Last year I came across a CNN press release featured in YouTube that blew me away. It was about the Green School in Bali. The School opened its doors to the public in September, 2008 and since then has made headlines on TIME Magazine, ABC News, Conde Nast and various other news and lifestyle magazines.
“Green School is the most amazing school on earth” is what you read on the first paragraph of the school’s website. Indeed it does give that impression. Tucked away in the rainforest of Ubud, Bali, the school is built almost entirely from bamboo and was founded by sustainable designers, John and Cynthia Hardy. The central building (Heart of School), is one of the largest bamboo structures in the world and has been created by master architects, designers, craftsmen and builders, landscape designers and gardeners using a blend of cutting-edge technology and traditional materials and methods. It is simply stunning. The eight-hectare campus is divided by the Ayung River while a beautiful bamboo bridge allows easy access across the river and provides spectacular views of the Ayung valley.
Students come from all over the world and some families have even relocated to Bali just for their kids to attend the school. Although school fees are rather steep, 20% of the students are local Balinese kids funded by scholarships from generous donors allowing them to benefit from an international education.
Green School is Steiner influenced, so it is focused on holistic education and learning by doing. Its general curriculum consists of the essential subjects of English, Mathematics and Science with focus on Green Studies and Creative Arts. Some of the things that students do during a normal school day is to plant their own pizza garden, participate in yoga and martial arts, learn about carbon footprint analysis and study local snakes and lizards amidst the school’s natural surroundings. Meanwhile, plans have been made to generate its own power from the River.
The school’s uniqueness has attracted a number of visitors to its campus site including tourists, celebrities and various organizations. Donna Karan and David Copperfield have visited the school while in December 2009, a group of more than twenty MBA students from Stanford University traveled to see the model of sustainability in education. The school also launched Green camp which is now open 363 days of the year and has 3 different sets of activities: Fun for kids from ages 5-11, Adventure for teenagers and a special residential offer for school groups.
Green School actively seeks lively and engaged children from around the world who have promise for academic and personal success as well as a willingness to go beyond the bounds of convention. Enrollment at the Green School can be done using its online application form available from its website.