Year 5 children at Peasedown St John Primary School can now enjoy chess each week as part of their Maths curriculum, thanks to a some recent funding.
Chess in Schools and Communities, who run chess lessons and workshops across the country, have secured £1,500 from local sources to fund a fully qualified and experienced chess tutor to visit the school each week.
Headteacher Damian Knollys said: “Ours is a school serving a diverse community, with varying levels of opportunity and disadvantage.
“Having recently joined the Dragonfly Education Trust, we are seeking to build on a strong track record in curricular enrichment, with a view to offering as broad a range of opportunities to our children as we can. Chess fits very well into this programme.
“Having personally run a chess club at my previous school, I know very well the benefits that it can bring for children such as developing children’s capacity for strategic thinking and tactical skills, improving children’s mathematical understanding,and supporting children’s social interactions, turn-taking, responsiveness and interpretation of others’ thinking. And it’s fun!”
£1,000 was secured through Cllr Sarah Bevan’s Ward Councillors’ Initiative Fund, which is set aside for B&NES Councillors to allocate to projects in their communities.
The other £500 was provided by Peasedown Party in the Park, who give away funding each year through their grant fund.
Cllr Sarah Bevan (Independent, Peasedown St John) said: “Talking to headteachers and teachers who already include chess as part of the school timetable it’s evident that children really benefit and make progress in other aspects of their education too.
“A game of chess enables children to engage in healthy competition, learning how to win and how to lose gracefully.
“It establishes children’s confidence independently to consider and make decisions for themselves. And, it provides real enjoyment in learning, in the context of a game with a genuinely global following.
“I was only too pleased, therefore, to allocate £1,000 from my Initiative Fund for this worthwhile educational initiative.”
Joy Fraser, Peasedown Party in the Park Treasurer, added: “We were only too pleased to award £500 this year to Chess in Schools and Communities so they could run these new weekly educational classes with year 5 pupils.
“The Party in the Park Grant Fund was set up in 2010 to support local initiatives that can make a difference to people’s lives.
“So far, we’ve given almost £10,000 to projects across the community, ranging from lunch clubs to football equipment for teenagers, and from resources for the Peasedown Toy Library to transport costs for the award-winning Bath All-Starz cheerleaders.”