The garden will incorporate a faith section depicted by large stones, hope with a water feature, and love represented by a host of red flowers. Block-paved paths will lead to a tree covered with messages and names of staff, pupils and governors at the school who have died.
Derby College Horticulture lecturer Mike Baldwin has led the project. He said: "Our students have been instrumental in designing and creating the outline and paving for the new garden to make it ready for pupils at St John Houghton to complete the planting and landscaping.
"Work experience is a vital part of our course and we were keen to support their school in this project.
"Projects such as these provide a real benefit to local communities. They also enable students to develop their design, planning and practical capabilities to boost their CVs and increase their employability skills in the horticulture industry.
"There are widespread job opportunities in the horticulture industry and not enough young people coming into the area so projects like these will give our students the edge as they look for their foothold on the career ladder."