Year Book 2018-19 Contents
Calendar of Events – Results/Reports
Chess In Schools – in Yorkshire
more specifically Netherton J&I School, 08/11/2018
Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) is a charity founded in 2009 with one of its aims, perhaps the main one, being to get children playing chess in order to “improve children’s educational outcomes and social development”. The broader aim seems to include introduction of chess into the wider “community” in ways not necessarily achieved by the traditional structure of adult chess clubs and hierarchically higher chess organisations; such potential areas range from libraries to prisons.
The idea of chess as a school subject is not new, but still relatively rare. If memory serves, the first person to teach Chess in the framework of a school curriculum was Ken Neate, back in the 1980s, give or take a decade.
Chess is “sold” to schools as serving a similar purpose to that served by Latin, which, like chess, is of little direct use in itself, but serves as a form of brain-training in a relatively abstract sort of way. (My interpretation, not CSC's.)
CSC has about 23 people acting as Regional Coordinators, each with their own geographical territory which is typically a county or similar region. Dan Staples of York is the Yorkshire regional coordinator. (Contact details at foot of page.)
Netherton Junior and Infant School
A weekly chess class has now been set up by CSC in Netherton Junior and Infant School. Netherton, of course, is the former “stamping ground” of the late John V. Newsome of Netherton (born 1941, Wakefield; died 2016, age 74, nearly 75), former secretary of Netherton Chess Club amongst many other things.
On Thursday 08/11/2018, Wakefield MP Mary Creagh visited the school to witness the proceedings. Mary expressed enthusiasm for the venture, pointing out to the press its benefits. See two photographs from the visit by Dan.
(See also Yorkshire Post article.)
Getting local MPs on board can only help promote such initiatives more widely.
To quote Dan Staples, “The children are really enthusiastic, and enjoy it. Chess teaches strategic thinking, problem solving, and a lot of softer skills that many employers are looking for; and, because they are playing against other people, it develops social skills as well.”
Other Yorkshire schools, in Bradford, Leeds and York, and are also involved in the CSC scheme, and organisers in other areas might well consider availing themselves of whatever assistance Dan can offer in extending such initiatives into their areas' schools.
The Chess in Schools & Communities website is at https://www.chessinschools.co.uk/.
Dan Staples' contact details are :