Teaching from Rounds to Plain Hunt with David Smith and Roger Booth. St. Peter’s Parish Church, Bournemouth – 28th September

We were delighted to host this event in our bijou conference centre/kitchenette located in the cellars underneath the main body of the church. We were warmly welcomed by our brave module leaders, David Smith and Roger Booth, with our informative and exhaustive personalised pink module packs, containing course books and other vital information.

The initial theory session spoken along with visual cues for us, and easy to absorb bullet powerpoint notes on the projector screen, was informative, and guided us well in understanding the various learning processes we encounter teaching ringing.

These sessions were followed up with some instruction behind the forthcoming practical sessions. There was a very useful discussion in building a ringing band. We had plenty of practical hands on sessions in small groups, led by our module

tutors, who gave us the confidence to try out new techniques, such as calmly handing/taking the rope over to somebody safely, circle-clapping exercises in order to help hearing one’s own bell and counting one’s place, to the very effective Kaleidoscope technique of ringing, where up to three different groups can each practice a different exercise or handling skill simultaneously, from starting in rounds, one pair dodging, one pair place-making, and another pair making long places – and how this can be varied infinitely with ease to suit the band you have that day. It was very helpful also to focus on how to organise practices with lesson plans, games with fluffy dice to instruct handling skills, and domino style cards to get the brain thinking in the Kaleidoscope manner of ringing.

Lunch was a little on the short side, delicious supplied by our own in-house ringing team, but we did have so much to cram in, especially practical, throughout the day. The round-up session at the end of the day was a useful time for discussion and questions, and instructions on how to move forward using SmART ringer, and accreditation details. There was a useful little shop with ART merchandise and useful ideas/tools for learners across all ages.

The ART people clearly listen to their members and feedback, as they appear to constantly hone, personalise and fine-tune the courses to suit each specific course and group. What they have put together really is marvellous, dedicated, and in depth series of modules, pulling in and centralising many teaching ideas, ‘hacks’ and solutions to teaching issues, from right across the board. Take a good pencil and notepad!

Peter Murdock-Saint, Tower Captain St. Peter’s Bournemouth.

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