The Chess Club is going from strength to strength with pupils winning championships from county to British level, and new players being welcomed and encouraged to play, irrespective of age or experience.
Teacher and keen chess player, Andy Camp, took over the chess club three years ago and has introduced new, fun initiatives including a ‘Learn to play’ session and a knockout tournament to encourage new players, and to give them experience of playing competitively.
The Chess Club has witnessed a fantastic increase in club members, both in numbers and in ability. Thirteen Pre-Prep pupils (aged 6) have now started playing regularly and have the enthusiasm to challenge the older girls and boys to pick up new skills and confidence.
Chess offers many benefits to the pupils, and has even helped their academic studies, with some parents noting a marked improvement in their children’s concentration and in their work. However, some of the fathers who could once beat their children at chess now jokingly plead for Mr Camp to stop teaching them new skills!
The club meets twice a week with each session featuring an interactive whiteboard to examine particular openings or try to solve a chess-related puzzle. The children then flock to the boards to try out the ideas on each other.
Craft Club takes place in the Autumn and Spring Terms for Reception and Year 1 children. It takes place at lunchtime in the Reception area . We aim to use natural materials or materials which can be recycled in order to encourage the children to think of the impact of using new resources on the environment and the importance of re-using and recycling objects. For example, we have made animal faces by painting stones and decorating with wool, made pinecone hedgehogs and owls, fabric stocking decorations using leftover Christmas fabric, and made windmills using old wrapping paper and straws.
This is open to children from year 1 and year 2 and is a very popular club. It runs from 4pm – 5pm and we use our woods which are attached to the school. The children are set challenges – to make their den waterproof etc and in the last session we make a campfire and toast marshmallows.