Havering primary school win national award for chess prowess

PUBLISHED: 13:35 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:34 07 December 2017

Linda Van Den Hende accompanies children from Crownfield Junior School to the London Chess Classic. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Linda Van Den Hende accompanies children from Crownfield Junior School to the London Chess Classic. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Lennart Ootes

The chess prowess of a Havering primary school has been honoured with a prestigious national award.

Crownfield Junior School, in White Hart Lane, Collier Row, was presented with the British Chess Educational Trust Award at the UK’s largest chess tournament - the London Chess Classic.

Havering Mayor councillor Linda Van den Hende accompanied the school to the event, which featured World Champion Magnus Carlsen, on Tuesday.

Cllr Van den Hende said: “I’m very proud to be here today to be part of the presentation to Crownfield Junior School.

“It is an amazing achievement from one of our primary schools.”

She added: “They are benefitting from a pastime that allows them to interact socially and it promotes equality between boys and girls, since they can compete on an equal footing.

“We very much hope that this initiative will expand into other Havering schools.”

In addition to Carlsen, the tournament featured nine of the world’s greatest chess champions.

The mayor made a ceremonial first move on behalf of French grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in his fourth round match against Carlsen.

The event was run by charity Chess in Schools and Communities, who have worked with Crownfield to develop its chess programme over the last three years.

Chess in Schools and Communities works with over 800 state schools nationwide, offering chess to children in disadvantaged areas because of the positive impact the game can have on children’s education and social development.

Trained tutors working for the charity deliver lessons over a 30-week period as either part 
of the school curriculum or during extra-curricular chess clubs.

Half of Crownfield school 
now play chess in curriculum-based lessons and extra-curricular clubs with the encouragement of local chess tutor Samantha Ali.

Samantha said: “Chess at the school has taken off in a huge way. We’re running weekly lessons for the Year 3s and a lunchtime club has been set up, open to all, which is oversubscribed.

“We are also arranging a ‘learn chess’ session for the teaching staff on one of their inset days very soon, so they can appreciate what the children are benefitting from.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories


Historian Prof Ged Martin unearths a 1952 documentary by the Ardleigh House Film Group

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Will starting the day badly make us happy?

If you do the Lottery, I’m assuming you avidly check as soon as the draw is made to see whether this was your lucky week.

Yesterday, 15:44

The Chimichanga Mexican restaurant in Hornchurch is one of 94 eateries being closed by the Prezzo Group over the next few months, it has been revealed.

Yesterday, 15:30

A new branch of JD Sports will be opening in Romford with a special fun sports day.

Yesterday, 14:59

Two women who embarked on a cocaine-fuelled crime rampage through Romford, Hornchurch and Upminster Bridge have been jailed for a total of 12 years and nine months.


Fed up with haggling on people’s drives over a used car, only to find out later it’s on its last legs?

Many drivers will be heading to the showrooms in March looking to pick up a car bearing the shiny new 18 registration plate.

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now