Our Learning Philosophy
The world our children will inherit is changing faster than any time in history. For our children to prosper and humankind to flourish, we need a new kind of education. The ‘Green School Way’ is a way to look at Education with a progressive lens. It is not rejecting all the conventions of education, rather keeping the principles and methodologies that work, but around them, building a new model of education.
Green School’s mission of “a community of learners making our world sustainable” sets the core philosophy of why and how the School educates. Our Learning Programme aims to prepare learners for the real world by equipping them with knowledge, values and skills to navigate an ever-changing world. Beyond that, it empowers them to make an impact, not in the future, but now.
The Green School Way
We educate for sustainability through community-integrated, entrepreneurial learning, in a natural environment.
Our holistic, student-guided approach inspires and empowers our young people to be green leaders. The Green School way of learning allows young people to thrive by learning in a purposeful manner.
Learning how to be a changemaker and have a positive impact on the world ignites children’s passion to learn and turns learning from a chore, into a desire.
Green School New Zealand students are immersed in a rich culture and community. We are connected respectfully to our local neighbourhood and iwi, and together, form a community committed to mutual respect, shared learning, friendship and service.
We would like to achieve a collective love of learning and hope that this love of nature, connection to the land and desire to be relentless about making a difference in our world will positively impact the Taranaki community, Aotearoa and the world. In collaboration with their peers, the community and local businesses, our learners have incredible opportunities to be authentic changemakers.
Caroline Rennie – GSNZ Head of School
How we learn
Our learning is guided by Green School Principles, which are core shared beliefs about how to nurture powerful, sustainable and impactful learning experiences. We believe learning is most impactful when it is REAL. Our pedagogical belief is that we learn & grow best when experiences are REAL.
R – Relationship-centred – Green School prioritises and sustains relationships between all learners, their environment, and their community. Our programmes are holistic and engage the whole person including the social-emotional, intrapersonal, intellectual and kinesthetic connections.
E – Experiential and evolving – We know students learn better through experiential learning, or ‘learning by doing’. Our living curriculum adapts to the evolving needs of learners, so that students take ownership of their own learning journeys by being involved in it every step of the way.
A – Authentic and action-oriented – We believe learning should be driven by real-world needs and the prospect of a sustainable future. But also by the ambitions of our learners, who are empowered to follow their passions and take action to create a positive impact in their surroundings.
L – Local to Global – Our learners come from all corners of the world and deeply immerse themselves in their local surroundings, enabling them to interact with local communities so that they become aware of the local culture, and traditions, as well as work with the local communities to expand their awareness and understanding of what it means to be a global citizen.
Green School Skills
The following skills form the backbone of all that we teach. These skills refer directly to the Green School learning principles and are informed by out school’s vision to “Thrive with Purpose”.
As a school, we subscribe to a set of values – iRESPECT. At all times we teach and model these values and support our students in doing the same. We encourage all teachers to honour and recognise these values in our students through ongoing dialogue, discussions and reinforcement.
Being honest and ethical with thoughts and actions.
Being accountable for thoughts, actions and deeds.
Understanding and caring for the feelings of others.
Ensuring that your own body and environment is cared for so they are clean and healthy for as long as possible.
Contributing to a state of harmony.
Respecting everyone as an equal and as an individual.
Being part of a group seeking common goals and taking care of each other.
Building and maintaining strong relationships with each other, the school and the environment.
In the primary years, our school architecture inspires students to connect with the environment, chase adventure and pursue their passions.
Our Junior High programme gives students a choice, while maintaining a firm grounding in foundational subjects.
Senior High School
Our Senior High School programme emphasises empowering students to make their own choices in a mutually-respectful way with their teachers. We believe in honouring each student to be their best self.
Sports participation at GSNZ
The physical wellbeing of learners is incredibly important at Green School New Zealand. It is one of four key dimensions within Sir Mason Durie’s “Te Whare Tapa Whā” model (1984), which focuses on the overall wellbeing of an individual.
At GSNZ we are blessed to be situated on a campus surrounded by natural resources and landscapes that feed our willingness to connect with nature, in a physical sense, every day. As part of that, we have an outdoor education programme run by one of New Zealand’s top outdoor educators. Activities such as hikoi (walks/tramps), river activities, cross country, oreinteering, mountain biking, gardening and bush activities happen regularly, while our learners are also given opportunities off-campus to participate in activities such as kayaking, caving, experiences on Mounga Taranaki and more.
We also encourage the active participation of team and individual sports. Our learners currently participate in local competitions for netball, basketball, rippa rugby, volleyball, touch rugby, athletics, surf lifesaving, tennis, hockey, football, ultimate frisbee, chess and much more. Learners participate either within a Green School team, or as a member of one of the many sports clubs we have in the area.
As our school numbers grow, so too does our competitiveness and the pride we have in wearing our school colours at local and regional sporting competitions.