Chairman's Chatter - May 2019

Chairman’s Chatter is published in the quarterly ART WORKS magazine for ART Members and those on the ART Training Scheme.

» Download ART WORKS or read ART WORKS online

ART continues to go from strength to strength, whether measured by the number of participants on the ART Teaching and Learning the Ropes Schemes, attending ART Workshops or accrediting to become ART Members. These increased numbers do however produce their own problems.The SmART Ringer website is running slow and sometimes falls over – it just wasn’t designed for this number of users. Our volunteers are having to work harder to handle the extra workload, compounded by the drive to be better at all we do. And we shouldn’t forget that quality (or standards) is just as important as numbers.

ART Conference and ART Awards

It was great to meet so many of you at the ART Conference. There was a great line-up of speakers – feedback was excellent and there were plenty of ideas for inclusion in next year’s conference.

The ART Awards attracted the largest ever number of nominations which made the judges’ job very difficult – thank you to Stephanie Pattenden along with Jennie and David Town for deciding on the eventual winners. The recruitment and retention award was particularly popular this year as a result of the Ringing Remembers campaign. To recognise the hard work of the Ringing Remembers team, a special award was given to Vicki Chapman for her leadership of this team. A well-deserved award sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance.

SmART Ringer

We have launched a project to replace SmART Ringer under the leadership of Nigel Mellor from Wokingham. We’re not rushing into it because we want the new system to be designed for growth, both in the number of users but also in terms of the ART offer, so we’re taking our time so as to get it right. We are aware of many of the issues associated with ease of use – after all we have had to deal with them as teachers just as you have – but please feel free to email with issues or ideas.Now is the time!

Who’s new in ART

To cope with the increasing demand for our teaching modules, we are currently training four new ART Tutors. The first to complete was David Sparling from Essex, who has got off to a flying start tutoring two M2F courses in April. Welcome to the team, David. If you are an ART Member, have good presentation skills, and are interested in becoming an ART Tutor then please contact Graham Nabb.

I would also like to welcome Clare McArdle to the ART Management Committee.Clare was a key mover in the formation of the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing and has been involved with ART since 2012 as a mentor, an ART Assessor and more recently an ART Tutor. Clare will bring a wealth of experience to the Management Committee and we look forward to her shaping our thinking.

Some new ideas

For the first time the ART Bell Handling (M1) and Foundation Skills (M2F) day courses were held at the beginning of the Essex Course.Immediately afterwards, the course delegates were able to put what they had been taught into practice with students on the course; all the time under the watchful eyes of Ruth Suggett and David Sparling. A flying start to their accreditation journey.

A set of online simulator resources has been developed, covering hardware, software and how to use them to teach or to learn. These resources complement the Simulator Awareness Workshops which are being run at the rate of about one a month at the moment.As one delegate said, “An inspiring workshop – now to return to the tower and put it into practice!”

ART in the news

Those of you who take the Ringing World will be aware that ART has featured prominently in the letters section recently.It was gratifying to see so many leap to ART’s defence. I would like to take this opportunity to say again that ART does not have a hidden agenda to mandate accreditation and has had no discussions with the insurance industry or the Church about this. ART’s aim is to increase the number and quality of teachers and compulsory accreditation would work against this. We do however think that all ringers should have an awareness of insurance and this edition of ART WORKS contains a very useful article written about this subject written by Marcus Booth of Ecclesiastical Insurance, which is being shared with the Ringing World.

I am looking forward to seeing more, positive, articles about and by ART in the Ringing World in the future.

Lesley Belcher, ART Chairman