The Green School: an extraordinary school and a gap year for grown-ups?
As we begin to look at SDG 4 focussing on Quality Education, who better to start off the discussions than our founder, Sita, who last year went to The Green School in Bali.
Exactly one year ago, my daughter and I packed our suitcases and armed with visas and expensive vaccinations, we boarded a flight for Denpasar, Bali. Founded over ten years ago by John Hardy, the Canadian entrepreneur, The Green School in Bali attracts people from all over the world.
The Green School, offering a learning by doing curriculum, a thematic education where maths, science and art were all linked up with real-life experiences promises to create the next generation of Green Leaders on a campus with bamboo classrooms without walls, set deep in the jungle with a resident snake-man, a mud wrestling pit, and a swimming pool carved out of the riverside rock.
Without being particularly clear on how exactly this was going to work, I knew that experiential learning was one clear way that dyslexic children actually do learn. Dyslexia, then and all its manifest delights and struggles, was the impetus that made us brave enough to take the leap.
Once the introductory sessions were over and the school routine – was established, my day was quickly filled up with courses and experiences that were available to parents at the school. Signed up to the twice-weekly introduction to Bahasa course, left the rest of the week free to spend at the The Bridge a co-working space and community, on the fringe of the school campus, that offered high-speed internet, a daily menu of talks and therapeutic visits by friendly felines. One memorable talk was given by Will Travis, founder of The Elevation Barn, a retreat for high flying CEOs who wish to change track.
The adjacent Kul Kul Farm, founded and managed by Maria and Orin Hardy, offered a string of workshops and experiences of which I only tasted a few. The Home Apothecary course I took was a moment of experiential learning for grown-ups. The medicine we seek comes from the plants and herbs around us, but shopping at Boots makes it easy to forget this.
We made teas, salves and tinctures, picking the ingredients from the garden while learning about their qualities. It led to an idea about how prisons could be growing remedies for addiction recovery programmes and soaps to sell. Plastic-free soaps and teas to enhance brain-function, reduce stress. I have yet to put that one into action!
Aside from the frequency of the earthquakes, occasional tsunami warnings and the volcano evacuation protocol that I found myself studying with unusual concentration, the 6 months that we spent in Bali were simply brilliant. The big revelation however was not that the thematic, experiential learning clearly had a profound impact on my daughter who produced campaigning posters in her spare time, but the Green School offered something that was not advertised on its website: an experiential learning experience for grown-ups.
The mini-sabbatical that I was lucky to take did not only introduce me to a range of extraordinary people, but through the courses and talks I attended, and the issues I had time to learn about, showed me a way forward for further learning, better breathing (yes) and reminded me of how much we need to have adventure in our everyday lives. Not to mention how the Sustainable Development Goals are now firmly at the heart of Prospero World’s new campaigns.
Christine Bader Corporate Idealist: 'The Life that I want'
Blogs to follow Norweigan Family experience at the Green School: 'What Really Matters'
Example of one entrepreneurial l business put together in the short time I was there. An example of amazing ‘green’ leadership in action, by GS parent. Skute Bali
Green School New Zealand is opening soon.