Private school chess dominance ends following St Joseph’s victory

Credit: This story was first seen on The Oxford Times

A primary school has ended almost two decades of private school dominance to take the top prize in the Oxfordshire Schools Chess League, The Oxford Times reports.

The U11 A team from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Headington defeated Magdalen College School (MCS) to win the competition.

The victory is a first for a state school since 2000 after many years of dominance by Oxford High School and MCS.

Headteacher Sue Tomkys said she was delighted.

She said: ” I think it is far to say at the moment that we are the top chess school in Oxfordshire, which is very exciting. We have got about 100 pupils who play and of those there are 32 in the main squad. It is inspirational. I feel inspired by the children’s enthusiasm. We have got to the stage where they have got their own St Joseph’s chess squad T-shirts and that is a little thing that means a lot.”

The school has brought in a chess coach to help youngsters develop their skills and they also practice together, developing team bonds.

Ms Tomkys said that the game has a positive impact on the youngsters who play.

She said: “It is a game of strategy and you need concentration and need to be able to think ahead. So it is important to think ahead about different scenarios. The kids go on the internet with chesskid.com and train that way, as well as talking to one another.”

You might also like...  Major new studies into school accountability published