Heycroft Primary School adds chess to school curriculum

A school in Essex has added weekly chess sessions to its curriculum.

Each Wednesday Heycroft Primary School's year six pupils sit down for an hour of playing chess.

Andrew Palmer, head teacher at the Leigh-on-Sea school, said pupil performance in maths had improved as a result of the chess classes.

A spokesman for Chess in Schools and Communities said chess on the school curriculum was "rare, but it is growing".

Parent Sarah Stevens said her daughter Charlotte's concentration had improved since starting chess lessons.

"She absolutely loves it," said Mrs Stevens.

"It has helped the children so much."

Mr Palmer said: "With chess, there's a lot of strategy because you have to think ahead the whole time.

"Our pupils have been showing determination and general behaviour is better as well."

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