Green School of Ubud, Bali



“If these kids graduate as whole people, chances are they will demand a whole world to live on”

Green School

Bamboo is a very sustainable material

I recently learned about Green School while at home for the holidays this past Christmas.

It is the kind of place I wish I had gone to school, and it is a place I recall dreaming up with a close friend years back when we were still in our teens. We found Green School to be so inspiring, that it almost makes Cody and I want to have kids.

I said almost.

Green School is a brilliant concept thought up by John and Cynthia Hardy, and partly inspired by Rudolph Steiner of Waldorf fame.

Green School

The Heart of School

Green School is located just outside of Ubud, Bali, amidst natural beauty.

It is a place where kids are free to find, and be themselves, where children are encouraged to discover what it is they would like to do with their own lives, and most importantly, a place where all of this is nurtured and supported by the adults around them.

We wanted to learn more about Green School, so while in Bali, we took the opportunity to take a tour. When we arrived it felt like we were at a festival.

There was live music playing; vocals, saxophone, drums. Later we noticed it was a group of students practicing In the bamboo bandstand.

There was a big field where kids of all ages were playing soccer with who we assumed were teachers. We sat down at their raw living food cafe to wait for our tour to start, and just observed.

Some kids were just getting out of class and parents were waiting for them at the cafe. There was so much life, happiness, and fun surrounding us it was contagious. It felt good to feel that kind of energy, and at a school no less.

Kids from all walks of life and backgrounds from 50 different countries attend Green School, including 20% being from Indonesia. It was very important to John and Cynthia to give back to the community, so 20% of their students attend green school through their Balinese scholarship fund. These kids will be Bali’s next green leaders.

Green School

All of the buildings at Green School are primarily made from bamboo

It is also very important  that parents are involved with their kids, the school, and community. Most parents move to Bali and build a life there. There are only 9 kids in boarding.

The focus, and main goals and concerns of Green School is to raise happy and successful humans, that are conscious, and confident to care for the world around them.

Green School

Give thanks….

There are no walls at Green School. All of the kids learn in beautiful bamboo structures with the breeze passing by. They are always in view of the earth around them. The heart of green school is a double helix completely constructed from bamboo.

Green School

One of the open air classrooms

John hardy founded Ibuku, an architecture company that specializes in bamboo structures. All of the buildings at Green School are primarily made from bamboo. Bamboo is a very sustainable material. It is extremely fast growing, it absorbs very little moisture, and it is as strong and dense as teak.

Green School is off the grid, and 90% of the food at Green School comes from their organic garden; they have their own compost, and the 2nd vortex to be built in the world that produces 8000 watts of electricity day and night.

Green School

All of their wipe boards are old recycled car windshields

The style of teaching is holistic, focusing on the head, spirit, and body.

Incorporated in the teaching is Balinese culture, nature, recycling, permaculture, love of self, and community.

Each class has a maximum of 25 students, with 3 teachers.

The curriculum at Green School is student centred. A day goes from 8am to 3:30pm, and there are 3 frames of learning: experiential, integral, and instructional.

Green School

Incorporated in the teaching is Balinese culture, nature, recycling, permaculture, love of self, and community.

The curriculum integrates all aspects of the child’s nature, multiple intelligences and curiosity for learning.

This is approached through a hands-on practicum model that is part of an academic program where learning is integrated into the natural and permaculture environment, and to understand sustainability as an entire web of relationships in community, interacting with other communities – human and non-human – in ways that enable them to live and develop according to their nature.

In 2013 Green School had their first graduates. Some applied to universities abroad and were accepted, others had a very entrepreneurial spirit, and decided to go their own way and start their own businesses.

Green School

All of the kids learn in beautiful bamboo structures with the breeze passing by

We had an amazing experience at Green School, and can only hope that more schools and other institutions around the world follow their lead and put the importance of happiness and environment first.

Success will follow.

Check out this great TED Talk by John Hardy about Green School.

Comments To This Entry.
  1. Lucia February 16, 2014 Reply

    WOW!! FABULOUS!! ALTERNATIVE THINKING revolutionizes the world!!!

