In a letter published in the Times on Wednesday attention
is drawn to the experiment of the London County Council in temporarily establishing an open-air school for weak children at Abbeywood, Plumstead, and the suggestion is made that at all public elementary schools teaching should as far as possible be carried on in the open air. It would not cost much to build shelters, though in many towns there would be the difficulty that there is not room enough for them on the school land. Some schools are still without adequate yards for play. Physical exercises ought always, of course, to be done in the open air, except when it is raining, and we see no reason why ordinary lessons should not be given in the open air too during certain months. No one who values fresh air and has inhaled the atmosphere of a public elementary-school room at the end of the morning is likely to raise artificial objections. If it be said that some children would catch cold, colds cannot, after all, as the writer of the letter argues, be compared with the diseases which thrive in exhausted and poisoned air. The writer suggests that the Board of Education should directly introduce the practice of open-air teaching. We might add that in Germany the system has been successfully and quite cheaply instituted of conveying delicate children daily to a country place where lessons are conducted out of doors.