7 April saw the launch of an exciting pilot project at Safari Primary School using chess as an educational tool for the children. The project is a collaboration between Star for Life, Mini Chess and the Entrust Foundation.

    Mini chess is a method which uses chess as an educational tool, by playing simple and fun mini chess games. The children learn the basics of chess, but it is not about winning chess tournaments. Instead, it is about providing children with a variety of tools comprising both hard and soft skills, eg strategic and creative thinking, self-confidence, value-based decision-making, social connection, resilience, emotional skills and problem-solving abilities. One of the main benefits of the method is the way it is used to boost and complement maths learning.

The pandemic presented massive challenges for teachers and pupils worldwide, not least in Star for Life schools where many learners missed a large part of the school year 2020/2021. We are aware of the significant impact of the pandemic on student learning and well-being and are interested to find out how the Mini Chess program might complement Star for Life’s Arts and Culture program which already exists in our primary schools.

The project will run from April to December with each class having a weekly Mini Chess session.