From Green Learning to Green Living

Over the last decade, there has been a growing imperative to tackle global environmental challenges, and some are starting to initiate change from a young age. 


Green schools have been popping up as a new and improved way to build a sustainable future for the next generation. Forget the usual classrooms – these schools dive deep into making eco-friendly thinking a natural part of learning. 

One such initiative is the Green School South Africa, which kicked off in 2021. Founded by Alba and Herman Brandt, who were inspired by their daughters' amazing time at the Green School Bali, the school is dedicated to implementing a progressive educational system. Following in the footsteps of Green School Bali and Green School New Zealand, it marks the third gem in the global Green School movement (with Green School Tulum set to join in 2026). 

Just 7 km outside Paarl in the Western Cape and surrounded by mountains, orchards, and vineyards, the 8-hectare campus is truly a masterpiece. Seasons do their thing here, with cold and wet winters, hot summers, vibrant springs, and colourful autumns. The campus has unique learning spots, a hangout zone and a sports field, and the buildings are aligned with the surrounding natural landscape, creating a calm learning environment for the kids. 

What sets this campus apart is its adherence to the gold standard of green design, the Living Building Challenge (LBC). Going beyond a zero footprint, the school produces all its electricity and uses less water than natural rainfall, making a positive contribution to energy and water regeneration. As a zero waste-to-landfill site, it even takes in waste from neighbours, ensuring a net positive impact. From chemical-free procurement to fostering biodiversity through endemic flora and various gardens, the campus is a living embodiment of sustainability.

The ethos of Green School South Africa revolves around educating for sustainability in a learner-centric manner. With a commitment to fostering a love for lifelong learning, the institution steers students on a joyful and wondrous journey while imparting the skills necessary for present and future success. Recognising diverse learning styles, the school maintains an impressive teacher-to-learner ratio of 1:10, ensuring a personalised approach to education. 

One of the main goals at the school is to spark a love for learning that lasts a lifetime, taking students on an exciting journey while giving them the skills they need for now and later. They also teach sustainability by getting the community involved and doing some entrepreneurial learning, all in the embrace of nature. It's not just about the usual book smarts; it's about gaining the mindset and skills for whatever the future may bring.  

Green School South Africa is all set to be the go-to place for conscious learning, starting from Kindergarten (ages 3 to 6) up to Grade 11 in 2024. But that’s not all! The institution is also planning to keep growing so they can offer education up to Grade 12 by 2025. The high school programme follows a four-year personalised learning structure that will leave students with an American High School Diploma upon graduation.  

The Green School South Africa stands as a vibrant testament to its unwavering dedication to a sustainable future. Demonstrating a profound commitment to environmental consciousness, the institution not only embraces green practices in procurement, but also actively cultivates eco-friendly habits. Here, every facet - from the eco-conscious campus to the curriculum - aligns harmoniously with the principles of sustainability. 

The future looks bright, green, and full of promise at Green School South Africa! 

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