EDI and Sustainability - Hurstpierpoint College

EDI and Sustainability

Post-exams has allowed for a hive of EDI activity. Year 7s had a fantastic morning learning the history of British Sign Language with Caroline Palmer from the Talking Hands Café in Hassocks, the alphabet and a sign supported English song, and went away beaming. They also learnt about fast fashion and the importance of biodiversity in their sustainability afternoon. They spent time outside collecting data from quadrats to look at the difference of mowed and rewilding areas on campus. We are slowly finding more places on site to allow rewilding to occur and biodiversity to thrive.

Year 8s were up next with ACEN delivering an incredible micro-aggressions and anti-racism workshop. With pride I write that ACEN reported our pupils were the best, most curious, empathetic group they had ever worked with. The students were buzzing with questions and eager curiosity to learn more in how they can be better active allies in tackling anti-racism.

In the Senior School Shell, Remove and Lower Sixth had an afternoon of EDI based sessions and a talk from our own OJ Mikaela Loach on her work as a climate activist. Teachers produced sessions on extra-curricular topics – with Geography looking at the history of maps and impact of socio-political climates on that; Maths looking at the bias in statistics, referring to Invisible Women; and Psychology looked at implicit biases.

We finished with our annual EDI Fest after Community Action Day with stunning performances from the show choir and dance group. The DT installation by Karon Elmer is also complete – a beautiful collection of handprints from our community. Do look out for it at your next visit.

This year has been a powerful year for EDI, with tutorials and speakers arranged on a range of areas – though we can never fully cover everything. As we look forward to next year we want to bring more of a focus on neurodiversity too.

Sustainability has been a big focus this year in the background. The estates department have been working tirelessly to update buildings, look for spaces for more solar panels, increase the EV fleet, and work with Sodexo to reduce food waste. We now use a program to calculate excess food from the servery and kitchen, using that information to inform how much of that meal to prepare in the next cycle of the menu. Food from one day is then repurposed into salads for the next.

From a student education point of view, the Fifth Service Afternoon Group CAG (Climate Awareness Group) have done great work in this area, as well as the Sustainability representatives from each house in a termly meeting. More houses now compost than ever before, which is used on our site farm, and we are collecting a lot of soft plastics from houses and on-site members of staff which is recycled at Tesco. We have done a beach clean, information day at two other schools focusing on sustainability, and continue to help develop the right tools in our students to help become part of the solution in tackling the climate crisis.