15th February 2021
It is with great excitement and pride that we introduce the newest addition to the Green School network, Green School South Africa, which will welcome more than 100 students for its first term beginning on 15th February in the verdant Paarl-Franschhoek Valley just outside of Cape Town.
Green School South Africa’s location in the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley
From the beginning, Green School’s founders, John and Cynthia Hardy, envisioned bringing a better model of education, one that fostered values, creativity and real-life skills in equal measure, to all corners of the globe. Green School South Africa is the latest example of that dream being realized. Last February, the first Green School outpost after Bali, Green School New Zealand, opened in utopic Taranaki, next to the beautiful Oakura River, and situated between Mt Taranaki and the Tasman Sea.
Green School founders, John & Cynthia Hardy
Green School South Africa’s founders, Alba and Herman Brandt, were so impressed by the extraordinary educational experience their three daughters enjoyed when they attended Green School Bali.
“We had an extraordinary experience at Green School Bali that fundamentally changed how we see education. We saw a major change in our kids, the joy with which they went to school in the morning, and the excitement on a Sunday evening. They loved the extent of arts, music, and drama as part of their normal week, the opportunity to perform in front of the school on a weekly basis and they felt that they were mostly just playing. In talking with the educators we realised how much thought, research, and passion went into curriculum design with flexibility to adjust to each child’s unique level in each subject.”
When they returned to South Africa, they were inspired to establish their own Green School and sharing its forward-thinking approach to education with families in their community and beyond.
“The mission from the very beginning was to take a stand for future generations,” says Cynthia Hardy, referencing her and John’s mission for all Green Schools to educate changemakers for a more sustainable world. “Alba and Herman, congratulations and heartfelt acknowledgement for everything you’ve been through these past years. You’ve done it!”
The new Green School campus sits on 8 hectares of land in the sun-dappled valley where more than 25,000 native flora have been planted in the gardens and orchards to act as an outdoor extension of the classrooms. Like its sister schools in Bali and New Zealand, Green School South Africa will provide its community a place where creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship flourish. Where sustainability isn’t just a buzzword, but a principle people live by.
Green School South Africa campus
“Green School is magic because it is full of beauty, full of innovation and full of hope for the future, one that we especially need today” says John Hardy. “South Africa is a beautiful country, and Paarl is a place that is really looking at that future.”
In keeping with the Green School network’s focus on sustainability, Green School South Africa will offer programmes at every level, from kindergarten to grade 12, to help students become more aware of the world’s environmental challenges and how they can make a difference. The biophilic design of the campus, made using locally-sourced sand, clay, and lime and crafted by South African artisans, will model sustainability to the children enrolled.
Green School South Africa classrooms and campus have been built using sustainable, locally-sourced materials
“The world is changing, and the world into which our children are going to step will be vastly different,” says Andy Wood, Green School South Africa’s Head of School. “In order to succeed in that world, our students must learn to be creative, entrepreneurial and able to collaborate.”
In addition to his passion for the outdoors, mountaineering, hiking and rock-climbing, Wood brings more than three decades of teaching experience in South Africa, the Middle East and the Americas as well as a passion for the Green School mission.
Andy Wood, Head of School at Green School South Africa
“We’re all very proud of the education we’ve had, and it’s got us this far,” Wood says. “But it’s not going to get us to where we need to be in the future. Green School is designed to set students up for success in the future and now.”