CASTLE - An Erasmus+ Good Practice success
Thursday, 01 March 2018 20:15

The Erasmus+ Agency has announced the final evaluation of the CASTLE project (2014-2017): 100 points out of 100 possible. The project has been designated as an example of good practice (“You can find inspiration from the pool of good practices and success stories, i.e. projects that distinguished themselves in terms of policy relevance, communication potential, impact or design.”)on the EU Commission site:

It is the first time that a project based entirely on the pedagogical use of chess gets this recognition.

It can be a help in changing the education policies of states, in full compliance with the European Parliament Declaration of 15/03/2012, which calls for the introduction of "Chess in Schools" in the education systems of the Member States. The ‘long’ castle provides an easy-to-use template for children from kindergarten all the way through to secondary education, specially created and tested with precision (more than 8,000 measurements compiled and analyzed in three years) not requiring any external experts and which can be disseminated independently by the schools, not only internally but also to other schools.

See or send an Email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to request a free password for watching the WEB system, to download free didactic materials or to develop the CASTLE system in your country.

FIDE joined the CASTLE project (2014-2017) as a stakeholder in 2015 and the result was the Early Years Skills programme (with 52 demonstration videos) which provides the ‘short’ castle template just for children aged 4-6/7.
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The C.A.S.T.L.E. project: a Chess curriculum to Advance Students' Thinking and Learning skills in primary Education was born from the idea of using chess as a pedagogic tool in primary school. The three national partners all have great chess and school experience: Alfiere Bianco in Italy, the Deutsche Schulschachstiftung in Germany and the Club Ajedrez 64 Villalba in Spain.

There were three partner schools: the I.C. "Muzzone" in Racconigi (CN), the CEIP San Miguel Arcangel of Villalba (Madrid) and the Grundschule Gartnerplatz in Munich. The shared starting point was the belief that school chess nourishes the growth of individuals by involving and improving some of the particular abilities of human nature: problem solving, metacognitive and psychomotor skills as well as social and relational skills.

FIDE joined the CASTLE project (2014-2017) as a stakeholder in 2015 and the result was the Early Years Skills (EYS) programme for children aged 4-6/7.

The partners involved in evaluating the outcome of the project activities were the University of Turin (Prof. Trinchero) and two partners from Ministries of Education: the Regional School for Piedmont and the Dirección General de Innovación, Becas y Ayudas a la Educación of the Madrid region.

45 teachers and their respective classes were involved in the three countries, and together with chess experts they created a chess curriculum for the five grades of primary school: psychomotor activity on a giant chessboard, use of chess in classrooms "on desk" and chess activity on the web (Victor’s Chess House).

The results of the intervention were very positive: in the giant chessboard activity (EYS), the children of the experimental group improved their psychomotor skills more than the control group on all the items detected with an external observer, while in the logical-mathematical and metacognitive areas results have been undoubtedly positive, though with the gap between experimental and control classes not always so obvious.

As regards the questionnaires submitted to the teachers relating to the project's impact on their professionalization, they were fully satisfied with the activities of the CASTLE Project, and confirmed (in 88% of cases) the practicality of transferring the skills they had gained on to their colleagues. Above all, they perceived a "benefit" for students in respect of the following: classroom climate, peer collaboration, participation and involvement of all students, and cross-competency development.

To date, the main way of launching "Chess in Schools" projects has been by using chess instructors, external chess experts, with a significant cost to school administrations. The CASTLE project adds to the work that FIDE Chess in Schools has been doing to support the pedagogical use of chess in schools by having the schools' own teachers carry out the various class activities in a completely autonomous way, during school hours. We also have the idea that those teachers may, in the future, become trainers of their colleagues in the school, realizing a great expansion of "Chess in Schools" not just in Europe but all over the world.
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