Pupils United By ‘Promises Of Hope’

10th November 2021

Passionate children at an independent school in Liphook have delivered a strong message on climate change by vowing: ‘We promise to make a difference!’

With all eyes having been on the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow since the end of October as world leaders gathered to find ways to repel the environmental disaster facing our planet, the young pupils from Highfield and Brookham Schools have set in motion a chain of events that they hope can make a positive impact in reversing the current gloomy climatic trend.

Children from both Brookham and Highfield, from Nursery right up to Year 8, produced class mobiles made up of big leaves on which were written ‘promises of hope’ for a greener, more sustainable world which were joined together using biodegradable string.

The finished mobiles then took pride of place on the Princess Anne oak tree in the Highfield grounds during an assembly involving both the pre-prep and prep schools Ð the first such joint venture between the schools in honour of the sheer magnitude of the crisis facing our planet Ð before being shipped off to the climate conference in Glasgow.

Heartfelt promises to the planet included ditching plastic bags, eating less meat, recycling more, using electric cars and planting more trees.

Highfield Headmaster Phillip Evitt said of the promises of hope initiative which was orchestrated by Deputy Head (Academic) Bev Smith: “We all find ourselves in a very grave situation where climate change is concerned and it is up to all of us to do our bit to try to help save the planet, no matter how small or insignificant it may appear. So to see every pupil and every class eagerly engage in such a caring and compassionate way is truly heart-warming and gives me a great deal of hope for a brighter future.”

Highfield and Brookham Schools are no strangers to environmental initiatives and have long championed a greener and more eco-friendly way of life.

The school has an enviable reputation concerning renewable energy and its carbon neutral woodchip-burning biomass boiler provides 85% of the energy required to heat both schools. The wood itself comes from the school’s estate, primarily through chestnut coppicing as chestnut is a naturally self-replenishing variety of tree which requires little or no replanting.

Highfield and Brookham have also implemented a successful ongoing meat-free Monday menu while the Keys programme at Highfield, which focuses on children learning skills outside of the classroom, has enabled pupils to build hibernaculums for wildlife, produce a bee garden, and undertake regular pond clearance.

And the young children at Brookham tend their very own vegetable patch, with all produce lovingly grown ending up on the lunch plates.