Green School New Zealand (GSNZ) is proud to announce it has become the first high school in Aotearoa to offer learners the opportunity to graduate with a New Zealand Certificate in Study and Employment Pathways (Levels 3 and 4).

Starting in term 1 of 2023, the NZQA accredited certificate will be integrated into the school’s real-world approach to education, which weaves sustainable, holistic, and experiential learning, with traditional academic rigour and structure.

Head of School, Caroline Rennie, said the school has worked tirelessly to create a high school programme that empowers learners to ignite their creativity and entrepreneurial thinking and develop pathways that will lead to tertiary education or employment throughout New Zealand, and around the world.

“We believe that by balancing hands-on, authentic learning and structured academic study, we can bring joy to education through purposeful learning that is co-constructed by our students.”

The school will assess the NZQA certificate the “Green School Way”, meaning its conscious decision to omit high stakes, standardised exams from its learner assessment criteria will still stand.

“We worked closely with renowned education consultant, Dr Christine Fenton, to help us navigate this process, and with global education professionals Dr Kevin House and Theresa Forbes, to future proof our progressive curriculum framework,” says Rennie.

In March 2023, GSNZ will also complete the three year process of becoming an accredited international school with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). This achievement, along with the new NZQA certificate, will ensure that GSNZ is formally recognised both nationally and internationally for the quality of its education.

Green School parent, Dr Dana Tipene-Hook, said the recent accreditation announcements and opportunities they would bring were very exciting for Green School families.

“Coming from a family of traditional university educated academics, joining Green School before full accreditation was a bit of a step into the unknown. Now the school has achieved accreditation, we have no concerns whatsoever should our daughter, Haka, wish to continue her education at university.”

Dr Tipene-Hook said since Haka (entering Year 12) and her eight-year-old daughter had both joined Green School, the positive impacts of the school on her children had been dramatic.

“Since Haka transitioned from mainstream high school to Green School, she has truly regained her individuality, joy for life and her zest for learning.

“I am also so grateful my younger daughter joined as well, as she is really thriving in the primary school. It truly is a bespoke educational experience for which our family is grateful.”

Global education consultant, and former Green School New Zealand chief executive, Chris Edwards, played an instrumental role in kick-starting the school’s curriculum during his time in Taranaki from 2019-2021. He said the recent accreditation was a huge achievement that should be celebrated.

“This school really has achieved the creation of the most relevant, inspiring and beautiful curriculum and pathway that will lead learners on to local and global universities, and beyond.”