Chess and Mathematics Teacher Training Course – London


Irish Cultural Centre

5 Black's Road Hammersmith , London, W6 9DT

London, England, GB, W6 9DT

The Chess and Mathematics teacher training course is a one-day course on how to teach mathematics problem-solving skills using games and puzzles. The course gives teachers the confidence and insight to teach maths in a fun and exciting way to children in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 (ages 8 to 12). The course comprises interactive presentations, group working, and hands-on exercises. The emphasis of the course is on innovative ways to teach problem-solving methods.

Who should attend?

Anybody who is involved with or interested in teaching numeracy or mathematics to children and is seeking an innovative approach.


This is the second time that the course has been run in England. The course received glowing feedback when it was run in London in December. Those attending included teachers, chess tutors and after-school activities co-ordinators. People attended from England, Germany, USA, Norway, Sweden, Spain and Luxembourg.


The games environment makes the problems seem more natural and accessible as children love to play and are motivated to search for a winning strategy. Each of the exercises has been tested in the classroom and refined accordingly. The course explains how to solve the problems using a variety of approaches.


The problem-solving approach is based upon the work of George Pólya which informs mathematics teaching around the world, including the Singapore Method. The course derives from the ErasmusPlus CHAMPS Project – Chess and Mathematics in Primary Schools which has established the European reference.


09:30 Arrival and refreshments

10.00 Course starts

  • Why chess and mathematics?
  • Mathematics games on the chessboard
  • Problem-solving methods

13.00 Lunch break

  • Tailoring complex problems for a younger audience
  • Investigations on the chessboard
  • Test

17.00 End


Rita Atkins is a teacher of mathematics and physics and a titled chess player. John Foley is an experienced chess educator who formerly managed the mathematical modelling group of a major business consultancy. John and Rita developed the training course because they saw the great potential of teaching mathematics through games and puzzles.


The course is certificated by the European Chess Union and may count towards teacher professional development.  The Certificate requires passing a test at the end of the course.


Attendees receive a Teachers Guide comprising a fully worked set of 50 instructive problems based around the chess board and the moves of chess pieces.


The venue is close to Hammersmith tube station which is on the District, Piccadilly and Hammersmith & City lines.

European Chess Union

The European Chess Union is the representative body for 54 national chess federations in Europe and neighbouring regions. Members of the ECU include the English Chess Federation, Scottish Chess, the Welsh Chess Union and the Irish Chess Union. The Education Commission of the ECU promotes chess as a pedagogic tool to develop the social and intellectual skills of children. The Education Commission was established in 2014 to lead the development of Chess in Schools across Europe. It launched a School Chess Teacher Certificate scheme to recognise school teachers who have the knowledge and ability to teach chess in the classroom.


Why is there a maximum number of attendees?

We want to ensure that everybody who attends receives the optimum learning experience and the maximum interaction with the course tutors. Hence we restrict the number of attendees to 24.

Is the course suitable for someone who is not a teacher?

The course is suitable if you are a chess tutor who wants to expand the exercises you give in class.

What level of mathematics are attendees expected to have?

These are unique problems, so there is no prior knowledge of mathematics required.

Is the course suitable for primary schools or secondary schools?

The course focuses on didactics rather than content. The exercises are tailored for primary age children. Nevertheless some of the problems are deep in complexity so could be presented to secondary school students as well.

More information

For more information about the course, please contact