Nature and schools


Sir, – I agree wholeheartedly with Dr Paddy Madden that schools should concentrate less on objectives and assessments and just get children to notice the beauty of nature in their locality (Michelle McBride, “How connecting with nature can boost wellbeing of pupils”, Education, May 18th). Children need to be encouraged to see the wonder of wildlife in their school grounds, back gardens, nearby parks, laneways, streets and countryside. By carefully looking and listening, a whole world of discovery is revealed to them.

He is also correct that the nature table should hold pride of place in every primary classroom. I am delighted to hear that many teachers are restoring it, drawing attention to the seasonal changes.

At time when anxiety levels are so high in many young people, the therapeutic value of immersion in nature should never be underestimated.

The “nature deficit” in the lives of many of today’s children needs to be addressed at the highest level and schools should to be resourced to do this. The importance of nature in the past year illustrates how necessary it is that this be done. – Yours, etc,



Co Clare.