We have an important and wonderful day here at Green School Friday, our Student-Led conferences. It’s an opportunity to peek a little closer into our wall-less classrooms and spend time with our students and their teachers to discuss and experience their learning environment together. With this in mind, this week’s message from Leslie Medema comes at good timing “How do you know how your students are doing?” Enjoy!
How do you know how your students are doing? That is the billion rupiah question in education around the world and one I get asked all of the time. This article is longer than my usual newsletter articles, but I encourage all parents to take the time to read on, because the answer is not as simple as comparing test scores.
We characterise ourselves as a progressive school. Progressive in education means dynamic, connected to the real-world, collaborative, and open-minded. Progressive in our world means evidence-based teaching approaches on developing the whole child, the application of contemporary theory on education including hands-on and collaborative projects, using the power of a highly engaged community to open children’s eyes to the wide world and a campus which ignites the senses. This is the direction leaders in the education world are saying school’s need to take. This is the direction many leading schools are adopting and others are still talking about adopting. This is the Green School Way.
But the term progressive still suffers from a perception that it is the opposite of “academic” in the educational context. And when we are asked, how do you know how your students are doing, it is generally referring to academics: are they performing like their peers in other countries, are they able to transition easily back into a more traditional school? These questions, which are assumed to be only answered simply through examinations results, are complex to answer.
However, as we collect data through surveys, focus groups, and experience, we have have absolutely consistent themes that arise. We know that when children move from one school system to another, we are not comparing ‘apples with apples’. Differing educational approaches and curriculum mean that there is often some variation in the sequence and emphasis on different core subject content. So what do we actually know about children who have transitioned from Green School?
Our experience with children transitioning to other schools tells us that academically, the majority of children are at level or above. They may or may not have covered the exact same content as their new peers. Different concepts may have been introduced at different stages (children in the Netherlands learn to read at age 6, versus children in the US who learn at 5, or Finland at 7). They have learned through a different approach (eg: slightly differing math terminology in various countries or the set sequence of math concepts in Khan Academy versus through a more hands-on/applied approach at Green School).
Most importantly, we have clear themes of Green School children’s outstanding strengths in these areas:
Their understanding of their place in the wide world. They are global citizens with an advanced understanding of global issues.
Their social skills – ability to connect and make new friendships, including with others from different backgrounds.
Their love for the natural world, including an increased desire to be outdoors, be physically adventurous and to be more conscious consumers.
Their emotional maturity, self-confidence and resilience.
Their critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills and ability to see and respect points/opinions of difference.
Green School children tend to be active and grab opportunities, they turn-up, get involved, want to be part of something purposeful and to contribute. This is one of the many reasons universities seek out Green School graduates.
Our experience tells us that regardless of exactly where a child sits academically compared to their peers in other schools, when you have this mix of outstanding strengths, children adjust quickly and thrive.
We want to share more hard-data with you to support this analysis and we are working on compiling this information for you. In the meantime, I will share with you here some quotes from families who have recently moved on.
Early Years I was so drawn to the magical fairyland that is Early Years. The buildings and play spaces have an amazing flow to them which I am sure is so conducive to their development. The teachers were so caring and focused on the holistic development of my son and I could not have wished for a more beautiful start to his schooling. He taught us many things about eating more healthily, caring for nature and the importance of being nice to your friends through acts and words of kindness. He has now started his new primary school stage and was so ready for this. He is mindful, happy, well-rounded and loves learning. –GS Parent
Primary School In our international school arena we see students transition from country to country, but rarely do we take the time to stop, reflect and complement the work of other schools in shaping the next generation of world leaders. Well, today I wish to congratulate the Green School Bali for setting the fertile ground from which he (grade 4 transfer student) has rooted himself in. –Head of School in Korea
They (teachers) knew my child, they are focused on the whole child, they are super accessible and open, they are what we love the most about GS. –GS Parent
Middle School My children, they are articulate now. They have a joy of learning and willingness to explore and even like subjects they didn’t like before. They are comfortable in their own skin. They do not fear being judged by what they say and are encouraged to speak and answer questions. –GS Parent
The Green School curriculum, teachers, friends and peers have all contributed to her blossoming into a confident young adult. She has discovered interests that have inspired her inherent nature to care and become involved with the environment, the plight of the less fortunate and endangered animals. I only wish I’d had the opportunity to enrol her in the Green School a lot earlier, as I am so impressed with the curriculum and would have loved to have been involved in all of your activities. –GS Parent
Every child deserves the opportunity to have a Green School Middle School experience. Their focus on the social and emotional development of children at this critical and tumultuous stage gave my two children everything they needed to navigate this stage of their growth. They both graduated from Middle School as confident individuals, comfortable with themselves, with positive relationships with those around them. They had a strong understanding of the wider world with all its challenges and great opportunities, far beyond their friends and family back home. –GS Parent
High School We were amazed how well they did given their year levels. They were clearly performing at first year university level The cohort nearly all obtained Distinction (A) and Credit (B) grades They were very independent learners and had little difficulty expressing themselves clearly and succinctly in the written exercises. Far better than many of the much older first year students for that matter. –University Professor who hosted an online course for our HS students
My son, went back to a private school in Sydney, Australia after successfully completing grade 8 and 9 at Green School. Based on assessment in English, mathematics, science and interviews, he was placed in the last 6 months of year 11 and recommended to enter grade 12 and graduate next year. In effect the time, rigour and experience of Green School has enabled him to jump 18 months academically and the Green School experience has more than adequately equipped him emotionally for early graduation. –GS Parent
This is the first application that the selection committee has reviewed from Green School and the initial offer made to the student was based on assessment criteria that did not provide an accurate representation of her ability. We shall amend this and will certainly be on the lookout for graduates from Green School in the future. —University Admissions Officer in New Zealand (after re-evaluating an application based on Green School’s programme description and the individual accomplishments of the student, not on test scores.)
