Learning programme with a purpose

The Green School South Africa curriculum is based on the international Green School curriculum, and exceeds the requirements of the South African curriculum. The international Green School curriculum was developed based on the United Kingdom National Curriculum and other highly respected international curricula such as that of New Zealand and Singapore. Our curriculum is rigorous and relevant because we strive to help our students understand the value of what they learn.

While there will be maths and science and literacy, this will be taught through thematic, hands-on projects that have both entrepreneurship and sustainability at the core. There is a greater focus on HOW we teach, rather than WHAT we teach. Through student-guided, hands-on projects they learn to think like entrepreneurs, ask the right questions, and be confident in their search for answers.

Green School’s mission of “a community of learners making our world sustainable” sets the core philosophy of why and how the School educates. The “Green School Way” is to prepare for the real world by being involved in it now; to have impact now; to take responsibility now; and to model and practice the skills and mindsets that we will need later on, now.

In South Africa we celebrate the diversity and richness of our culture. The curriculum will be taught in both English and Afrikaans with exposure to other local languages.

The learning programme consists of three overlapping, integral elements. They seek to find a balance between the skills, values and discipline-based competencies that prepare learners for an ever-changing world. These three elements are a central in all learning experiences with careful consideration of developmental level and readiness.

At Green School, we believe that learners learn more 

from how they are taught than from what they are taught.

How we learn

What learners learn is guided by Green School’s Principles, which are core shared beliefs about how to nurture powerful, sustainable and impactful learning experiences.

What we learn

Learning objectives (Academics):

Green School’s learning programme follows a uniquely designed continuum of learning objectives that are designed to provide a foundation for learners to develop their knowledge and skills through challenging and integrated experiences that align with our REAL learning principles. Learners explore the connections between disciplines as much as possible through our three frames of learning.

Descriptions of Proficiency Curriculum according to our Bali Website:

Literacy

Math

Science

Green School skills

By nurturing ‘Green School Skills’ in our learners we prepare them for their journey as learners for the rest of their lives.  Learners learn these skills through every part of our program, including projects, activities and lessons.

Green School values

Our values inform our thoughts, words and actions. They are important because they help us to know ourselves, grow and develop. Our decisions are a reflection of our values and beliefs. Strong values enable us to take responsibility for our learning, have a positive impact on our community, and to show care for our environment.

How we structure learning

Three frames of learning

The pedagogical structure used in Green School to support the curriculum above is the three frames of learning. This defines how we deliver the content of our courses in the classroom. This scaffold is designed to provide a consistent, relevant, well-rounded and comprehensive learning experience. The three frames of learning are:

At Green School we strive to help our learners understand the value of what they learn. Our goal is to foster a lifelong love of learning that doesn’t stop at the classroom, but matures into a future full of passion and opportunities.

Age groups

Early Years – Ages 2 - 6

Learning Through Play

We believe that every child deserves, and is indeed entitled to, the best possible foundation for their education. We provide an outstanding and caring setting where each child is treated as an individual as they begin their unique learning journey of fulfilling their potential.

Our play-based program sparks children’s natural curiosity and instills the joy of learning through singing, dancing, art, storying-telling, cultural celebrations, green studies, and excursions around our awe-inspiring campus.

The importance of the foundation of letter and word recognition, language, number, shape and colour identification cannot be overstated. Through music and song we ensure that your child’s education has a solid foundation.

Primary School – Grades 1 - 5

Nurture and Inspire

In the Primary Years, our classrooms are built to inspire learners to connect with their environment, chase adventure, and pursue their passions. It’s a time for fun, laughter, exploration, and inquiry, while building relationships, expressing creativity, and getting dirty.

Primary learners strive to master core competencies in maths and literacy in a highly supportive learning environment. Each child’s journey to mastery of these skills and competenies is carefuly planned so that they are supported and inspired every step of the way. We want our children to truly understand these key concepts.

Our holistic approach engages the four intelligences — physical, emotional, intellectual and intrapersonal — through the Three Frames of Learning.

 

Middle School – Grades 6 - 8

Crossing the bridge

The middle school program begins to give our learners the freedom and responsibility of course selection while maintaining a firm grounding in foundational subjects. Learners are able to choose their PE, arts, and literacy courses, empowering, supporting and challenging them to take control of their own learning programme. 

