My view is that there’s little point in introducing children of primary school age to chess if they’re only going to play once a week during term time.
In addition, experts on early years chess throughout the world recommend a minichess approach for younger children. There are all sorts of reasons for this, and I’m in complete agreement.
So what I’d do is this:
- Send every primary school a copy of my Minichess Activities Pack.
- Promote chess and strategy games in primary schools for their social benefits – consider Chess for Anna.
- Encourage primary schools to buy a copy of Chess for Schools when it’s published.
- Go into schools and help them run internal minichess tournaments.
- Run inter-school minichess leagues and tournaments.
- Encourage primary schools to identify children who might excel at chess (usually academic high achievers with supportive parents).
- Speak to SENCOs in primary schools to identify children who might gain specific social or other benefits from chess or simpler strategy games.
- Advertise community chess clubs within primary schools (flyers, on website etc).
One or two schools might have a senior member of staff who is interested in chess and wants to encourage all children to play regularly. That’s absolutely fine, but, realistically, not many schools would want to take this approach.