Chess @ Winka
The activities and programs organized by our school are not for compliance or to be ‘fashionable’ just because other schools are running them. All our programs have purpose!. There is a famous quote that says “If they can’t learn the way we teach, we should teach the way they learn”.
In September 2014, Winka Academy partnered with Waridi Chess Ventures (then Waridi Chess Club) for a pilot project to introduce chess as an aid to learning. As an added bonus to the success of the program, the instructor is former Olympian (1988/1990) and 1990 Kenya National Champion, Former Secretary General of Chess Kenya and held 2nd position in the 2015 Millionaire Chess Saltellite held in Nairobi between April 30th – 3rd May 2015 was an added bonus to the pupils.
The class 1 & 2’s were privileged to be the the first classes to be used in this initiative to determine its viability. The pupils loved it!
Our pilot project was very successful. The pupils and particularly those who struggled with concentration improved. The attention span when the teacher taught and period of understanding increased. This indeed translated into increased marks. The teaching team had to look for more comprehensive exams for the pupils since the regular ones were becoming simple. The confidence levels, excitement for learning and following instructions quickly were immediate benefits. In 2015, Scholarly chess was rolled out as a compulsory subject from Standard 1-8.
Other benefits of Scholarly Chess
- ‘‘According to research, Test scores improved by 3% for students regularly engaged in chess classes, compared with only 4.6% for children participating in other forms of enriched activities” – 4-time World Champion Susan Polgar
- PROVEN to enhance creativity, concentration, critical thinking skills, memory, academic achievement, problem solving, cultural enrichment, intellectual maturity, self-esteem, and a host of other qualities that every parent and teacher desires.
- The Margulies’ study conclusively proved that students who learned chess enjoyed a significant increase in their reading skills
- It allows girls to compete with boys on a non-threatening, socially acceptable plane
- Builds a sense of team spirit while emphasizing the ability of the individual
- Teaches the value of hard work, concentration and commitment
- Makes a child realize that he or she is responsible for his or her own actions and must accept their consequences
- Teaches children to try their best to win, while accepting defeat with grace
- Calls upon pupils higher-order thinking skills, analyze actions and consequences, and visualize future possibilities.
- In countries where chess is offered widely in schools, students exhibit excellence in the ability to recognize complex patterns and consequently excel in math and science.
The school-wide introduction of Chess was not a mistake, it was risk that has paid off.
Winka Academy is proud to MAKE HISTORY as the only school in the entire country and East & Central Africa offering scholastic chess!.