Chess in Schools and Communities - UK

Delivering chess in schools in Bristol

Chess helps to develop children’s critical thinking and reasoning, encourages them to plan ahead, and teaches them that their actions have consequences

Years: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

With a mission is to improve children's educational outcomes and foster their social development by introducing them to the game of chess in primary schools and inner city communities, the ALMT is proud to be supporting the expansion of the programme in Bristol.


There is a widening attainment gap between primary schools in leafy areas compared to those in deprived or challenging neighbourhoods. Schools and local educational authorities are looking for innovative ways to address this situation, and based on well documented research, chess can be part of the solution.


Chess makes children smarter by engendering the following skills: Concentration, logical reasoning and problem solving. Chess builds self-esteem, increases patience, encourages good sportsmanship and respect for others. It encourages children to plan ahead, foresee consequences and take responsibility for their actions.


Chess crosses all barriers; social, age, race, religion, gender and physical ability. Learning chess is a life skill that can give an outlet to any child who masters it. The game often brings the most benefit to children in class who are the quietest, who struggle to get noticed in other contexts or have difficulty in normal school environments. 

There are many studies that show the link between learning to play chess and an increase in children's attainment. The game is compulsory in some countries and widespread in others.


ALMT funding in Birstol includes:

  • Free chess sets, teaching aids and software
  • Weekly visits from experienced chess tutors
  • 1 hour of coaching, for the whole class.
  • A curriculum that develops thinking skills and supports other curriculum areas.
  • Free courses for education professionals and parents on how to teach chess.

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