What is the ART Training Scheme?

The ART Training Scheme offers training, support and motivation to ringing teachers. New teachers quickly learn a range of techniques and skills that give them the confidence to teach and be successful, whilst experienced teachers refresh and build on their existing skills, and benefit from the resources and ideas which meet people's expectations of a hobby in the 21st century.

The scheme is based on best practice from the worlds of ringing, other hobbies and education; supplemented with university research findings into how best to coach practical skills.

The approach focuses on breaking down the process of bell ringing into its component parts, giving techniques and background for how to teach each part before adding the sections together to create the whole.

Most concepts are not revolutionary and experienced teachers are likely to have seen some of these learning techniques before. However when applied together with an understanding of skills development and coaching they provide a clear and structured process that all teachers can follow at their local practices.

The scheme is much more than a day course; it is the beginning of a learning journey. Teachers are paired up with another teacher or a mentor who provides guidance and advice throughout a period of skills development and consolidation supplemented by online resources for both teachers and their ringers.

The scheme concludes with a teaching lesson observed by an ART Assessor; only after this can a teacher becomes an Member of the Association of Ringing Teachers.

The ART Modules

Module 1 – Bell handling

Module 1 provides you with the skills and techniques necessary to take a ringer from their first lesson to having competent bell control.

You will learn through a mixture of practical and theory sessions:

  • How to teach a skill
  • How to break down bell handling into easy stages that a new ringer can master
  • About different learning styles and how to adapt your teaching for them
  • The benefits of intensive teaching

The practical sessions will give you plenty of time to practise your new skills in a safe environment. Working in pairs you will also have opportunity to hone your observation skills and get feedback on your feedback.

Module 2F – From rounds to Plain Hunt

This Module shows you how to help your students develop the necessary foundation skills for good ringing and then move forward to ringing changes. You will learn through a mixture of practical and theory sessions about:

  • Foundation skills – fine bell control, listening, rhythm and ropesight
  • Lots of fun exercises to develop these skills
  • Coaching skills and building a successful band
  • Introducing Plain Hunt and covering

In some ways this stage is the hardest part of learning to ring; the excitement and rapid progress associated with (semi)-mastering bell control has passed and time on the rope can be limited if the only practice is once a week with a mixed ability band. This is where this course helps. It introduces lots of fun exercises to help your ringer develop the foundation skills for method ringing. There is plenty for your ringer to practise and measure their progress against whilst stimulating (and sometimes testing) the rest of the band. For bands who don’t aspire to method ringing it gives lots of ideas for Service or wedding ringing which sound good whilst keeping the band interested.

The Birmingham School of Bell Ringing has shown that those who spend longer consolidating foundation skills before learning methods progress more quickly later on.

Module 2C – From rounds to Methods

The foundation skill techniques taught in Module 2F are covered in the practical sessions, and you will then move on to concentrate on the development of change ringing skills using exercises and unusual methods to aid learning. The transition from Plain Hunt to Plain Bob Doubles and Plain Bob Minor is broken down into several simpler, shorter steps, making the jump into change ringing both more gradual and understandable to the new ringer. The theory sessions turn the spotlight onto developing leadership skills.

It was brilliant. If you are running a practice, looking after new recruits, looking to develop ringing from where you are now, or looking for new ideas then this is a must.

Interested in taking part?

If you're interested in registering for one of the ART Modules then a list of upcoming day courses is available on the ART Events website. Have a look at their entry requirements; decide which is the right one for you and then register. Day courses are priced at £25 which covers direct course costs including an extensive course pack.

» Register for a course

The small print. All the Modules are open to teachers aged 14 or over. We only ask that you have sufficiently good bell control to be able to inspire confidence in others and an ability to comfortably raise and lower a bell to attend Module 1. Module 2F requires that you can ring at least Plain Hunt. For Module 2C we require that you have rung a quarter peal inside at Plain Bob Minor standard or above, recorded on Bellboard.

What do teachers say?

I didn’t tell the tutor beforehand, but there were some sceptics among them but I`m pleased to say they were duly impressed!"

I had met ringers with years more experience than myself and yet here we are together, at the beginning of a new journey and challenge to guide and advise the next generation of ringers. A challenge that I hope I can live up to."

From Twinkle Twinkle to the Flying Dutchman – a musical masterpiece or a Module 2C course with ART!"

This will help us to develop in our locality a cadre of ringing instructors, receptive to external ideas and perfectly equipped to command the confidence of trainees and ringing colleagues."

I triumphantly tamed a wayward bell rope for the first time. And conquered some of those ‘what ifs’ that have previously prevented me from teaching. An essential first step towards being able to confidently put into practice all my newly learned teaching skills!"

I found the course enjoyable and un-threatening, with lots of opportunity to try out techniques on easy bells with friendly colleagues. There were lots of ideas for improving learners’ handling and to sort out bad habits that inevitably crop up."

I've been ringing for 48 years, what more do I need to know about teaching people to ring, I have seen it and done it, I have never been on a course, what use would that ever be? Not quite the mindset I was in thankfully. Was I surprised! The course was terrific - all very logical, well laid out, well planned and terrifically delivered. Loads of little nuggets and tips, everything straightforward with easy to understand notes and booklets. Can't wait to get going now.”