St Patrick’s SNS Chess Club has been running since 2011 every Tuesday, usually between 12.30-1pm. The club was set up by myself and Seana O Rodaigh, Class Teacher. Having Dyslexia I understood the benefits of having choices and opportunities to learn something new at school. My own experience was that Chess was one of those games that gave me the confidence and the drive never to give up. And so when Shauna and I had a chat…and Ms Keane came on board, we’ve never looked back!
It’s the choice of each pupil who comes to the club to give up their yard play time to play chess. Children also eat their lunch during chess club. Each year group is offered a place with their classmates and usually gets three sessions each (due to large numbers) each term. Towards the end of the term, we run a chess tournament for 5th and 6th classes, where we have a fantastic perpetual shield up for grabs, along with lots of runner up prizes. The top 8-10 pupils from both 5th and 6th classes then become a team who help me in the teaching of younger children in 3rd and 4th classes. I have found this very rewarding for the pupils in both groups as it teaches the older ones, responsibility and the younger ones the benefit of example!
At all times, the club strives to instill respect for each other and others’ property. It also seeks to increase concentration skills and can be a great way to make new friends in particular for the less sporty and/or shy pupils. We have found the chess club has helped increase confidence and social skills in a fun, relaxed environment.
Kate Pilkington, Parent
Recent photograps of the 5th class students during chess matches and prize giving ceremony;