THOA Wins Funding to Grow Chess Club

1st February 2019

Tenbury High Ormiston Academy has won funding to develop and grow its successful after-school chess club.

Ormiston Trust, the parent body of Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), which sponsors the academy, has used OAT’s dedicated Enrichment Department to fund 15 academies to either establish or develop existing chess clubs.

Academies from across the OAT network were encouraged to send an application to Ormiston Trust and Tenbury High Ormiston Academy was one of the lucky 15 selected for funding.

The academy has now received up to £100 to invest in its chess club, which is open to all students. The project came about following the encouragement of Ormiston Trust’s leadership, including its Chief Executive James Murray, who is a keen chess player himself.

OAT hopes the new equipment and resources not only enable Tenbury High Ormiston Academy and the other academies to run their clubs but also increase opportunities for students to benefit from the wide-ranging advantages chess has to offer.

These include academic skills, with the strategic thinking used in chess having a positive impact on the problem-solving and logic needed for subjects like maths, as discovered by a trial into the use of the game in schools by the Education Endowment Foundation. This also suggests that the intense concentration and focus needed for chess is a useful tool for students when faced with school assignments and daily tasks in lessons.

Chess also has the potential, however, to boost the social and emotional capabilities of the students involved – along with enhancing creativity, chess also encourages competition and teamwork, as argued by the Chess in Schools and Communities charity.

The project’s new Chess Championship Co-ordinator, chess fanatic Karen Giller from Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, will be launching inter-academy online competitions for each of the academies involved, as well as eventual cross-OAT web tournaments for students.

These competitions will allow the students taking part across the trust to feel an appreciated part of a family of academies, where invaluable skills and healthy competition is encouraged.

Jemima Waltho, Enrichment Manager of Ormiston Academies Trust, said: “Ormiston Academies Trust is proud to be strengthening our reputation for providing high-quality enrichment opportunities and inspiring our young people to develop skills, talent and character whilst broadening their horizons.

Students at Tenbury High Ormiston Academy will be very worthy recipients of what is sure to be a great initiative.

James Murray, Chief Executive of Ormiston Trust, said: “Ormiston Trust’s mission is to invest in the delivery of outstanding programmes and services that will nurture the kind of sills that the young people we support can take into adulthood.

We are committed to improving the life chances of children and young people and we hope our funding for the roll-out of chess clubs across OAT will aid us in achieving just that.

Vicki Dean, Head of Academy at Tenbury High Ormiston Academy, said: “We are delighted to receive funding to develop what is sure to be a fantastic initiative with a lasting legacy.

We can’t wait to get started and see our students benefit from everything this opportunity will have to offer.