Participating in Chess is a compulsory element of the Elementary School curriculum and is part of the overall Intellectual Development Program at OFS.
Our school has a large dedicated chess room, fully equipped with demonstration boards, chess sets and chess clocks for student use. Our K2 and Elementary School students receive professional tuition in class from our Chess Coaches/Teachers.
Chess is a two-player strategy board game dating back more than 1500 years, which is played on a checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an 8x8 grid.
Chess teaches players to have a goal, execute a plan and ultimately strive to achieve it. It is similar to how we live our lives – we can either plod along aimlessly while hoping for a miracle to happen, or set our sights on a goal and work hard towards achieving it, clearing obstacles along the way. It is known that learning to play chess helps develop critical thinking skills and mental prowess. There is a direct correlation between academic performance and higher levels of strategic thinking.
Our school has a large dedicated chess room, fully equipped with two large demonstration boards, chess sets and chess clocks for student use. Students from Kindergarten 2 through to Elementary School receive professional coaching in class from our chess masters. Students will be taught the fundamentals of chess and have ample opportunities to practice and play against each other. There is also a chess yoga session in each lesson. We do chess math, we improve geometric skills, use an online chess platform occasionally and there are also chess quizzes. Worksheets are provided for students who want to improve their tactical skills.
We host chess competitions against other schools in Singapore and take part in the National School Chess Championship. We hold annual events like the family tournament, our own school championship and students against teachers competition. Time to time, we are honored to welcome the world’s most famous chess champions to our school where they have a game session with the students, also giving them a tip or two!
In the scheduled lessons during school hours, all K2 & Elementary School students are taught the fundamentals of chess and have plenty of opportunities to practise, playing against each other.
Chess lessons include instruction through a variety of methods and practice. Demonstration boards, chess programs, video tutorials and class games are some of the instructional tools used in the classroom. Worksheets at all levels are also available in the chess room for those who want to further improve their tactical skills.
For further improvement in the game, there are many extra opportunities such as:
Ms. Dijana Dengler is a strong player, with many years of experience playing chess at the top level. She was a member of the National Team of Bosnia-Herzegovina in twelve Chess Olympiads and has also played in the European Team Championships since 1992. She has been an active player with the Bayern Munich team (Germany) and Midland Monarchs (UK) team.
She has taught chess in Germany for the past 10 years and was the co-founder and head coach of the Munich Chess Academy and Chess Foundation. Ms Dengler has also developed a Chess curriculum for children with autism, cancer and special needs.
She has trained teachers and run seminars entitled "The King's Plan", with Grand Master Stefan Kindermann, Bavarian State Chancellery, Bayerische Versicherungskammer, using chess strategies for working life.
Apart from playing and teaching, she has also organised tournaments, from scholastic to top level, and events for children with special needs and for refugees.
From January 2019, Ms Dengler is a member of the Chess in Education Commission of the World Chess Federation.
Mr. Philipp Ziegler has been a professional chess coach and teacher for the past 15 years, in both Singapore and Germany, and is certified as a "FIDE Trainer" by the World Chess Federation. His chess teaching has covered all levels, students from Kindergarten through to High School and adults. His experience includes preparing youths for state and national championships. His students have won several state championships and competed on national level, winning 2nd place in the German National Chess Championship in the U20 women's section in 2010.
He is also an full-fledged experienced teacher with a teacher's degree from Stuttgart University and a Masters of Science in School Management in 2018.
In Singapore, he co-founded and lead Chess Spark as head coach running chess programs island-wide. His greatest joy in teaching is to ignite the passion for chess in his students and see them excel at it.