Not for nothing is chess known as the game of kings.
An increasing body of research shows that playing chess can help to improve creativity and problem solving skills, as well as memory, in children of all ages and backgrounds. Studies from such diverse school systems as Germany and the USA show that playing chess can help to not only improve grades and achievement in maths, but can also contribute towards improved reading. (*)
It is with this in mind that, since September, we have been teaching chess to our entire year 7 cohort, as part of their Maths curriculum. Many of our students have had some experience of chess at primary school, but for the majority this has been their first experience and they have taken to it with great enthusiasm.
Chess was introduced initially by 30 minute lessons to explain the aims of chess, the pieces and how they move. Since the beginning of January our students have progressed to one hour lessons and are learning to play a full game of chess, using competition rules.
By the end of the year we intend to be running an inter-guild championship for year 7 with teams from each of our 8 guilds competing against each other. We also intend to run an individual tournament to find our year 7 Grand Master.
Our Friday lunch-time chess club is also available to play more games, or to get advice from more experienced players. Do encourage your children to get involved in chess, it’s an extraordinary game that stays with you for life.