Benefits of bridge...
by EBU

It has long been believed by those who teach and are also involved in bridge that learning the game or a simplified version of it Minibridge will benefit school pupils not only in their education but in later years when they have more time available and look to a leisure pursuit which will have benefits to their health.

David Adelman, the EBU’s Manchester Youth Officer and an experienced Bridge teacher states: "Minibridge is a simplified version of bridge and is a game which is suitable for classroom use and which allows children the opportunity to improve their logical and lateral thinking skills within the framework of play. It offers dynamic brain training. Dealing with symbols (of the playing cards) requires focus and concentration. Playing with three other players at the same table also helps develop personal confidence, communication skills and sociability. Playing cooperatively with a partner encourages team building and inter-personal awareness. Success at the game is dependent on accurate data handling and reliable counting."

Sir Peter Williams, former chair of the Government’s Advisory Committee on Maths Education, delivered his Independent Review of Mathematics Teaching in Early Years Settings and Primary Schools in June 2008. He made the following statements in his report: "... the costs to society of an innumerate population, highlights, unsurprisingly, that the financial impact of mathematics is considerable. With one quarter of national GDP resulting from the mathematics based financial services sector, the importance of mathematics in general hardly needs stating."

"A closely allied concern is that too little attention is paid to building good attitudes to mathematics. Clearly, if children’s interests are not kindled through using and applying mathematics in interesting and engaging ways, and through learning across the full mathematics curriculum, they are unlikely to develop good attitudes to the subject."

Minibridge or bridge would fulfil this need and bring families together in a low cost pastime that has untold benefits for society as a whole. For the last two years, the EBU has been running an initiative to introduce Minibridge to primary schools with over 200 schools already introducing the game to their classrooms and afterschool clubs. A study commissioned by the EBU at St Paul’s School in Manchester showed that bridge and Minibridge taught skills in numeracy, problem solving, probability, speaking, listening, rule following, team building, mental capacity and much more.

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Written by Matt Betts