Chess in Primary Schools

Ficheall Bunscoile Chorcaí in partnership with West Cork Education Centre and Cork Education Support Centre

Tournament 2018

Ficheall Bunscoile Chorcaí Celebrates Outstanding First Year

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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.

Kilbarry NS West Cork Tournament Feb 27th 2018

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 National School.

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.”

For further information and to get involved email

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

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