Last October, John Conlon came to visit my school to promote Chess for Learning. My school then purchased chess sets for the children to use in the classroom and so far it has been a great success. John has kindly sent me the information regarding Chess for Learning so that more teachers and schools can get involved.
For us, Chess for Learning is a wonderful social activity. Each child plays with different children in the class (children that they may not necessarily play with on a daily basis.) I have also found it great for problem solving as children have to think about their move and the possible moves their opponent may take.
Chess for Learning begins with Pawn Wars – where just the pawns are used and the children learn how to move the pawns. The winner is the first child to reach the opposite end of the chess board. This follows with Pawn Wars – The Sequel where the King is added. Each piece is then added in turn until all pieces can be used.
You can find out lots more from the Checkmates Twitter page here.
There is a super helpful powerpoint available to download below. The powerpoint was developed by a primary teacher Liam Murray who provides chess workshops and amended by John to incorporate School Checkmates a programme to use chess to promote problem solving / social interaction and challenge for higher ability pupils.