Fresh air is good for education;Letter

17th December 1999 at 00:00
OUTDOOR pursuits appear to be of no consequence to this Government, so it is not surprising that the Office for Standards in Education has not published its report praising the results of using them (TES, November 19).

We are obsessed by academic achievement in this country and no longer appear to adopt a more holistic approach.

Many of the problems in primary schools, such as under-achieving, lack of confidence, social skills, self-worth and esteem can in a few days be addressed in the outdoors, particularly by a residential experience.

The academically-able will achieve their goals; it's the others to whom we need to pay partic-ular attention. It's the disadvantaged, those children who

imagine they are "thick" in the classroom - take them outdoors, watch them develop, grow in confidence, learn new skills, smile!

How short-sighted successive governments have been. There is great talk nowadays of values, of the nation's health, of care of our natural environment, but we constrain our children more and more rigidly. No wonder the report has not been published - it just might change some thinking!

T Rawlingson

Mill on the Brue

Bruton

Somerset

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