Sunday 17 September 2023

CSC Training Day Tour 2023-4: London Launch

The 2023-4 CSC Training Day Tour started yesterday with a particularly fine day in London, with a date which had already sold out a couple of weeks ago.

Saint Marylebone Parish Church was a new venue for me, although Matt Piper delivered a training day there last year. I took directions from a famous detective and was there within a few minutes of leaving the underground.

Matt had already planted the familiar banner and I set about exploring the venue before the delegates arrived.

All very impressive indeed! The delegates were impressive too. Matt and I crammed as much as we could into the day and everyone worked hard on all of the tasks and mini-games.

Only one of the following photographs was posed, so the concentration on display is genuine.

Thank you, everyone, for an excellent day.

New dates for the Training Day Tour have recently been added to our website. Please keep an eye on this page if you would like to attend one of the dates, but beware - they are selling out quickly, so book early.

Wednesday 6 September 2023

New Training Day Facility

As we prepare to launch a new CSC Training Day Tour, we have introduced a new page to our website, which will enable people to register an interest for forthcoming events.

This will be particularly useful for people who would like to attend a training day but have yet to see one listed in their area.

The page can be found here.

Monday 4 September 2023

36: Not (Quite) Out


How the years rush on by...

A lot has happened between 1988, when I first starting teaching chess in schools, and the present day.

It is easy to forget just how angry the 1980s were, with an extraordinary amount of unemployed people (as opposed to the unemployable of more recent times; an important distinction), violence seemingly everywhere (football was not a family game back then, for example) and the biggest disaster facing the human race was the hole in the ozone layer.

Schools were tough places in which to work; discipline was poor and security non-existent.

I witnessed a renaissance during the 1990s and 2000s. Schools tightened up and became much more accountable for their actions and methods.

Now, in various schools across our area (and no doubt beyond) the trend has turned again.

Class sizes are enormous, still growing and there is a worrying trend to lack even the basics of resilience.

Lack of support; lack of respect. A recurring theme.

I felt we have achieved a lot locally once again, with no shortage of new initiatives, but have also felt dragged down by other people's poor standards. What passes for acceptable in the classroom in 2023 is far from what I ever thought would be on the horizon when I first started, all of those years ago.

This is extended to life away from the 64 squares too. When the default sound of any town is that of barking dogs and the default smell is the revolting stench of vape (or cannabis) then it is very apparent that something has gone horribly wrong.

There were times during the previous school year, more than any other, that I felt like I didn't want to continue doing what I am doing.

As I start my 36th consecutive year of teaching chess in schools I do so with the understanding that the tipping point of having more unsatisfactory days than good ones is not as far away I once thought.

In former times, reaching 40 years (and considerably beyond) in schools felt like it would be relatively easy to achieve - but now journey's end does not seem so far away at all.

The end of the beginning - or the beginning of the end...?

Friday 1 September 2023

World Domination...?

CSC Teesside chess tutor Catherine Lloyd spent some time today giving Alison Kempson some extra tips and teaching ideas, prior to Alison starting a new chess club at Ingleby Manor school.

Alison enjoyed our CSC Training Day in Middlesbrough at the end of last term and I am sure she would have benefited greatly from Catherine’s expert tuition.

By the look of the map in the background, I think they are set on world chess domination.