A High School Experience for the 21st Century
Here’s a little secret: Green School is a complex, interconnected place of learning. It is actually four schools in one (Early Years, Primary School, Middle School and High School), serving ages 3 to 18. With a kitted-out innovation hub/makerspace, state-of-the-art bamboo science labs and wall-less classrooms for all ages, Green School is its own village, its own community, and, most importantly, a school of the future.
Its unique High School programme is part of its magic. When the school started, there was no High School, but as the first students grew older, the school grew with them.
Of course, there have been bumps and hiccups along the way. College admissions presented a challenge since it required communicating the ins-and-outs of the Green School diploma and portfolio for traditional entrance requirements. The barriers were high, but now, universities from around the world are recognising the value of graduates with rich life experiences, well-honed skills in thinking and doing, that transcend traditional placement tests and GPAs.
Only a few weeks ago, over 60 universities came to the Green School campus in Bali to our annual school’s university fair to recruit from a pool of fewer than 25 Green School students in the class of 2019. Such is the changing face of university admissions, including universities in Europe and Ivy League universities from the United States. Colleges and Universities now value leadership experiences, project-based learning, immersion in real-world projects and holistic education. These are 21st-century skills and the way forward.
A requirement for every Green School graduate is a capstone project, known as Green Stone. Green Stone is a year-long inquiry and process where students demonstrate a mastery of core skills and Green School skills. This can be a passion project, an area of interest, or a solution to a real-world problem. The Green Stone experience culminates in a 13-minute TED-style talk the week before graduation. It is a life-changing experience and prepares every student for their next adventure and arguably for the rest of their life. Green Stone is a process and an experience that not only develops skills but also provides a platform to demonstrate mastery of those skills.
“I have seen every Green Stone since it started. I have watched the students grow. They are breaking these models about how we look at the world. It opens our minds. Everyone is crying, including parents. This wisdom and knowledge is coming from these young people.”
Chris Thompson, Green School parent and former Director of School
Watch the documentary below to learn more about the process of Green Stone.
You can also watch the full Green Stone talks here.