1 June, 2020
Hundreds of students have turned to chess as a way of keeping in touch with their classmates and teachers during the lockdown.
Although the usual OAT-wide competitions have had to move online, the game is proving more popular than ever amongst students, with the club now attracting 462 participants, up from 262 last year.
OAT ran an interschool online tournament last week which saw nine of its schools across the country take part. Competition was stiff, but ultimately Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy came out on top, with Ormiston Bushfield Academy and City of Norwich school coming in second and third place, respectively.
Following the success of the tournament, staff have decided to keep up the momentum by running weekly competitions on ChessKid, a site which allows pupils to play each other virtually. This will run through June and into July and will be open to all pupils at an Ormiston academy.
Chess clubs across OAT schools was launched with the help of founding body Ormiston Trust, as part of its enrichment scheme which aims to broaden the horizons of students beyond the curriculum. Chess has proven a massive hit amongst students so far, and the Trust is aiming to continue to widen and encourage access in the year ahead.
Jemima Waltho, Enrichment Manager at Ormiston Academies Trust said:
“Chess has been one of the key activities we have championed as part of our enrichment offer across our schools and we are so pleased that our students are continuing to engage with such opportunities, helping to boost creativity, engagement and curiosity. It is also so brilliant to see the many ways in which staff across the Trust are finding new and innovative ways of working so that students can remain engaged and connected during the lockdown, particularly with the latest virtual chess tournament.”