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26/06/2019

Chess in Schools & Communities

 

York-resident Dan Staples (dan@chessinschools.co.uk), Yorkshire coordinator for CSC, drew up the following report to present to the YCA AGM on 22/06/2019, but at the last minute could not make it to the meeting.  The last paragraph (often the most important in many ways) reads:

ďWe are looking to work with more Yorkshire schools and community groups.

We are also looking for more tutors.

If you have any questions please contact me.Ē

 

CSC Yorkshire Report for Yorkshire Chess Association AGM on 22/06/2019

 

I am grateful to the Yorkshire Chess Association for giving me the opportunity to inform members about the work of Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) in Yorkshire. We want to grow links between Yorkshire schools and communities with local chess clubs. I apologise that Iíve not been able to come today but will aim to come next year.

 

I moved up to York with my wife and children from London a few years ago and we are very glad we did.

 

CSC is a UK charity whose mission is to improve childrenís educational outcomes and social development by introducing them to the game of chess. Founded in 2009, we now teach in over 300 schools and support 500 more nationwide. We also organise a world-class tournament - the London Chess Classic.

 

What CSC Does

 

CSC delivers chess via curriculum time lessons or through the traditional extra-curricular chess club. Children are taught by one of our trained tutors, who all have Enhanced DBS clearance, progressing from the rules of the game to foundational tactics and strategy over 30 weeks. They acquire a life-long skill, opening up an affordable and enjoyable game of limitless depth. Schools receive chess sets, teaching and learning resources and entry to school activity days at the London Chess Classic. Staff are offered free places on tutor training courses, enabling them to lead the lessons.

 

We subsidise our offering but ask schools for a contribution to our costs. We pay our tutors. Alongside direct teaching, we provide a range of support to schools, including free chess sets, tutor training and use of the CSC curriculum. We also run a growing network of chess clubs in libraries.

 

Yorkshire Schools

 

CSC teaches chess at 22 schools in Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Wakefield and York. Our tutors go into schools once a week over the year. Our aim is to improve children's educational outcomes and foster their social development by introducing them to the game of chess in schools and communities. If children become strong players that's a bonus!

 

We have supported chess at 48 other schools in Yorkshire.

 

Bradford

 

Three schools.

 

Hull

 

We have supported a number of volunteers running clubs in schools and libraries. We have taught out curriculum at schools there and I want to get it going again.

 

Leeds

 

We have 14 schools.  A large part of this is due to the support of the local MP Rachel Reeves. We started at our first secondary school. 

 

Sheffield

 

I ran a stall at the Festival of Education in May. It went well and we talked to schools and teachers. There were a lot of interesting talks. Iím keen to get things going in Sheffield again and weíre planning a training course for October.

 

Iím in contact with a school governor who runs a chess club. I visited and helped him run a tournament last summer and weíre planning another event. I used ďSevillaĒ a free downloadable pairing programme which I can recommend.

 

Wakefield

 

We have a new school there with a proud chess tradition which has going well. In November the local MP, Mary Creagh, visited and gave a simul with our Chief Operating Officer. I also organised for the Yorkshire Junior Chess Association to hold one of their Grand Prix events there.

 

York

 

We have two clubs in York.

 

Library Chess

 

We now have 14 library/community projects in Yorkshire. Other libraries have requested to join as a result of talking to their colleagues who have started clubs. Iíve had success recruiting volunteers with ďDo ItĒ a national volunteer service. We have also used social media. I have some posters that libraries use to advertise the clubs and for volunteers.

 

We started two clubs in Wakefield. The manager of Walton and two members of staff from Normanton came to the Leeds Training course. Both are going well and have run or are planning to have tournaments.  

 

We have a new club at Keighley Library too. We had a keen volunteer who decided that he needed to be paid shortly before starting which was pain. The library started the club by putting out the boards and Iíve found a possible replacement. Wetherby are keen to start a club too and York are looking to restart the library clubs there.

 

Prisons

 

I was really pleased that CSC has started teaching chess at Leeds Prison in May (the Governor told me not to call it Armley!). Itís taken a while to set up and get the tutor trained but Iím glad we have. Itís a 3 hour session 3 times a month. We are keen to work with more prisons. So if anyone has any contacts or is interested in teaching in prisons please get in touch with me.

 

London Chess Classic

 

We had 4 Yorkshire schools come down to the Classic, one more than last year. Two from Bradford, one from Leeds and one from York. They all had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Through its fundraising CSC was able to heavily subsidise the schoolís travel costs. I was also really grateful to the York Evening Chess League which paid for half of the travel costs of the York school.  The League is very aware of the need to support the younger generation and Iím really pleased that several of the children at St Wilfridís have said they will join the junior section of the York Chess Club.  We have invited players from the club into school so the children can thank them and the children have written letters/drawn pictures. 

 

I was pleased that Peter Cloudsdale was able to come down and see what a great event the LCC is.

 

Training

 

Our tutor, Sean Marsh, did a great training day in May in Leeds. We had a good turnout and it generated a lot of interest. The feedback was extremely positive and we have several potential new tutors as a result.

 

Tournaments/Matches

 

We are looking to have a number of Leeds/Bradford interschool summer tournaments/matches. And the first CSC Leeds/Bradford Summer Tournament on 11th July.

 

We ran the UK Chess Challenge at several schools. The York Evening League paid the entry for a York school which helps foster links between schools and the chess community. So please think about linking you club with a local school or schools. I would be very happy to help with this.

 

CSC has been approached by an Italian school for an online match and Iím trying to set something up with a York school. 

 

Older People

 

A Leeds Library is interested in running a 10 week course for older people and I am keen to do this elsewhere in Yorkshire. I initially met with the library to discuss a volunteer led library club and the manager really liked the idea of a course for Older People. They have applied for funding and we waiting to hear back.

 

Contact

 

We are looking to work with more Yorkshire schools and community groups. We are also looking for more tutors. If you have any questions please contact me.

 

 

Dan Staples

CSC Yorkshire Coordinator Ė dan@chessinschools.co.uk

June 2019

 

 

(Above report is available as a Word document here.)