Dinosaur Chess

News on how to get Dino Chess in your school will appear here when available.


Dino screenshotChess Scotland member Paul Shafi has generously created an exclusively licensed Scottish schools version of his BAFTA nominated beginners’ chess program "Dinosaur Chess". The program is available in PC and Mac formats and can be downloaded for exclusive use on schools’ PCs and laptops.

TO DOWNLOAD: schools must follow local IT protocols. In most cases, subject to agreement of the head-teacher, schools will make the request for download through their local education authority IT co-ordinator. Chess Scotland has supplied all local education authorities in Scotland with a copy of a Dinosaur Chess CD for this purpose.

NB: the above download arrangement has been agreed nationally with the Scottish Schools Information Technology Group. The Dinosaur Chess CD has been sent to all of Scotland’s local education authority representatives on the Group with explanatory notes advising that schools may request local download.

Please also note: Dundee Council has already fully endorsed and made the program freely available to all Dundee teachers on the staffshare drive of the City’s intranet – see further in the Quality Assurance section below.

How to use Dinosaur Chess: once downloaded to school PCs / laptops, the program can be used by pupils to log on and learn to play chess / deepen skills under their own control. This is a powerful benefit. Of course, the program can also be used in a more controlled, group learning way. But Chess Scotland would emphasise that pupils can (and will) benefit rapidly by using the program independently.

Additional Promethean whiteboard and smartboard tools: the basic program also comes with some more sophisticated promethean flipcharts and worksheets, developed by Dundee primary teacher and chess player, Donna Officer, who uses these tools with interactive promethean whiteboards, not just to teach chess in the classroom, but also to deliver problem solving elements of the maths curriculum and to teach autistic children. Courtesy of Anne Forrest, Steljes Ltd., these tools have now also been converted into Smartboard format, enabling schools that use these interactive whiteboards to benefit. The full schools package now comprises: PC & Mac versions of the Dinosaur Chess Program + promethean whiteboard tools + (new) smartboard tools.

NB: if schools wish to obtain these additional interactive promethean whiteboard and smartboard tools to be downloaded, please request them using the same download route as for the main program (see To Download section above) – it is important to discuss the best way to download the program + these tools with your local schools IT coordinator, as local IT circumstances vary. But do mention the Dundee example, as LEAs may well consider that to be best practice – see Quality Assurance section below.

Quality Assurance: schools needn’t just accept Chess Scotland’s commendation on the benefits of the program. Following award-winning piloting by Donna Officer in Dundee's Hillside Primary, Dundee Council endorsed use of the program in all Dundee schools. The Dinosaur Chess program, including Donna Officer’s promethean tools, is freely available to all Dundee teachers on the staffshare drive of the Council’s intranet.

The Dundee schools intranet arrangement was announced by the Council at a press launch in February 2008. Photo (l:r) Councillor Laurie Bidwell (Dundee City Council’s Education Convenor), Donna Officer, Rosanna Wood (Hillside deputy head), Paul Shafi.

pdf to announce the project


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