    I love the “whole” idea of the Green School….!!! SO LOVELY
    think of how many children will no longer want to shoot each other…

    much love to all, lucia

    • Giselle and Cody February 21, 2014 Reply

      Hey Lucia,

      We had such a great time touring Green School. It was a nice change to see kids so happy and full of life while learning.

  2. Maria Borden February 16, 2014 Reply

    What a beautiful and inspiring school.
    I wish my parents would have sent me to a place like this to learn my education.
    There needs to be more places like this.

    • Giselle and Cody February 21, 2014 Reply

      Hey Maria,

      There definitely should be schools like this across the globe. It was a great experience to be there and explore the school. We hope more schools around the world take notice and attempt to make some changes.

  3. Federico February 19, 2014 Reply

    Fantastic concept that can be easily exported to many places in the world. Great find, I had not heard of it!

    • Giselle and Cody February 20, 2014 Reply

      It would be great if the concept was used more.
      The school is a work of art as well.

  4. Alex February 19, 2014 Reply

    My sister toured this school when she visited Bali with NYU! We were both lucky enough to attend Montessori schools through the third grade, and I credit it with so much of where I am today. If you aren’t familiar with Montessori, it is similar to Waldorf or what looks to be this school’s philosophy — though in upstate New York we did not have walls of bamboo 🙂

    Attending public school from fourth grade taught me to play by the rules, but my early years at Montessori taught me to make my own. An education like this is the greatest gift a child could ever receive.

    • Giselle and Cody February 21, 2014 Reply

      Hey Alex,

      We are familiar with Montessori as well. What a wonderful way to teach children, and nurture their creativity. It’s important to trust them, so they trust themselves. When you visit Indonesia, you should visit Green School. It is pretty incredible.

  5. Yara Coelho February 20, 2014 Reply

    This is one of the most interesting blog posts I’ve read so far, Thank you for writing it, I’m sharing it 🙂

    • Giselle and Cody February 20, 2014 Reply

      Yara, glad you liked the blog. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  6. Mindy & Ligeia February 20, 2014 Reply

    What an inspirational place! What came first for you: the TED Talk or the school visit?

    • Giselle and Cody February 20, 2014 Reply

      We saw the TEDtalk first while we were in Canada.
      It is an amazing place and they are doing great things.

  7. Franca February 21, 2014 Reply

    I have never head of the Green School before and I have to admit is an interesting project. It would be nice to see and experience it personally, do you think they’ll take me as a student? I wish! 🙂

    • Giselle and Cody February 23, 2014 Reply

      Franca, it’s never to late to try and get in 🙂
      We will enroll together 🙂 It is such a inspiring place for people to learn.

  8. Laura February 22, 2014 Reply

    What an inspirational place!

  9. Diana Edelman February 24, 2014 Reply

    THIS. This is really, REALLY cool. It is a place I would have loved to go. And, if I ever have kids, you can bet this will be an option for education. There need to be far more places like this in the world.

    • Giselle and Cody February 26, 2014 Reply

      We agree that there needs to be more places like this in the world. They are doing so many amazing things here and the kids are benefitting from it big time. Such a great place to take your kids.

  10. Erica March 13, 2014 Reply

    Aww… it is things like this that also make me consider (but not really) having mini me-s.

  11. Victoria March 23, 2014 Reply

    What a great concept and so lovely for the kids.

  12. […] found a blog that says each class has a max of “25 students with three teachers”. That sounds like […]

  13. vaalea April 2, 2017 Reply

    Green School isn’t vegan though, right? You did mention “raw living food cafe” I think that is the first I’ve heard it mentioned.
    We are working to open an alternative school on Vancouver Island, Canada based on similar philosophy. There is no vegan commitment but the other team members are veg-friendly. I’ve been following Green School for a while (and Lumiar in Brazil!) which is why I am volunteering with this campaign:
    The vegan schools I can find, I posted about here:

    • Giselle and Cody April 19, 2017 Reply

      hi Vaalea,

      No, Green School is not vegan, although we feel it should be, especially if they consider themselves to be green.

Leave a comment