School’s Environmental Work Recognised Again

4th September 2023

Highfield and Brookham Schools is once again in the running for an award.

Hot on the heels of being named as a finalist in the National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE) awards, being shortlisted in the ‘Student Wellbeing’ category of the Independent School Parent Awards and being named a finalist in the ‘Environmental Practice’ category of the Education Business Awards, our green credentials have caught the eye once more.

This time, we are one of six schools vying for the ‘Environmental Achievement’ award in this year’s Talk Education Awards for Innovation in Education.

Highfield and Brookham, which aims to be carbon neutral by 2030, is no stranger to environmental initiatives and has 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 the school and its indoor swimming pool. The wood itself comes from the school’s vast estate, primarily through chestnut coppicing as chestnut is a naturally self-replenishing variety of tree which requires little or no replanting.

Other ongoing initiatives include a big drive on renewable energy in the form of solar panels on the roofs of on-site cottages and the pool, replacing paper towels in the toilet blocks with low-energy hand driers, creating wildlife habitats, a regular tree-planting programme, recycling, and children tending their own vegetable plots.

According to Talk Education, the environmental achievement accolade is awarded to the school which “inspires and encourages eco awareness in pupils or encourages an eco initiative learning space or building”. The winner will be announced on Thursday.

Suzannah Cryer, Head of Highfield and Brookham, said: “We always work hard to ensure that we can be the best we can possibly be in all areas of school life, to be responsible and to build a positive legacy that current, past and future generations of the Highfield and Brookham family can be proud of.

“So to have our environmental work recognised once more is tremendous and tells us that, while there is still a long way to go, we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

The winners of the NAPCE awards will be announced at the end of September and finalists in this year’s Independent School Parent awards are due to be announced later this week.