Greenfield College: Nurturing Globalized, Dynamic, and Reflective Learners    

Greenfield College
Greenfield College

Founded in 1963, Greenfield College fulfilled the vision of a group of educators who sought to establish a secular bilingual environment where young people can engage, develop, and grow. The land chosen to house that dream was located in a forest of pine trees and foliage, which inspired the name Greenfield College.

Offering programs both in French and English, Greenfield College grew beyond the Lebanese borders, attracting students from all Arab nations, prompting the school to open a branch in Dubai in 1977 for students outside of the country.

Since 1963, GFC continued to develop and grow, becoming an international school accredited by the International Baccalaureate for the Diploma Program, and l’Agence pour l’enseignement français à l’étranger for LFE and CELF. The college also became a member school in UNESCO ASPNET for its lively intercultural programs, a Microsoft school marking the excellence of the IT department, a member school of the New York Academy of Sciences, an applicant school to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges(WASC), and a partner school with the French Institute and College Mignet in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Building a Scholastic Institute

Greenfield College fosters an environment that supports reflective, dynamic, global thinkers. Its mission is to promote academic excellence and cultivate intellectual curiosity. It is not enough for students to learn; the college wants students to learn how they learn best. It believes in the core values of tolerance, integrity, citizenship, and open-mindedness, and its vision is to integrate modern concepts of education while still preserving the cultural heritage of Lebanon.

GFC’s curriculum incorporates education in modern languages, cultural and social activities, an innovative STEAM program, and a comprehensive extracurricular program, and includes a range of courses that prepares students for the world they will navigate upon commencement.

Greenfield College adopts a team mentality, and it models for students the benefits of working collaboratively. The college’s successes date back to the creative minds of its founders, the competency of the teachers, the dedication of the administration, the commitment of the parents, and the great achievements of students and alumni.

Its board of directors oversees the Department of Development to update and implement the curriculum, activities, and competitions that reflect the core values at Greenfield College. GFC’s administrative team works together to ensure the success of the college’s ambitious annual goals.  Decisions are made with the guiding questions ‘What is best for the students? and ‘How can the college facilitate their independence and autonomy in learning?’

Heritage of Six Decades

Along with its rigorous professional development and teacher training programs, Greenfield College has offered quality education to all students regardless of race, religion, or creed for over 60 years. In that time, the college has not wavered in its commitment to equipping students with the tools to face the challenges of their respective futures. The college knows that 21st century learners have a very different skill and talent set than classes of the past. With that in mind, it always strives to provide research-driven, proven, and authentic approaches to teaching and learning.

GFC’s belief is that inquiry, conceptual learning, and a hands-on methodology foster learning, literacy, and life skills. Simply speaking, students learn best when they apply their lessons in a real-life setting. Flipped classrooms, Harvard Zero Thinking strategies, lateral and visible thinking keys, design thinking, and many other 21st century learning tools are at the heart of the college’s approach.

Greenfield College is the first school in Lebanon to teach a comprehensive STEAM curriculum and a range of courses such as Applied Artificial Intelligence, Cultural Sciences, Debate, Robotics, Environmental Science, Business, SPSS, Delf, and Life Skills. Its commitment to Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education for All means that students of all programs have access to these courses.

Two of the main challenges that impact the college’s progress are political instability and the economic and financial crisis in Lebanon. Greenfield College carries a heavy burden of rising operational costs, demands for higher salaries, and parental dissatisfaction with an increase in tuition. Remaining a secular school, free of political and religious influence, remains a top priority, even if it means a lack of financial support from external agencies. The college’s history, persistence, family school environment, unique courses, qualified teachers, and the success stories of its alumni continue to attract students to GFC, where the doors to education remain open despite the ever-increasing challenges.

Discovering Students’ Potential

Student life is integral to Greenfield College. Its CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) program allows students to explore their talents, skills, and hobbies while simultaneously engaging with issues of global importance and building community partnerships and alliances. Greenfield College is located in a neighborhood setting, and the opportunities for collaboration with other schools and organizations are plentiful. Additionally, school clubs are led by professionals in their fields in order to encourage student interest, growth, and motivation. Its activities are designed to build trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, and caring.

