What is a Green School?
There is a generally held belief that a green school has to be similar to the world renowed Green School in Bali following a sustainable and enquire based curriculum or one which is a member of the highly acclaimed Eco-School organisation. There are also those schools that include re-cycling and other type initiatives which, whilst being admirable, does not make them a green school.
A green school has to follow 3 basic pillars; reduction in environmental impact, promotion of health and wellbeing and environmental and sustainability education. These will form an essential part of mont21 where they will be entwined into a unique educational concept founded on Montessori pedagogy for the 21st century.
The brand new school house will be constructed sustainably using timber from certified forests and locally sourced materials from ecologically approved companies as will all fixtures, fittings and furniture. The aim is for it to be energy self-sufficient provided by solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbine and a ground heat exchanger. Rainwater will be harvested and stored for non-potable uses. All teaching resources and general supplies will be eco-friendly and re-cycling will be used throughout the community.
The importance of health and wellbeing is an essential part of Montessori pedagogy where children are not subjected to unnecessary stress brought about by frequent formal testing, unrealistic expectations, targets, awards and excessive amounts of homework. The design of the building allows direct connection with the outdoors providing ample natural lighting and ventilation. Students will benefit from yoga and mindfulness and where the eldest will be able to take 'time-out' in the yoga studio if they need during the day. Lunches and snacks will be prepared with organically grown ingredients and with an emphasis on a plant based menu. There will be similar facilities available to the staff and parents whose health and wellbeing is of equally importance.
Environmental awareness will be acquired by the children during their daily use of the sustainable building which will be set within a natural landscape that will include micro wildlife habitats, vegetable plots and Forest school. There will be student led ecological community projects, enterprises and initiatives that will both challenge and problem solve current environmental issues.
With continued awareness in the custodianship of the planet, there will doubtless be significant growth and popularity of green schools around the world.