 

Throughout the intermediate years, we focus on developing learners’ critical thinking skills – to question, challenge and seek to discover answers and solutions for themselves. The programme is structured and delivered in order to leverage the natural desire of this age group to become independent thinkers, to work with friends and peers, and to discover rather than to be told. This truly unique and progressive programme retains an absolute focus on the social and emotional development of children at this exciting and important age and stage.

 

Middle school honors the Three Frames of Learning while working to introduce integrated units in our proficiency frame in order to prepare learners for the elective process of  high school’s blended frames.

High School – Grades 9 - 12

Lighting the fire

Our perspective on education, reflected in our curriculum, is that we are not filling a bucket, but rather lighting a fire.  Thus, we endeavor to teach learners to “learn how to learn” by giving them the skills to do so.  Most importantly, we aim to instill in our learners a love of learning as a passionate pursuit in and of itself.

Our high school programme emphasises empowering learners to make their own choices in a mutually-respectful way with their teachers. We believe in honouring each individual to be their best self.

We aim to get learners out into the world, to embrace their own personal learning journey and to see that learning can happen anywhere in the world, not just in a classroom. High school learners demonstrate independence, emotional maturity, passion and creativity. Our programme supports them to become leaders within the school community. Graduates from our sister school in Bali are attending universities around the world and working in inspiring organisations and places where they are finding personal and academic success.

We aim to get your child out into the world, to embrace their own personal learning journey and to see that learning can happen anywhere in the world, not just in a classroom – lifelong learning realised.  Our programme holds a special place in the world of education evidenced by our four years of graduates who are attending universities around the world.

Specialisation

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

Green studies and environmental science

Our homegrown, comprehensive green studies curriculum evolves from ecology to sustainability, while connecting learners to our local geographic and cultural context. Using a hands-on approach allows learners 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 leaners’ 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 learners as lifelong learners and future leaders of 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, learners own their learning, which translates to a positive impact on the world.

Learners 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 in the world. At primary school, learners 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 give children real-life experience as entrepreneurs.

Arts, music and drama

Green School’s creative arts curriculum is richly influenced by our geographical location – the natural and cultural features of the Winelands, South Africa. Learners will regularly explore several forms of creative arts, with the level of sophistication growing as they mature.

 At weekly assemblies, campus art galleries, and other community venues, learners will have regular opportunities to display their art and perform in a supported, safe environment. Through exhibition and performance, we will foster child’s 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.

Sport and physical education

Sport and physical education is a central part of the Green School experience. The focus is upon providing children with the opportunity to learn a range of physical and social skills whilst a enjoying a fun-filled time with friends. We encourage participation and want our children to experience the positive benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. Children will be able to choose from a range of options: athletics, soccer, swimming, touch rugby to name but a few. The range and options will depend upon the interests of the children and the number of children in each age division.  As the school grows we will be able to offer a wider range of choices and field teams.

Our location at the foot of the Drakenstein mountains allows for plenty of outdoor and adventure education opportunities such as mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing. 

Wellbeing

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

How learners 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 children learn best when they are joyous, mindful, active and aware. All aspects of Green School’s wellbeing programme (physical wellbeing, social and emotional wellbeing, sex education and pathways) are structured into three strands that allow learners 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.

Milestone experiences

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

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My Footprints

My Footprints is a special Grade 5 experience for learners 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. Grade 5 learners are provided mentorship in their project and are inspired by the Grade 8 Quest and Grade 12 Green Stone projects.

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Quest

The Grade 8 Quest project challenges learners 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 learners for success in their high school Green Stone presentations and beyond.

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Green Stones

The Grade 8 Quest project challenges learners 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 learners for success in their high school Green Stone presentations and beyond.

My Footprints

My Footprints

My Footprints is a special Grade 5 experience for learners 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. Grade 5 learners are provided mentorship in their project and are inspired by the Grade 8 Quest and Grade 12 Green Stone projects.

Quest

Quest

The Grade 8 Quest project challenges learners 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 learners for success in their high school Green Stone presentations and beyond.

Green Stones

Green Stones

The Green Stone project is the high school capstone experience in Grade 12. It gives learners 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 learners 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. 'Green School holds onto and values the best of traditional curriculum and methodology, but also acknowledges the clear call of the future and is responding with fresh thinking, imagination and innovation. We inspire children how to ask searching questions and give them the skills to find the answers.' – Andy Wood, Head of School
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