2014 was another bumper year for the Association of Ringing Teachers. 100′s of new Teachers, and even more new Ringers, joined the ART Teacher Training Scheme and Learning the Ropes scheme with over 2,000 ringers now registered. We have been working more closely with members of the ringing public, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, Local Branch and Association leaders and The Whiting Society. ART has also gone international – with Day Courses run in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
ART participated in further Regional Seminars organised by the Central Council during 2014. The seminars provided an opportunity for local ringers to speak on local issues and for the Central Council, ART, the Ringing Foundation and the Birmingham School of Bell Ringers to give presentations on their work in hand. ART was also invited to attend and report on our activities to the Administrative Committee of the Central Council in October. Following this, Chris Mew the Central Council President attended a Module 1 – Teaching Bell Handling Day Course as a Mentor.
The second ART Annual Conference was held in March 2014 in South Wales. In the region of 70 delegates attended for a lively day with plenty of opportunity for discussion and exchange of ideas. Chris Mew sent a message on the day reaffirming the ongoing support of the Central Council for ART. A similar message was received from Brian Meads, Chairman of the Ringing Foundation.
In the morning there were presentations from Ruth Eyles from British Cycling and Arthur Reeves from the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing. In the afternoon the delegates had a choice of six practical sessions or presentations to attend. During the day there was opportunity to ring on a Saxilby Simulator (‘Womble’) running Beltower software. A projector was rigged up and the images of the ringers projected to life size.
The St Martin’s Guild has invited ART to Birmingham for the 2015 Conference, which will be held on the Saturday 7th March. Lots more details, including tickets will be available soon. The event is open to all ringers interested in teaching, and we hope to see even more delegates than in 2014.
On the May 9th 2014 ART was awarded charitable status. We are very pleased to have achieved this milestone, which marks a significant moment in the development of ART. This recognition reinforces our credibility as an organisation and we can now claim gift aid on donations.
We also hope that our charitable status will facilitate local branches, districts, associations and guilds that are also registered charities in financially supporting the work of ART and the Learning the Ropes scheme.
ART will need to be financially self-supporting in future years. If you think you could help support our work on a regular basis why not become an ART Supporter? The ART Supporters Scheme, launched at the Ringing Roadshow in Newbury, provides a framework and numerous benefits for those supportive of our work to contribute at all levels.
The ‘ART Shop’ was launched on the ART website during 2014 – providing public access to purchase ART’s educational materials and products. Payment can be made by cheque, credit/debit card or PayPal. Some highlights include…
A new series of Teaching Toolboxes containing off-the-shelf course materials ranging from Plain Hunt to Plain Bob Minor and relate to Levels 3-5 on the Learning the Ropes scheme. They contain everything needed to run courses for developing ringers, including Teacher Resources, Student Resources and a PowerPoint presentation.
A short Recruitment DVD produced for ART by Neil Ephgrave can be used as part of your open tower or other recruitment events. One Teacher plays it in their church on loop and has had a very positive response gaining two new ringers for his tower! You could try it yourself!
In partnership with The Whiting Society, “From Rounds to Ropesight” is a book and DVD combination intended for use by new change ringers and their teachers – aimed at teaching ropesight in easy stages. The DVD contains over 110 minutes of video, split between numerous explanatory scenes and a lot of exercises, whilst the book contains a great deal of valuable information for both ringer and teacher on learning and teaching basic change ringing.
Two and a half years into the scheme, the number of little blue Ringers Personal Progress Logbooks sold has exceeded 1,000 – that represents 1,000 new ringers using the scheme.
There have now been 906 certificates awarded to 576 achievers who have passed one or more Levels.
The ART stall at the Ringing Roadshow was busy all day long. Thousands of information leaflets were handed out and hundreds of people came to talk to those manning the stall to find out more about ART. Pip Penney and Graham Nabb gave a presentation on “Teaching Ringing for the Twenty-first Century”. The talk was very well received despite the room being extremely hot!
We also launched a month long consultation on the provision of change ringing training, with details online, at the Roadshow and in the Ringing World. We received a lot of interesting responses and this is being worked through by the ART Management Committee with the aim to present an improved structure later in 2015.
ART Management Committee members have been working with Stephanie Pattenden in her role as Independent Educational Advisor to ART. Stephanie has attended our committee meetings and drafts reports on a regular basis.
Two ART Tutors were invited by The Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers – ANZAB to deliver the ART Teacher Training Scheme Modules down under. In October, Gill Hughes and Pip Penney traveled to Adelaide and to Wellington to deliver the Day Courses.
Demand was high resulting in courses having to be run in two halves to accommodate the large number of delegates and 10% of all ANZAB ringers attended the courses.
Bruce Butler and Tony Furnival also led a Day Course in the U.S.A.
Learning the Ropes ringers can now communicate with one another directly through a Facebook group. They regularly discuss their successes, achievements and concerns. This is a great way for new ringers to offer each other support and make their ringing more enjoyable. A second Facebook group set up for Teachers complements the existing Teachers Forum available on Moodle.
We have produced quarterly editions of our ART WORKS newsletter, which have been shared widely across the Exercise, as well as monthly emails for all our Ringers and Teachers.
We were also delighted to announce the appointment of a new ART Administrator. Rose Nightingale from Cheddington was selected to take up the post from 1 January 2015. Rose is a Full Member of ART and has an excellent understanding of the ART Teacher Training Scheme as well as the Learning the Ropes scheme for ringers, which she continues to enthusiastically use with the successful new band at Marsworth, Buckinghamshire.
Angela Roskelly has ably filled this role for the last two years, and we would like to thank her for her immense contribution to the success of ART during this period. Whilst Angela has enjoyed being ART Administrator, she is looking to begin a new business venture and we wish her well in all of her future endeavours.
ART is extremely grateful to the great number of volunteers working on its behalf. There are volunteers undertaking recruitment advice, merchandising, packing the Day Course packs, making videos, advising on health and safety, giving independent educational advice, managing the Facebook groups and much more besides. Our Tutors and Management Committee have also worked incredibly hard this year, and we are indebted to the on-going work of all those who serve ART in this way.
If you would like work with us, either as a volunteer or a committee member do get in touch.
Finally, thank you to every Teacher and Ringer involved with ART or Learning the Ropes. We look forward to 2015 as an even better year of performance, participation and partnership!
on behalf of the ART Management Committee