The greenest school on earth…
Visiting this school and being a part of one of their daily tours offered a lovely peek into the magical world of learning that is the Green School. But for me what made the tour even more impressive was that our tour guide wasn’t a teacher, staff member, or part of the marketing team but was one of the Grade 11 students JJ. He was incredibly well spoken, eloquent, confident and knowledgeable – if this is what all the teenagers turn out like at the Green School then I want to send my little ones here! Well done JJ!
Green School was founded in 2008 by the creative expat couple John and Cynthia Hardy who have called Bali home for the past 30 years. Around 400 students from 46 different countries now attend the Green School, with many families from around the world making the move to Bali specifically so their children can attend the Green School.
As with all private schools the fees are hefty (between US $10,000 and $14,000 per year) making the school out of reach for many (including us!). There is a Scholarship program for local Balinese children, which the tour fee is donated towards, however this only makes up a very small percentage of the school population. I believe they are hoping to grow this number over the next couple of years to around 20%.
Classes are held amongst the tropical jungle in eco friendly bamboo structures without walls, and the dusty natural earth (which I imagine would be a whole lot of muddy fun in the wet season!) make up the hallways that run between classrooms. The Ayung river snakes its way through the school grounds which is also home to the “vortex” a renewable energy source that uses the river water to help power the school and was built by some of the senior students, and a stunning architecturally designed bamboo bridge where some classes are held.
Mindfulness is important here so there is a yoga pavillion for regular weekly practice, plus many spaces to meet, think and reflect, and of course the amazing Heart of School. There’s also a mud-wrestling pit and a natural swimming pool.
With such a strong focus on the environment and sustainability, recycling stations are dotted around the school complete with hand drawn signs by the students, solar panels are the norm, and an organic vegetable garden tended to by the students contributes fresh ingredients to the school lunches.
The school is also home to the Begawan foundation breeding sanctuary for the critically endangered Bali Starling, the Living Food Lab onsite cafe where organic coffee, cool drinks and healthy raw snacks are served, and the sweet Kembali not for profit thrift store where students are encouraged to donated their pre-loved clothes and goods. These all add to the feeling that the Green School is not just a school but an entire village or community.
Over the years, the Green School has attracted an array of celebrity visitors, supporters and guest speakers from all over the globe including Dr Jane Goodall, Michael Franti, Damien Hirst and Donna Karan, and not mention many regular folk like you and I who have an interest in the school and are keen for a sticky beak at their unique school campus!
The tour offers a glimpse of what school life is like at the greenest school of earth, but is also an interesting and thought provoking activity for anyone interested in education, creativity, architecture and sustainability.
Children are most welcome on the tour and depending on the age of your children it could be a very unique excursion for them, however it does run for over an hour, and there are many steps, rocks and rough pathways to navigate… which could prove difficult for little legs and prams.
Tours are held every day (excluding Public holidays) at 2.45pm.
Bookings are essential and can be made online here.
Tour contribution fee costs IDR 120,000 for adults and 60,000 for kids. (Kids under 6 years are free.)