An ART Module 1 course on Teaching Bell Handling was held at Cowbridge on Saturday 8 June. Many thanks to the Cowbridge ringers for hosting us. Participants on the course came from Cowbridge, Llandaff, Trellech, Llanedeyrn, Llangattock-vibon-Avel, Llantilio Pertholey and Newport. The tutor was Frank Seabright from Ledbury.
The course covered a range of theoretical and practical topics including teaching a skilled activity, teaching the basic components, becoming a good teacher, joining both strokes together, teaching ringing up and down and solving handling problems.
Comments from the participants included the following:
“I had already done the Module 2 course, but when I saw that module 1 was to happen in Cowbridge, I put my name forward and I am glad I did. There is always something new to learn, which can be passed on to our new ringers.”
“I felt that the day was in 2 parts. Firstly it was picking up our faults which is very useful both in helping us to ring better and also to avoid passing these on to our pupils. The second part was showing us the best way to teach our pupils. This approach is very different from how I was taught 10 years ago.”
“I thought the course was a revelation. Working in groups seems such an obvious thing to do: for too long we have all been stuck in our own tribal areas. Examining and then re learning our own basic techniques was brilliant and it benefits everyone.”
“Being trained with ART from day one has worked for me, and Llanedeyrn has proved this method of training works. For our new band we have progressed quicker compared to older methods when I listen to many other bell ringers. The course for us was the way we had been trained, but from the other side of the fence, so the methods being taught for us to teach others was mirrored with what Frank was teaching. I found I enjoyed the course more than I thought and it was nice to be the teacher and break down different aspects of bell handling for the student. I realise it was a lot easier on the day as everyone had experience, but I went away having the confidence to be on the other side of the rope whilst offering instruction to someone who hadn't rung a bell before. Frank showed us some new methods of initial rope control that I hadn't learnt before and listening to other experienced ringers on the day really helped put things into perspective. I found I learnt a lot, not only from Frank, but from other ringers and combining both helped me a lot.”
“The practical sessions were particularly illuminating in identifying our own areas for improvement before we put ourselves in a position to teach according to the ART protocol. (I did find the “role play” of teaching an experienced bellringer challenging at times!)”
“I think the course is well suited to tower captains and really comes into its own at a district level with learners from more than one tower and several teachers from various towers. I like the framework, the resources and the fact that it is not too prescriptive. A major plus point is the way it enables several Teachers to teach a learner; each one reinforcing what has already been learnt rather than causing confusion in the learners mind with a different approach to 'how it should be done'.
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.