Brett Girven

Principal, The Arbor School

Brett Girven is the lucky leader of a school unique in its approach to education in the Middle East. The Arbor School is an Ecological School, based in the British curriculum, with a core focus of ecoliteracy, sustainability and global environmental justice. Having taught and led in schools in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and his native New Zealand, Brett developed his passion for the environment whilst growing up surfing on the beautiful coastline, hiking through the green forests and sliding down the raw mountainous countryside. Brett is a passionate educator and a leader in a mission driven school.



Leadership stream

16 November 2021 | 11:05 - 11:25 | English | Beyond Green - Using systems thinking and design inspired by nature to educate for sustainable thinking

At the Arbor School, the three pillars of ecoliteracy, sustainability and global environmental justice form the core of our curriculum. Delivered using a range of traditional and progressive pedagogies, we believe that we can use these three pillars to educate our children to understand and act as a part of nature and its systems (ecoliteracy); to know how to structure and manage our existence within these systems (sustainability); and how to relate to each other within these new structures (environmental justice). This case study will present a selection of challenges and successes as we embark on the third year of what is a unique approach to learning, delivered using a range of unique facilities.