West Cork Education Centre and Cork Education Support Centre
To find out more information, register your school and view a map of other registered schools please click on link below:
West Cork Education Centre have partnered with Ficheall.ie this year to give your school the opportunity play fun and friendly games of chess at a one-day tournament in early 2020 . Registration is now open but will close on Friday 18th October 2019.
Ficheall.ie is the network of primary school teachers and principals in Ireland who promote chess for the social, cognitive and mental-fitness benefits it has for students. The organisation is completely run and operated by volunteer primary school principals and teachers. See the Ficheall.ie website for more information.
In 2018/2019, over 2,000 students represented their schools in chess at fun and friendly one-day tournaments around Ireland. The Ficheall.ie website have a series of lesson plans to help teachers deliver chess in their schools and classrooms - see here. Ficheall.ie teachers also facilitated summer courses in chess around Ireland last July which allowed over 130 teachers learn the basics of chess with the focus of developing the game in their schools in 2019/2020.
Many teachers choose to introduce chess into their school to develop social skills and to provide a space for students to meet on a level playing field which is not based on reading, writing or maths ability. The game also provides teachers and students with an opportunity to talk about accepting defeat graciously and building a growth mindset. All teachers love the opportunity to create school chess teams who represent the school and wear the school jersey at a chess tournament with other schools as the school jersey is usually reserved for sporting endeavours. Every teacher likes to tailor their chess-in-schools Ficheall project to meet the needs of the students in their school.
The Ficheall.ie Team organise registered schools into one-day regional tournament groups. The tournaments provide a focus to the playing of chess from October to January. The one-day tournaments are designed to be fun, friendly and non-competitive. No medals are awarded. Every attending school receives a unique certificate of participation to mark their school’s chess in schools project. Schools are charged €5 per student to cover the cost of chess sets, venue fee, insurance and chess arbiter services at the one-day tournament which will be held in January and February 2020.
Registration will close on Friday 18th October.
2018/2019 was a great year for Ficheall.ie in Cork. Between the CESC and WCEC areas we supported 62 primary schools to participate in the project with 1,280 students representing their schools at 8 regional tournaments around Cork county. Following on from 3 summer courses delivered in the county in July 2019 we expect the number of schools to exceed 80 in 2019/2020 and the number of representing students to come close to 2,000 in Cork. The initiate has now spread to other counties also. In 2018/2019 43 schools from Kildare, Wicklow, Meath, Louth, Wexford and Waterford took part with 600 students representing their schools. Our goal is now to make chess available through teachers in all 3,106 mainstream primary schools in Ireland!
Ficheall Bunscoile Chorcaí Celebrates Outstanding First Year
West Cork schools Scoil na mBuachaillí, Clonakilty, Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Bandon and Scoil Eoin, Innishannon competed at the County Final of the WCEC supported Ficheall Bunscoile Chorcaí at Gaelscoil Úi Drisceoil on Tuesday 20th March.
The WCEC/CESC Ficheall Bunscoile Chorcaí initiative attracted the interest of 38 schools in total from all over Cork county. 591 students took part with 2,244 chess matches taking place.
Ficheall Bunscoile Chorcaí held their Chess tournament of 2018 for West Cork primary schools students at Ballinascarthy Community Hall on Tuesday 27th February.
Méabh Hennessy, Principal of Kilcolman NS did an outstanding job in organising the tournament together with Liam Murray, Little Island NS.
154 chess players attended the tournament from 12 different West Cork schools. The players were entered by their schools in teams of 8 players. Schools had the option of entering two different competitions; Masters Competition for 5th and 6th class players and a Budding Masters competition for 4th class players and below. Schools were welcome to enter as many teams as possible.
Every player played 6 games of chess during the day and the atmosphere was one of fun and participation rather than an emphasis on winning. All 12 schools were presented with a certificate of participation for attending the tournament
The Evening Echo spoke to this volunteer group to find out what all the fuss was about:
Méabh Hennessy, principal of Kilcolman National School, began with why. “Chess has a whole host of benefits for primary school students. It teaches problem-solving, creativity, patience and determination. Better than that it’s great for developing social skills and best of all its fun. The children just love playing. We recognised the benefits our students were getting and we felt that if all teachers knew about this they would teach chess too.”
Liam Murray, teacher at Little Island National School, was keen to highlight the encouragement they received from the teacher education centres from the start. “We received terrific support from the teacher education centres; Cork Education Support Centre and the West Cork Education Centre. They helped advertise the initiative and supported us to organise tutoring courses for teachers last October and November. We have more courses planned for this summer”
Eamon Lenihan, teacher at Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Bandon, finished by saying “it has been fascinating to see how so many teachers from around Cork have started chess from scratch in their schools this year. They have started something that we hope will become part of the schools’ traditions and culture. As for the young chess players; they’re developing skills the standard curriculum doesn’t always provide for and having a blast at the same time.”
Congratulations to the teachers in each of the following 12 West Cork schools for taking on the responsibility of coaching their school’s team(s) and getting involved in the Ficheall Bunscoile Chorcaí initiative in its first year
- Barryroe NS
- Ballymoney NS
- Darrara NS
- Dromore NS
- Derryclough NS
- Inchigeela NS
- Kilbarry NS
- Kilcolman NS
- Muinefliuch NS
- Scoil na mBuachaillí
- Scoil Phadraig Naofa
- Scoil Eoin, Innishannon