School Again Named Finalist In Business Awards

17th May 2024

Highfield and Brookham School is in the running for a national award.

Underpinned by our aim to be a carbon neutral school within the next six years, we have been named a finalist in the Environmental Practice category of this year’s Education Business Awards.

Situated on the leafy borders of Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex and within the boundary of the UK’s newest national park – the South Downs National Park – we are one of five schools with strong green credentials to be shortlisted.

Highfield and Brookham was named in the final five at the Education Business Awards 12 months ago and hopes to go one better this time around after implementing a school-wide project aimed at cracking down on food waste. The initiative has already seen a reduction of 20% in leftover food since its inception in October.

The project was conceived after an eco brain-storming session involving the school’s boarding community, was put into operation by catering manager Marco di Michele and his skilled kitchen team, and has been embraced by the whole school, pupils and adults alike.

The catering team got creative in their quest to lower the school’s carbon footprint and reduce food waste. They repurposed excess food, including turning ripe bananas which were left over from our inter-school cross-country event in February into smoothies and banana bread, using the flesh of carved Hallowe’en pumpkins for soup and the seeds for homemade bread, and turning leftover soup into pasta sauce. Furthermore, our skilled caterers drastically cut their use of cling film, instead using more reusable containers to store food, and now use unbleached and biodegradable parchment paper in cooking. The school also uses a local supplier and seasonal produce.

Highfield and Brookham is no stranger to environmental initiatives and has long championed a greener and more eco-friendly way of life.

Other initiatives include extensive wildflower planting to help nature’s pollinators, a school-wide recycling scheme, vegetable plots cared for and tended by our pupils and a thriving ‘eco club’ in which our youngest pupils look at ways in which they can help the environment, including building bug hotels, composting, and planting perennial flowers.

The school also has biomass boilers which provide 85% of the energy required to heat the school and its indoor swimming pool.

The Environmental Practice Award recognises a school that goes above and beyond when it comes to minimising its impact on the environment, as well as providing quality environmental education to its pupils.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 12th June.

Suzannah Cryer, Head of Highfield and Brookham, said: “To have our environmental work recognised in national awards for a second successive year really fills me with immense pride.

“We take our responsibility to sustainability incredibly seriously as a school community and our young people are totally engaged in our long-term vision. They are the future and they are determined to do their bit and make a difference in any way they can, big or small.”