Ficheall.ie was founded in September 2017 by a group of primary school teachers and principals who witnessed first-hand the social, cognitive and mental-fitness benefits chess had for their students.
Teachers and principals involved in Ficheall.ie have observed how children have been enabled to develop patience, impulse control, resilience, accepting of feedback, development of a growth mindset and simple social skills such as shaking hands before and after a game, not gloating after a win and making conversation, all through playing chess.
The social benefits of playing chess for children are well documented and include:
- Learning to win with grace and accept losses. Chess etiquette promotes good sportsmanship.
- Developing impulse control: Playing chess teaches children to consider the consequences of their actions.
- Mental resilience and confidence: Learning a new skill can help to build confidence and learning from one’s losses helps to develop mental resilience.
Chess helps children to develop everyday social skills by bringing them together playing games face to face. Chess players now make up one of the world’s largest communities – 605 million adults play chess regularly!
Chess has been described as the art of logical thinking. Learning to play helps children to explore and develop many new skills.
Chess may help children to:
- improve memory
- develop problem solving skills
- improve concentration and focus
- develop planning and foresight
- improve creativity
Chess is a low cost activity that has many obvious benefits for children’s social and cognitive development. There are no barriers to entry and children who are having difficulties with literacy or numeracy can participate in, and excel at, chess.
Chess and Mental Resilience
BeWell-DoWell provide resilence and mental fitness workshops and are one of the many organisations promoting the work of Ficheall.ie and the playing of chess in schools.
BeWell-DoWell have developed a preventative and accessible model for prioritising well-being and mental fitness in the whole school community. The workshops provide schools with practical and evidence-based strategies and a comprehensive list of resources for further support. BeWell-Do-Well outline how small changes can have a significant impact in building a strong social and emotional foundation for our students and the adults in their lives.
Chess Study, Italy 2015 – A study of 560 8 – 11 year old students in Italy concluded that, “the game of chess is a powerful tool to build children’s problem-solving competence in the mathematical domain, even with brief courses”.
EU ED Commission on Chess – Calls on member states to encourage the introduction of Chess in Schools programmes.
The Benefits of Learning Chess – by Clive Hutchby
Chess and Autism – by Karel van Delft
A charity in the UK, Chess in Schools and Communities, has been promoting chess in primary schools in recent years: