The City of London Corporation undertook a study wherein students of Odessa Infant School of East London were educated in the open fields during the pandemic. This proved especially beneficial for the growth and development of children with autism.
As a part of the corporation’s ‘Nature Learning Programme’, the impact of outdoor teaching on eight kids with autism was studied and analysed. Teaching aids for this experiment included wooden beads, tree barks, willows, tunnels between trees formed with the help of tarpaulin sheets, and pine cones. The activities undertaken in these classes included mud painting, looking for worms, and planting seeds and taking care of the saplings.
Some of the main benefits seen among these students partaking in nature learning were increased happiness, improved communication and social skills, and improved overall well-being. It was also found that natural surroundings helped as the children would not have a sensory overload that they had been having regularly in the indoor classrooms.
The findings of this study will be the basis of the inclusive education programmes in the area shortly. The City of London Corporation looks at the study as a successful experiment that was necessitated by the pandemic. They are happy to report its positive impact in providing educational support to children with autism.