GFC offers clubs such as Life Skills, Tae Kwon Do, Basketball and Football Teams, cricket, badminton, volleyball, gymnastics, dodgeball, chess, yoga, dance, and swimming classes in the semi-Olympic pool. It also offers a five-week summer camp annually where students engage in a wide variety of sports and activities.

The college has an excellent track record of success in national and international competitions. In 2023, Greenfield College won the ‘Outstanding School Award’ in the International Parliamentary Debate Competition based in Hong Kong, while four students also won individual Best Speaker Awards in unprepared speed-round debates.

Students reached the final rounds of the Harvard Sustainability Project by designing innovative solutions to real global issues. It won six top awards and scholarships at Model United Nations and Model Arab League and top-tier prizes at the Mobarat Alouloum National Science Competition and the American University of Beirut Math and Science Fair. Additionally, the college’s badminton team won national prizes at USJ and third place at the South Asia International Championship in Korea. Its girls’ basketball team placed in the Mount Lebanon Championship, while the girls futsal team took home gold.

Engaging Today’s Learners Through Excellence in Technology and Innovation

GFC distinguishes itself through the programs offered – International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, High School Program, Lebanese Baccalaureate in French and English, and a project-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) program in elementary.

STEAM follows a student-led inquiry approach in which students apply their science, math, and robotics knowledge to engineer interdisciplinary projects each term. It culminates in a final demonstration to teachers and peers.

Greenfield College knows that course selection is an essential part of a first-rate education. It offers a variety of unique classes designed to attract student interest and engage in authentic lessons that will prepare them for life beyond the walls. All cycles include programming and robotics courses, and students explore the latest technological innovations in robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence. Starting in grade one, students engage in Arduino, programming, AR, VR, and Metaverse. Additionally, they can receive certification from Microsoft upon completion of program requirements.

Its SPSS course prepares secondary students for the university, as data analysis and communication are essential to research and career readiness. Practical Investigation (TP) fosters inquiry, research, writing, and technology skills. Students from grades three through twelve become scientists through experimentation following the scientific method. They answer questions that relate to everyday life using the latest technology and data analysis tools.

Beginning in grade one, students take debate classes where they learn the rules and etiquette of formal argumentation. This course enables children to learn conflict resolution and negotiation skills by being able to develop a persuasive argument on both sides of an issue. Environmental Science is another fast-growing course at Greenfield College. It is now offered in all classes to grade seven. Students learn about their impact on the environment and the science behind environmental concerns. Through energy audits, field work, sketches, projects, and activities, they become ecologically concerned citizens.

The Future

GFC’s ambitions have no limits. The college still has big dreams despite all challenges. It is currently seeking accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and STEAM accreditation to become the first STEAM accredited school in Lebanon. The college is also seeking partnerships with other schools in the US and Europe.  Building more labs and upgrading its library and classroom structures are also on its roadmap to the physical restructuring of the school. In addition to continuously updating the curricula and offering new courses, Greenfield College aspires to expand through school branding and mutual research with esteemed universities and colleges worldwide.

GFC’s Advice to Students

“You, only you, are the future of Lebanon. Set free your ambitions, unlock your liberal thoughts, unleash your inner power, learn from your mistakes, think globally and act locally, respect nature, and never stop learning. Use technology, but don’t let it use you,” says the college management.

The management quote Gandhi’s statement and says, Character cannot be built with mortar and stone. It cannot be built by hands other than your own. “Build your character from your inner self, empower it with knowledge, strengthen it through honest communication, polish it with etiquette, and refine it through community service. Remember that knowledge cannot be defined by set curricula nor imprisoned in the pages of books. When your school closes its doors, open books to continue learning. Money is never the barrier to quality education, but passiveness, reluctance, laziness, and fear of failure are.

Last but not least, strong countries are built by quality education, and the future can only be rewritten by you,” concludes the management.

Top stories