“As Head of Sixth Form, Mr Clegg inspired the JCR to increase pupil voice”, says Alice as she shares some of the early details from the new strategy. “We spoke with the whole Prefect body including the Heads of Houses who gathered feedback through their Houses on what pupils would like to see changed.”
Various ideas came up in those conversations; alongside strong ideas about making Bradfield greener and more sustainable, pupils were also keen to see more diverse opportunities across the co-curriculum as well as more communication between the College and pupils.
“While these ideas didn’t all relate to one another in an obvious way, we thought all the points raised could work well within a broader framework. We discussed them as a Prefect team before presenting our strategy to both Mr Clegg and Dr Stevens, the Headmaster. They have been so supportive of it and have encouraged us to be ambitious but realistic with our goals.”
The aims come under three headings; Sustainability, Equality and Transparency, each with a set of long term aims which they hope can be achieved through a series of short term goals.
Our pupils are keen to promote sustainability by encouraging the College to use greener materials and reduce its carbon footprint over time.
The first initiative to reduce carbon emissions has already enjoyed success with the introduction of meatfree days in the Dining Hall as Alice explains.
“The caterers do a fantastic job supporting those pupils who are vegetarian or gluten free and the increasing number who are choosing to follow a vegan diet. To help raise awareness for alternative diets which can help reduce carbon emissions from animal husbandry, we have been able to introduce a Meat Free Monday.”
It all adds up when you consider how much meat can be consumed by Bradfieldians every day. With over 800 pupils, as well as hundreds more staff, eating in the Dining Hall could see as many as 2400 portions of meat eaten across three meals each day.
“We completed a trial run at the end of last year and were pleased with the results”, reflects Alice. “We calculated that we reduced our emissions by over 6000kg. That is the equivalent amount of CO2 from driving an average car for almost 10 days non-stop, supplying the average house with all its energy requirements for over 170 days or keeping a 13-watt CF lightbulb continuously lit for over 50 years.”
On top of this, an ongoing commitment to carbon offset with long time partners Horseman Coaches will form part of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy.
Marking a decade long partnership with the private coach hire company, together we dedicated over an acre of ancient woodland with the help of the Woodland Trust. This kind donation, situated in Harpsden and Peveril Woods near Henley, also includes a bench in our name to commemorate the green initiative.