WITH just 250 students, Millthorpe Public School has a reputation for academic and sporting achievement.
Students do well in Tournament of the Minds, Country Heritage Schools events, PSSA and Orange district sporting competitions, such as football and cricket.
They now have added another string to their bow, having taken out the Western Region Primary Chess Championship.
This statewide competition is held by the NSW Junior Chess League and along the way Millthorpe was the Blayney/Orange district champions, when it defeated Dubbo champions St Mary’s 8-0 and Bathurst champions Holy Family, Kelso by the same margin.
Millthorpe now progresses to play against the other five country regional champions, including teams from Newcastle and Wollongong.
Team members Ed Taylor, Jack Goodsell, Jasper Worland and Lew Connick have been together since they were seven years old in year 1.
The scary part is that they are now in year 5, so they have another year at primary school to hone their skills.
Chess co-ordinator Michael Truloff and tutor Joe Cummins say they are a dream to coach.
“They are good mates, they love to play, they learn new tricks all the time and just keep getting better,” they said.
Principal Jo Jackett is justifiably proud of her clever chess students.
“Everybody from kinder up has an opportunity to learn chess at school and we have had 40 students playing chess each Friday this year,” she said.
“This is just one of many programs we have to equip children with a top quality, well-rounded education.”