We are a progressive educational institution. And like most progressive educational institutions, we also prioritize proficiency based learning in Maths, English and Sciences. Green School curriculum is often delivered in a very integrated, engaging, project-based way, with other elements delivered in more traditional ways. We place significant weight on the development of skills, to enable students to learn content. These are skills for life. This is what the children of today need. This is what progressive education is all about.
We prioritize lighting a fire for learning. We prioritize the individual learner as they are all on their own learning journey. We are the future of education – now.
–Ibu Leslie Head of Learning (Principal)
W H A T ‘ S O N
Friday March 17 All Day (Parents Teacher Conference) No School for Students
Monday March 20 8.15am | Parent Yoga | Yoga Bale 8.30am | Jungle Run | Freak Coffee 8.30am | Wild Fitness | Soccer Field Parking
Tuesday March 21 8.15am | Parent Yoga | Yoga Bale 8.45am | Bio Bus tour to Sanur | Meet at Freak Coffee 830am 8:45-9:30am | The Absolutely Not Woo Woo Meditation Boot Camp | Upstairs Warung 9.30-10.30am | Zumba | Sangkep 4-5pm | Gamelan | Music Room
Wednesday March 22
8.30am | Wild Fitness | Soccer Field Parking 1.00 – 3.00pm | Emmanuel Jal’s Visit | HOS
Thursday March 23
8.15am | Parent Yoga | Yoga Bale 8:45-9:30am | The Absolutely Not Woo Woo Meditation Boot Camp | Upstairs Warung 4-5pm | Gamelan | Music Room
Friday March 24 Short Day Before Nyepi & Mid-Term Break 8.30am | GSPA Meeting | Sangkep 8.30-9.30am | Touch Footy | Soccer Field 9.15am | Ogoh Ogoh Assembly | Sangkep 9.30-11.30am| Ogoh-Ogoh Parade
Mid Term Break: March 24-April 9 School resumes on April 10 NOTE: events can change, so please check the noticeboard at school’s entry for updates throughout the week.
C A L E N D A R S
U P C O M I N G E V E N T S
OGOH-OGOH PARADE IS COMING SOON! Mark Your Calendars
As Balinese people will be celebrating Nyepi, the Day of Silence, the Green School community will also join this big event. This year, Nyepi will be held on March 28th. In our school, the Ogoh-ogoh parade will be on March 24th as this is our last day of school before the term break.
This day is also known as Caka Year or the Balinese New Year which usually comes on Sasih Kasanga based on the Balinese calendar. The ritual of Nyepi is started by Melasti or Melis or Mekiis when Balinese people go for a long walk to the beach, lake or river with the purpose to purify sacred objects, such as Arca, Pratima, and Pralingga as well as to acquire sacred water. After Melasti is Tawur Kesanga when all the Balinese people pray in the temple in order to defeat the negative elements and create a balance with God, human and nature. Then it is Pengrupukan ritual in the evening in which all Balinese people carry their Ogoh-ogoh, giant monster sculpture made out of painted bamboo, paper, and other materials around the village. Ogoh-ogoh often come in the form of scary faces for it is believed that Ogoh-ogoh is a symbol of negative elements or bad spirit. However some of them are representations of God, Shiva, Ganesha etc., or even fun-loving and feisty sprites or animals. This day is ended by burning the Ogoh-ogoh in order to bring the positive element back. The following day is Nyepi, the day of silence when the entire island shuts down. In celebrating this day, Balinese people do four Nyepi prohibitions known as Catur Brata Penyepian which includes amati geni (no fire), amati lelungan (no travelling), amati karya (no working) and amati lelanguan (no party). The last ritual to close the Nyepi celebration is Ngembak Geni when Balinese people do Dharma Shanti by visiting their family the day after Nyepi. You may notice that our kids are feeling excited to create their Ogoh-ogoh as the theme has been announced last month, “Friend of the Environment”. This theme is chosen to bring the balance from our last year’s theme which was about “Enemies of the Environment”. The Tri Hita Karana, the three causes of harmony or well-being includes the connection to community, connection to spirituality, and connection to nature. This is the basic concept of our theme. The students are challenged to use as much recycled materials as possible to be in a line with the theme. We look forward to learning more.
