London - Tower Hamlets




Tower Hamlets within Greater London


Participating Schools

Blue Gate Fields (Zena Brabazon)

Chisenhale Primary (James Costello)

English Martyrs Primary (James Costello)

John Scurr (Jim Stevenson)

Marion Richardson (Adam Bukojemski)

St Mary & Michael  (Shane McCabe)

St Saviourís (Aziz Sannie)

Clara Grant (Matt Piper - starting 18 May 2017)

CSC Tutors shown in brackets


Previous projects

Bonner, Haggerston, Kobi Nazrul, Manorfield, Mayflower, Morpeth, Mulberry and Stebon.

















Supported by:



Chess in Schools and Communities at Marion Richardson School



Marion Richardson Primary School is in Shadwell, Tower Hamlets. It is a densely population region of East London where a high proportion of the residents are Bangladeshi origin families.



CSC's involvement at the school began in September 2013 after Miss Rubena Begum, a new teacher at the school, heard about the programme and wanted to introduce chess to her classroom.


Initially taught to Marion Richardsonís two Year 3 classes, the chess lessons quickly proved popular with both students and staff. In addition to the formal chess curriculum, the school organised a trip to the London Chess Classic in December 2013 and in the Summer Term of 2014 the school played host to a chess tournament which featured teams from all the other schools in the CSC Tower Hamlets scheme.




After a year with CSC schools usually repeat the chess lessons with a new cohort of children. At Marion Richardson, however, both teachers who had experienced chess in their classrooms were very keen for it to continue. For 2014/2015, the Marion Richardson chess programme extended to four classes: the two Year 3 classes were given introductory chess lessons and the children who had already had a year of chess were given more advanced work in Year 4.


In addition to chess lessons for 120 children in class time, Marion Richardson has also introduced a Lunchtime Chess Club. From small beginnings - in an early week the attendance was literally the tutor and one child - the club has gone from strength to strength. At the time of writing, the most recent club attracted seventeen children - a record high - and numbers havenít dipped below a dozen throughout the Spring Term.


As a CSC Tutor, working at Marion Richardson has been a joy. The teachers and classroom assistants are fully supportive of the aims of the chess programme and the children are very enthusiastic, keen to learn and always wanting to take part in the next event.




In the summer term Marion Richardson hosted CSCís annual Tower Hamlets borough tournament, which was attended by 48 pupils from three different schools. Marion Richardson were the top scoring team, and one of their pupils achieved a 100% score.


The school also entered two teams for the Yes2Chess challenge. Choosing participants and team members from the high number of deserving children has become an impossible task.


Chess in Schools and Communitiesí collaboration with Marion Richardson has come a long way in less than two years, and I am delighted that they have been awarded a British Chess Educational Trust award for 2014/15. Weíre already looking forward to finding out where it will go in 2015-16.



The children of Marion Richardson School say Ö


Rayyan 4C:

"Chess has helped us to improve our behaviour in school. As a result, we are more focused in our learning than before."


Adib 4C:

"Ö. chess inspires our brains."


Najib 4C:

"Ö weíve played for 2 years and we have learnt a lot. We also are really good at chess."


Saif 4C:

"I won a medal Ö I take chess seriously."


Ayesha 4H:

"I like chess because itís a game of war and it doesnít mean you win all the time it matters that you play."


Fatima 4H:

"I like chess because itís a fun game with itís own language and every piece has itís own way to move."


Elise 4H:

"I like chess because my brothers play with me."






Local MP visits CSC in Tower Hamlets - Jonathan Bryant

16 May 2014



Thanks to our partnership with Investec, we've been running chess classes at Bonner School since the start of the 2013-14 academic year.



We are part of their enrichment programme. I get a class of children for five to six weeks which is just enough time to give them a grounding in the how the pieces move, check and checkmate.


After a while some of the children started to tell us that they wanted more than a few weeks of chess, so we set up a club to give them somewhere that they could play after their enrichment classes finished.


Now weíre running the schoolís first chess tournament, the chess club is oversubscribed and Iím hoping weíll be able to expand the numbers soon. Itís difficult to pick a single favourite moment out from such a positive year, but I think it would have to be the time that one of the boys told me that he was going to start at senior school in September and asked if he could keep coming back to Bonner just to be play in the chess club.



I am delighted to see young people building important skills through playing chess. I was delighted to attend Bonner school in my constituency and see the children learn how to play chess as part of their enrichment activities. It was fantastic to see young people develop their skills.


The Rt Hon Rushanara Ali MP, Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow



Photos © Ray Morris-Hill | More here




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