Thursday 25 April 2019

Excellent Feedback

St. Aidan's Primary School in Hartlepool is one of our 16 CSC Teesside schools and they have just received this piece of excellent feedback from their School Improvement Partner:

'The curriculum also provides a variety of opportunities to develop pupils’ experiences and skills. Using pupil premium money so that all pupils in Year 3 learn chess is one example. Observing pupils playing chess was fascinating. They sustained concentration for extended periods, showed resilience when faced with loss, managed their time and challenged themselves – invaluable self-regulation skills.'

Well done, St. Aidan's!

Friday 19 April 2019

Radio Stars

CSC Teesside once again attracted the attention of the media this week when CSC Tutor and library supremo Sean Cassidy was invited onto Joe Mack's afternoon show.

Joe Mack is a volunteer presenter at Community Voice For Middlesbrough CVFM and he spoke at length with Sean, plus Alfie and Ihsaan (two of our best local juniors).

Sean is having an exceptional year. Aside from the tutoring, he is also the key figure at The Buffs chess club in Stockton-on-Tees. He is part of the team that has just clinched the B Division championship and it was his victory in the semi-final of the Tom Wise KO Cup - against A Division champions Middlesbrough Rooks - that earned The Buffs a place in the forthcoming final. Sean has also earned promotion from the C Division with his other team, The Buffs B. 

Well done, everyone!

Friday 12 April 2019

New Chess Group

This week I worked for the first time with a Home Education group.

The venue was provided by SNAPS (Special Needs Activities with Parents Support) at the Newtown Community Centre in Stockton-on-Tees and I was immediately given a very friendly welcome - including tea and biscuits - by the mighty Ruth.

Our session brought together a very hard-working group of children and parents and we had a great deal of fun learning some of the basics of chess and playing mini-games.

Opinions on the merits of Home Education will obviously vary. For some, it will be a necessary step to bring the best out of their children. For others, it will be an obstacle in the way of cooperation and progress. 

I am not now - and never have been - interested in politics, but I am interested in breaking down boundaries and working with dynamic and highly positive people.

Take a look at the photographs and judge for yourselves if the intended combination of fun and learning came to fruition.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with the group and we are hopeful that more sessions can be arranged over the course of the year.

There is even talk of creating wide-ranging community sessions at the centre. Let's do it!

Thank you Fiona for organising everything and thank you to everyone in the group for such an excellent day.

All photograph in this report are © Fiona Tierney, with the exception of the picture of Ruth.

Thursday 11 April 2019

International Links

I have been establishing international links of late in an effort to share ideas and learn lots of new skills, to try and make me better at what I do.

I have already mentioned our ongoing links with New Zealand and Germany and today I took part in my first-ever Webinar, with Stephen Lipschultz in Illinois.

Stephen very patiently talked me through numerous features offered by the hugely impressive 'Think Like A King' system.

I now have a lot to think about and I am hoping this important new link can be developed much further.

See me concentrating in the screenshots!

Monday 1 April 2019


Discussing my latest film project, ‘Confessions of a Chess Tutor’, with Robin Askwith. This veteran of the genre is hoping to have a large part in it.