SCHOOL EXTRA-/CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Playing chess helps develop various cognitive abilities. Calculating chess variations, for example, helps to train memory. With improved memory, more variables can enter the working memory which can contribute positively to various kinds of skills, think of:
Effective thinking: pattern recognition and finding mental short-cuts.
Systematic and methodological perseverance.
Critical thinking: wading through and synthesizing vast amounts of information (chess presents an ever-changing set of problems, each move creates a new position) and learn to recognize what is relevant, irrelevant or 'best' in ambiguity.
Creativity: with millions of possibilities in every chess game, players must
continually face new positions and new problems which cannot be solved using a simple formula or relying on memorized answers. Apart from logic, chess has a different side, which seems to be irrational at first glance, but also has its ground. Feeling when to follow rules, and when to break them, makes a master.
Social dimension: chess levels the playing field as it crosses all socio-economic
boundaries. It is a universal game, with worldwide rule consistency. Age, gender, ethnic background, religious affiliation, size, shape, color, and language don't matter when playing chess. Everyone is equal on the chessboard. Once you have learned the game there are virtually no barriers to interact with anyone else who knows the rules.
Responsibility: with chess you learn to be responsible for your actions, because each move has immediate consequences, for yourself as well as for your opponent. While a chess player is trying to figure out what his/her opponent might do next and what
his/her alternatives are too, he/she trains his/her abilities to see reality from other people’s point of view – a strength in social life.
Teaching and playing chess in a school setting requires to keep a healthy balance between "leisure" and "formal".
In our definition, quality leisure cannot be achieved if classes are too big and we will not have more than 8-10 students per coach, maximum 20 in a class with two coaches.
We use the world renowned Step Method, all students get their own workbook matching their level. A lesson consists tactics, strategy, and playing.
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