This year, the Ogoh-Ogoh celebration will be started by some of the children performing on the field next to the Gym. Then the Ogoh-ogoh parade in which our Early Years up to Grade 2 will carry the Ogoh-ogoh around the field. Grade 3 up to High School will carry their Ogoh-ogoh outside the School around the village as our usual route. All the students, families, and staff are welcome to join us for the Parade, Friday March 24th with the following agenda: 09. 15 – 09.30 am : Assembly at;” Sangkep 09.30 – 11.30 am : Ogoh-ogoh Parade 11.30 – 12.00 pm : Break 12.00 pm : Early Dismissal HAPPY NEW YEAR CAKA 1939
Parents and students (Ages 12+) are invited to hear the incredible Sudanese artist and activist and former child soldier visiting us next Wednesday from 2:00pm to 3:00pm in the HoS for a sharing session & music performance.
A R O U N D C A M P U S
The Middle School Seeds to Table jalan-jalan program were privileged to have the opportunity to collaborate with Ibu Avara Yaron from the Living Food Lab who did a workshop on making raw food by using only a blender. We kicked off our class with Ibu Avara last week with an hour discussion on the importance of healthy eating, what a healthy balanced diet is and basic safety guidelines in the kitchen such as how to hold a knife properly so you do not hurt yourself. We made a whole days’ worth of meals from tropical green smoothies and dragon bowls for breakfast, curried garden soup for lunch and red bell pepper cheese to snack with raw crackers and vegetables. And by the end of the class, we all got to enjoy the delicious chewy chocolate turtle we made as our treat after the whole day of cooking.
The experience of learning life skills in order to be able to make their own healthy food is precious, but most importantly the students really enjoyed the whole process of cooking, as well as eating healthy food. We would love to share the experience and healthy eating habits with our community. As we are also collaborating with some students in Yayasan Peduli Kemanusiaan (YPK), a rehabilitation center for disabled people in Denpasar, we will share the knowledge in our next classes with them.
Green Generation Podcast Now Live
A few week’s ago, Green School Generation launched its podcast recounting experiences from COP22 & beyond.
Click below to listen to the latest podcast, and you can also listen to their inaugural podcase on their soundcloud channel. Well done guys. Podcast Ep 2 out now! Listen here
C O M M U N I T Y
For details on Lost & Found & Traffic Safety Click here to learn more (Password: AcademicYear2016_17)
PE & SPORTS WEEKLY ROUND UP (Password: AcademicYear2016_17)
Congratulations to the BSSA Basketball junior winners (girls) pictured above and to the 2017 House Basketball Champions – EARTH!
Green School Community at Bali Spirit Festival
We are very excited to have Green School’s Kul Kul Connection students performing their ‘Monster Trash Dance’ and ‘Puppet Show’ along with a Recycling Workshop run by KemBali while Kul Kul Farm will also be at the festival running a stall every day.
Family day/Community day tickets are available at the door for 50,000RP and by donation for Indonesian residents. Special local discounted tickets for the rest of the week are available to purchase in person at HUBUD or online.
G S P A S E C T I O N
March Bio Bus Tours
…….Join Ibu Leah, queen of the Bio Bus Tours for the Bali ride of your life!!
Tuesday March 21, Meet at Freak at 8.30am. Cost 300,000Rp.
Sanur is one of my favorite neighborhoods. We will be make a quick stop at an American style bakery, have coffee at my favorite locally owned chocolate shop. The filled chocolates are a steal, and made w half Balinese chocolate, and half West African chocolate. You will surely become a fan. I plan a stop at a quirky, off the mainstream museum, and to an old fashioned health food store whose prices rival the known stores. Lunch is planned at one of the many great value places Sanur is known for.
Back before pick up! Explore, relax, shop, make new friends and support GSPA and BioBus”. NEXT GSPA MEETING
Friday 24th March – Sangkep @ 8.30am
Followed by Class Ambassador Meeting
Agenda (so far)
Fundraising Winner Announced
Fundraising brainstorm – please bring suggestions
Update from Ibu Leslie
Gratitude Day preparation
Class Ambassadors Meeting
If parents have an Agenda Item they would like to put forward please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GS WEBSITE PARENTS PAGE:
Go to Green School Website www.greenschool.org
Click on Parents (Access code: AcademicYear2016_17)
GSPA FACEBOOK PAGE:
Parents Association FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1477460235873670/