The College is committed to working together to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly school and community. Our plan to achieve this has four clear areas of focus:
- Raising Awareness
- Energy Consumption Reduction
COP26 allowed us to raise awareness of the existing features of our curriculum which increase knowledge in these important areas in Science, Geography, Politics and throughout Tutor time programme discussions. These issues are also repeated and referenced in assemblies.
COP26 saw a direct response from the College including: ‘10 things we can do to make a difference’ led by the Eco Reps
The Eco Reps have been out on litter picks, they focus on cleaning up the litter from the local community and separating out the recycling.
Within the College, we are implementing ‘double’ bins that increases the number of recycling bins that are located around the college and with large, clear labelling; giving students more access and awareness to recycle.
Energy Consumption Reduction
We have been working hard to lower the amount of energy that is being used and wasted by the college.
- ‘Switch off fortnight’
This annual drive enables staff and students alike to switch off lights, devices and chargers when not in use. This is especially relevant when energy costs are so high at the moment. In almost every classroom and office in the College we now have posters up that remind us to switch off our lights, turn off our projectors and close our windows when they are not needed to be used. Especially at the end of the day, this can help make a massive difference to the amount of energy consumed.
- Audit and long term planning:
The eco-reps worked with Premises staff to work with visitors from the both Energy Sparks and Elementa Consulting. Energy Sparks have submitted a report so that we can look to make improvements around the school to improve our energy efficiency. Elementa Consulting will report to the council as to how we can best reduce our carbon footprint on site. They did this by taking thermal images of the school and showing where most heat is lost. The students learnt about the data gathering process and how the data can be used to inform ways of making a real difference to the college. The college has already been implementing a number of changes to help improve its energy usage, with a number of lighting in different areas being replaced to be more sustainable, this lighting replacement is part of a long term plan of renewal.
Encouraging Biodiversity- A wilder College
The College sits within the Area of Outstanding Natural beauty that is the High Weald; this is defined as “an outstanding landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so precious that it is safeguarded in the national interest.” (Landscapes for Life). It is also situated next to Heathfield Park designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. We are very proud of our site and surroundings, and as such we are determined to play our role in this protection.
- We are currently looking to increase our biodiversity of flora and fauna here by introducing ‘meadow’ or ‘wilding’ areas. This will include more wild flowers to increase the biodiversity of the plant life and therefore start to bring back more pollinators and other wildlife that will benefit from this new habitat.
- We are participating in Plant Life’s “No Mow May” in 2022 with clear signage to show students where these areas are and why we are doing it.
- The eco-reps are planning information plaques that will go up around the outside of the college to enhance information and understanding about some of the local flora and fauna that the students may see from this increased biodiversity.