29 August, 2007

Postcard from Scotland

Its been a constant case of ‘the chords have got the better of me’. It seems at every turn, a battery is flat, the wrong chord got packed, or that thing I disgarded at the last minute, I wish I hadn’t!

The three amigos caught up with Harry on Saturday, hours before our flight, to hand him a hard copy of our presentation……just because it seemed the right thing to do. Sitting in the courtyard of Saffs waxing lyrical about the finer points of our talk and program, I flicked the switched and asked Harry for an impromptu message to send to the conference.

We are going to use this clip as a conclusion of our presentation. You can see the video on the right hand side of this page.

18 August, 2007

Counting Down......

The Chess-Squared contingent will this week be fine tuning it’s presentation for the Chess In Schools and Communities International Conference held at Aberdeen University Scotland on 27August- 2 September. Below are the 9 Keynote Presentations from a diverse and expert range of presenters:

Children’s Involvement in Education: Ethical Issues and Empowering Research Policy and Practice: Janet Shucksmith, Teesside University

What does Research into Expertise tell us about Chess Teaching and Coaching?: Ferdinand Gobet, Brunel University

 Chess and Education: the Re-creation of Learning School, Home and Community: Susan Polgar, Grandmaster and Director of SPICE at Texas Tech University & Ali Nihat Yazici, Turkish Chess Federation

 Development and Impact of Chess-in-the-Schools in New York City Public Schools: Marley Kaplan, Chess in the Schools, New York

 Children and Social Capital: Virginia Morrow, University of London

 Chess: Just a Game or a Powerful Teaching Strategy for Learning Mathematics: Dr Steve Tobias, (James Cook University, Townsville, Australia) Steve Carroll (Castlemaine Secondary College), Harry Poulton (Castlemaine Chess Club) and Sam Grumont (Castlemaine Innovations and Excellence School Cluster Coordinator)

 The Rewards of Self-Control and the Joys of Concentration: What Chess Might Teach us About Learning: Jonathan Rowson, British Chess Champion (2004 – 2006)

Children’s Health and Well Being: the Process of Mentoring and Coaching in Informal Education: Kate Philip, University of Aberdeen

 Using Chess in a Counseling/Mentoring Approach for Students : Fernando Moreno, Montgomery County Public Schools

Apart from the Keynote Presentations, there will 21 workshops presented on a range of topics related to chess and education from presenters from all around the world.

We will have highlights from the conference listed on our blog, while we're in Scotland.

12 August, 2007

National Literacy & Numeracy Week: 3rd-9th September

Last week, Castlemaine Secondary College recieved notification the CHESS-SQUARED Program is the recipient of National Numeracy Award.

Twenty-three schools across Victoria will be recognised for their significant contribution to either Literacy or Numeracy.

The CHESS-SQUARED Program sent tutors from the Castlemaine Chess Club into classrooms of 12 schools in the Mt. Alexander cluster of schools.

Leanne Preece (Principal CSC), Kevin Brown (Principal Newstead P.S), Harry Poulton (Convenor Castlemaine Chess Club) and two students will attend a ceremony at Melbourne Zoo on 4th Septmeber.

The award will be either $2000, $5000, or $10,000 and will go towards the continuation of our program. We will find out the category of award at the ceremony.

02 August, 2007

Is that a FLYING BUTTRESS I saw??

Local philanthropic organisation, GOLDEN HOPE, has made a significant donation to the youth of Mt. Alexander purchasing 3 double decker buses to be used as Youth Outreach Spaces.

GOLDEN HOPE founder, Max Lesser, says the vehicles aim to be a link with youth mental health and the local community, and has developed other teacher resources using art/ design and geometry to enhance youth wellness.

Among other things, Lesser is keen to see chess play a prominent role in activities conducted on the buses, including the unique geometrical student designs adorning the outside of the bus in chess motifs. (Max, that’s just so cooooool!!)

Year 9 students from Castlemaine Secondary College, as part of the Enterprise Education initiative, aim to have a role planning activities, promotion and co-ordination for Friday and Saturday night activities. A GOLDEN HOPE press release reads:

GOLDEN HOPE announces the purchase of our flagship, and resource gift, to Mount Alexander youth- the FLYING BUTTRESS- a 1972 model double decker bus.

The bus will be used as a mobile youth-space, meeting place, an office for youth generated issues, 'events central' and a 'go to' option on our streetscape that through its visibility and presence echo the importance to us of our youths happiness, freedoms, connectedness, and the fun and hope they epitomise as our kin.

The bus plans to be in operation before Christmas 'o7 as a regular Friday, Saturday evening feature, located in appropriate sites in central Castlemaine , as well as responding to events and needs dictated by youth and community.

Golden Hope is a Chewton based philanthropic group who:

 respond to youth self esteem and emotional health support structures, with a ‘can-do’ ethos,
 have a committment to fun, and
 support the future safe passage of youth whilst under community guardianship.

The FLYING BUTTRESS management group thank Golden Hope, Mount Alexander Shire Council, and the Castlemaine community and youth for their encouragement and are looking forward to working together 'on the buses'.

And Max, we thank you!