Chess can not only support the building of strong analytical and decision making skills, but the pattern recognition it encourages can lead to better results in Maths and Science too. Time management skills learned can transfer to exam conditions and higher order thinking encourages recognition of consequences.
We offer chess lessons from Year 2 onwards in Prep School, and Year 7 to Year 13 in Senior School; students can either learn individually or in pairs.
From Year 9 onwards students come out of academic lessons on rotation to ensure no lesson is missed more than twice per term. Each lesson lasts 35 to 40 minutes and is typically based on 30 lessons per academic year; 12 in the Michaelmas Term, 10 in the Lent term and 8 in the Trinity term.
Catering for all ranges, ages and ability there are a number of clubs on offer in both the Prep and Senior School. In particular Chess for All is held Mondays after School and is open to all students, parents and the local community, and Seckford Scheme chess for Year 9 and above offering an informal way to wind down the week whilst studying expert games.
Awards and tournaments
As well as having clubs and private lessons, there are a variety of tournaments and chess-related activities in School throughout the year.
The Tony Miles chess trophy is presented each year at speech day, awarded to the student who has made an outstanding contribution to chess at Woodbridge.
The Junior Chess Open takes place each year during Michaelmas term and the Suffolk Chess Megafinal is held in School during the Trinity Term.
A knockout competition in which the whole of Year 7 participates, the Mileham Shield is one of the highlights of the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. The final of the competition is played in the science lecture theatre and is quite a spectacle!
Scholarships and bursaries
Woodbridge offers a chess scholarship as well as various bursaries to outstanding and committed students, including boarders from all over the world. We’re extremely proud to have produced three England internationals ‘from scratch’ from the local area including German boarding student Oliver who became a FIDE Master and German Under 18 champion in 2018. Another student, this time from Australia, became an International Master shortly after leaving Woodbridge, later gaining the Grandmaster title in 2018, the highest possible level in chess.