Glass: 13th/14th July  


COST For PSTDC 2019:

The cost of the PSTDC: £1250/person. Inclusive of all materials, food/meals for the weekend.

A deposit of £200 is required following submission of your PSTDC Application Form - you will be notified when to pay this.NB your deposit secures your reservation but is non-refundable; however, under certain circumstances, where attendance is not possible, your deposit may be deferred to your attending the following year's course.

Missed workshops: In the event of you missing a workshop weekend you have the option of attending in the following year.


All teas/coffee & hot meals provided - using mostly organic produce. Dietary needs can be accommodated - see Application Form. 


I am sorry to say that we no longer have use of accommodation at the school as in previous years However there are reasonably priced local B&B in the locality. Address list of B&B and 'Friendly Beds' can be provided on request also BG can accommodate 3 participants.


The PSTDC, started this Jan 2017 has concluded and now recruiting for a new course run starting Jan 2018 - hopefully, there will be sufficient interest to run this course.

Downloadable Flyers/Brochure will be available soon.

We aim to have 12 participants 15 max, decided on a first come first serve basis.  - but could run with 10 min.

If you are interested in taking up this opportunity, starting in Jan 2018 then please confirm by return email also with any questions you may have. You will, of course, be sent full programme details /seminars & Talks etc later.


In order to start a new course JAN 2019; I would need to receive applications throughout 2018. 

If you require more information please email/write or phone - thanks:

Bernard Graves. Pyrites. Mayfield, 11 Bisley Road Stroud. Glos. GL5 1HE 
Email: Bernard(at)
Tel: 01453 767208

NOTE: Please replace (at) with the @ symbol.

 click here for the Online Application form. 

With Kind regards

Bernard Graves  1st  March 2018


PSTDC - Course Content & Overview

Practical Skills Teacher Development Course 

The PSTDC is aimed at all teachers, craft tutors, parents & individuals wishing to bring new elements of practical ‘experiential learning’ to their work. 

Practical work & Skills provide many opportunities for cross-curricular learning as well as staff development. This course has been designed to support both areas in ways that promote resourcefulness in the context of a school’s grounds and landscape. 


  • To offer an opportunity for re-development and re-deployment of skills already acquired.
  • To offer skills training in practical work and traditional crafts.
  • To show how craft gesture as an example of refined movement and practical skills supports the development and education of the child and young person.
  • Learning through making - Will Developed Intelligence & The Craft Gestures.
  • To demonstrate when and how experience can become effective learning.
  • To provide a new context for understanding school’s grounds and their use in developing a ‘practical skills’ curriculum relevant to the existing handwork/craft and related science and art domains; with special reference to Steiner Waldorf education.
  • To offer opportunities for curriculum development and the creation of an Outdoor Classroom & Practical Skills Curriculum.



The programme can be modified to suit the needs of individual organisations; for instance, therapeutic or Special Educational Needs providers. 

 The main objectives of the course are for a participant to:

  • Demonstrate competency in areas of Practical Education. 
  • Have a general knowledge of materials and practical skills related to a schools Practical Skills curriculum.
  • Show how an activity can be sustainably developed in a specific locality.
  • Carry out a practical project with a group of children.


1) From Fleece to Felt

Practical: Felting: From raw wool to dying to Felting: Frances Graves 
Practical & Introductions, Course Induction & expectations of participants. 
Saturday: Theme: Education of the Senses out of the Environment. The hand as a conveyor of experience & learning. 
Sunday: Review of w/k with a focus on the Animal world. Induction to Log books & recording practical work. 

2) From Skin to Leather

Practical: From Skin to Leather: Jeannie Ireland
Saturday: Workshop - Meeting & Blessing of the Deer followed by Leatherwork.

Theme: Movement Learning (Nimble Fingers begets Nimble Minds - Will Developed Intelligence) 
Sunday: Review with focus on Animal world and experience. Cross-curricular opportunities. 

3) Hedgerow/ Willow Basketry

Practical: Hedgerow & Willow Basketry: Bernard Graves 
Saturday: Theme: The Temperaments & Craft 
Sunday: Review with focus on The Plant kingdom. Introduction to unit ’Adolescence a Descent Into matter’ Research Project. 

4) Greenwood work 

Practical: Green woodwork: Richard Turley 
Saturday: Theme: Adolescents a Descent Into Matter- human development or Helpers in work 
Sunday: Review of w/k with focus on The Plant Kingdom and cross-curricular opportunities. 

5) Clay work & Ceramics

Practical: From Clay to Pots & Kiln building: Sam Makumba
Saturday: Theme: The Educational Landscape
Sunday: Review of w/k. Individual presentations of ideas & progress with craft related research. 

6) Pit Forge & Blacksmithing

Practical: Iron Age Pit Forge & Blacksmithing: Arian Leljak 
Saturday: Theme: Craft Gestures 
Sunday: Review of w/k with focus on The Mineral Kingdom. 


7) Leaded Stained Glass: Johannes Steuck

Practical: Design & cut coloured glass to fit around a semi-precious stone/s - mount using  Leaded bead.


Seminars & Lectures

Wrapped around each of the weekend’s practical work are seminars, which assist with ‘reflection’ and ‘Understanding’ of personal experiences and the value of Crafts in support of human development. Lecture contributions will introduce fundamental aspects of the Study of Man arising out of Anthroposophy. Practical skills & the Waldorf Curriculum.

NB  The PSTDC is no longer accredited  

Participants are however encouraged to submit work by way of compiling a portfolio accreditation; of their work. Your portfoloi of work can go towards Personal & Professional Development. 

Handouts will be provided so that participants do not need to take copies notes during the practical work.

A camera is recommended and is a useful way of documenting the practical activities. 

NB. Weekend themes for discussion & Lecture on Sat evenings may evolve during the Course, please make suggestions, as the course is to serve your requirements and personal needs.