Green studies and
environmental science

Our homegrown, comprehensive green studies curriculum evolves from ecology to sustainability, while connecting students to our local geographic and cultural context. Using a hands-on approach allows students to ‘get their hands dirty’ and ‘get mud between their toes’, while reinforcing the essential skills of reading, writing, maths and science.

The aim of our green studies curriculum is to:

  • Nurture respect for the natural world
  • Heighten students’ environmental awareness and promote stewardship
  • Develop deep ecological values
  • Understand and practice permaculture as the harmonious integration of land and people to provide food, shelter and energy in a sustainable way
  • Build awareness of, and engagement with, the many readily-accessible resources on our campus, including, but not limited to food gardens, aquatic systems, animal husbandry, and sustainable and renewable building materials
  • Understand sustainability and systems as a web of relationships interacting with communities – human and non-human – in ways that enable them to live and develop according to their nature
  • Foster a love for learning about themselves, each other, and the wider world in ways that are respectful, have depth of understanding, and compassionate coexistence
  • Instill pride, responsibility and cooperation among students as lifelong learners and future leaders in the world.

Entrepreneurial learning

At Green School, enterprise and entrepreneurship are not subjects–they are ways of being and doing. They are central to educating for a sustainable world. By developing these skills, habits and attitudes, students own their learning which translates to a positive impact on the world.

Students practice entrepreneurial skills on a regular basis – as questioners, thinkers, tryers, failure learners, and active learners.

It starts with the youngest learners, forming personal characteristics, and builds throughout intermediate and high school where our advanced and confident learners make an impact on the world. At primary school, students immerse themselves in green enterprise projects which take many and varied forms. From establishing a business, to developing new composting systems, they learn to become system-thinkers and use design, collaboration and creative problem-solving skills to develop and bring their ideas to life.

At intermediate and high school, opportunities to work on one of the school’s social enterprises gives children real-life experience as entrepreneurs. The Green School LEAP Academy Intensive Design Challenge gives high school students the space, time, tools and support they need to work towards their own passion projects and to develop solutions to real-life problems.

Arts

Green School has attracted some of the education sector’s most talented arts professionals. Our creative arts curriculum is richly influenced by our geographical location – the natural and cultural features surrounding Taranaki, New Zealand. Students will regularly explore several forms of creative arts, with the level of sophistication growing as students mature.

At weekly assemblies, campus art galleries, and other community venues, students will have regular opportunities to display their art and perform in a supported, safe environment. Through exhibition and performance, we will foster student confidence, self-awareness, perseverance, and collaboration.

Whenever possible, we will pursue opportunities to link strands of the creative arts, particularly when it comes to celebrating through exhibitions and performance.

Environment

Green School will offer one of the most beautiful and natural school campuses in the world. Our home will be the community of Taranaki.

We have secured a magical site along Koru Road, protected by the Kaitake Ranges, next to the beautiful Ōākura River, sitting in between Mt. Taranaki and the Tasman Sea.

The Green School New Zealand campus will be developed in a series of stages. Green School will open in February 2020 with a number of eco-learning spaces set within our magical landscape. An eco-hub will be constructed simultaneously, which will be the first structure to reflect the look and feel of the unique environment we have designed for Green School New Zealand.

Our desire is that the Green School community plays a part in the progression of our campus as it continues to evolve, inspire and optimize our students’ learning potential.

Wellbeing

If our aim is to become community members making our world sustainable, it is imperative that we first start with ourselves.

How students feel about themselves and their relationships with others directly affects their ability to learn and grow. Our physical, mental and social/emotional wellbeing influences everything we do.

At Green School, our wellbeing curriculum acknowledges that students learn best when they are joyous, mindful, active and aware. All aspects of Green School’s wellbeing programme (physical wellbeing, social and emotional wellbeing, mindfulness, sex education and pathways) are structured into three strands that allow students to develop the skills and knowledge to be the stewards of their own health and growth: connection to me, connection to others, and connection to society.

Culture

Aotearoa/New Zealand has a beautiful and unique cultural landscape brought together with a vision of bicultural harmony. Green School New Zealand ākonga/students will embrace our traditional Māori culture during their time here through the arts, music and language curriculum.

Our creative arts curriculum will be richly influenced by the natural and cultural features of our land and will be celebrated at weekly assemblies, campus art galleries and community events. Te reo Māori will be spoken and seen on a daily basis, while traditional values and tikanga (practices) will hold significant presence in the curriculum. Akonga/students will not only participate in unique cultural experiences but also learn and understand Māori culture and its importance in New Zealand and the world.

Milestone experiences

The Green School experience is peppered with impactful milestone experiences, rites of passage and learning artifacts. At certain stages of a student’s learning journey, specific initiatives have been developed to challenge and celebrate key stages of a child’s development. A few examples include;

My Footprints

My Footprints is a special Year 6 experience for students finishing their primary school learning journey.

This passion project programme is designed as a capstone experience that culminates in a showcase and presentation of their project to the community. Year 6 students are provided mentorship in their project and are inspired by the Year 8 Quest and Year 13 Green Stone projects.

Quest

The Year 8 Quest project challenges students to identify one of their passions and turn it into a project that has an aspect of environmental or societal sustainability to it.

This year-long programme has become a rite of passage at Green School and can be a life-changing experience for children as they come to the end of their intermediate journey. The project culminates in a TED style presentation, which is filmed and published, and helps prepare our students for success in their high school Green Stone presentations and beyond.

Green Stones

The Green Stone project is the high school capstone experience in Year 13.

It gives students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of deep research and presentation skills and offers an extended period of focus on individual interests in an academic framework. It is designed and implemented entirely by the students and is based on their passions and interests. The final part of the project is a 13-minute presentation, in the spirit of a TED talk, which is filmed and published by the school.

Primary

In the primary years, our school architecture inspires students to connect with the environment, chase adventure and pursue their passions.

Intermediate

The intermediate programme gives students a choice, while maintaining a firm grounding in foundational subjects.

Specialisation

While the Green School curriculum encompasses all the foundational subjects, our flagship programmes are prominent for students of all ages and year levels.