Chess is a low-risk and low-cost route to creativity, cross-curricular learning and attainment according to deputy headteacher Elizabeth Scott, who has been trialling it at her primary school in South Wales

Playing chess is somewhat alien to many children today, a game that was once quite widely played in Britain is now perceived by some as elitist. However, in schools – particularly in primary education – there is real educational value in learning the game, including opportunities to broaden the curriculum.

With schools continually being assessed and ranked on performance, there has naturally been a shift in education towards “teaching to the test” and a focus on literacy and numeracy skills. Creativity in schools has been pushed to the outskirts, and in some schools is at risk of becoming lost.

Schools are expected to provide a broad and varied curriculum while championing attainment, an added pressure for educators already facing challenges with budgets and workloads. Broadening the curriculum and adding creative elements is a fantastic way to engage pupils in their learning, but solutions are needed to support teachers in creating rich and creative learning experiences that can have a positive impact on results.

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