Chairman's Chatter - July 2021

After well over a year of ringing restrictions, the government has announced lockdown easing measures which will allow normal practices, face-to-face teaching and the running of courses and workshops in England. It is expected that the other devolved nations will follow suit later. As a result of this, individuals and bands will be making choices about risk which will evolve with time, and for some this will be the time to start teaching again.

We want to help make your return to teaching a success, so we have developed a range of training and support materials which we hope you will find useful:

  • Refresher workshops – both online and physical
  • Teaching forum – a chance to meet up with other ART teachers for help, support, and inspiration
  • Books and DVDs – save 25% on the Recovery Pack
  • New teaching resources – featuring a dozen teaching toolboxes
  • Recruitment and retention workshop – to share good practice
  • Starting the roll out of Module 1 and Module 2 courses across the country

The latest guidance from the CCCBR, including for face to face teaching, is available on the CCCBR website.

Refresher workshops

No-one has taught since at least March 2020, which means that all of us are a bit rusty. If you want to remind yourself of the techniques and ideas contained within the ART teaching modules, then we have developed a set of refresher workshops. These come in two forms – online and physical.

The online workshops break down the course content into bite-sized chunks so you can choose whether to dip in and out in-between teaching lessons or do the whole course before you start. They each take about one and a half hours to complete, and are available to anyone who’s attended the relevant day course. In the words of a ringing teacher who’s already completed the Module 1 Online Refresher:

“Thank you and all those involved in putting so much hard work into this series of videos and reminders. I found them very watchable and clear, just enough and not too much at this stage! The timing of it is impeccable and will stand a lot of teachers in good stead when teaching can start again.”

» Enrol on one of the online refresher workshops

We have also piloted a half-day physical Module 1 refresher workshop that provides an opportunity to refresh your memory about teaching bell handling, in a very practical way. This, from one delegate:

“Thank you very much for running the course yesterday, it reminded me of a lot of stuff I'd forgotten, and I picked up quite a number of new tips that you mentioned over and above the ART handouts – you probably saw me scribbling away.”

If you’re interested in organising or attending a physical Module 1 Refresher Workshop, then please contact us.

» Physical refresher workshop

Online teaching forum

A chance to meet up with other ART teachers for help, support, and inspiration. If you’re teaching in isolation, have issues that you’d like to discuss or just want to hear about what others are doing, then this is for you. We’re hosting an online gathering on Sunday 22 August at 19.30. It will start with a 15-minute, presentation by Paul Lewis, one of our most experienced ART Tutors. The presentation, “Feedback – our critical friend”, will be followed by an open discussion. A bit of an experiment, this one, so the format might evolve with time.

» Register for the first meeting of the online teaching forum

Books and DVDs

We have added a Recovery Pack to the online shop, which contains a selection of DVDs and books. The total list value of the individual items in the pack is £53.60, so the sale price of £40 amounts to a 25% discount.

» The Recovery Pack

Teaching resources – toolboxes

During lockdown, we have been developing new teaching toolboxes, which include loads of resources for you and your students:

  • Activity and method crib sheets – clearly laid out with tips for teachers and ringers
  • Stepping stone methods – lots of ideas for teaching using small easily-achievable steps
  • Practice night touches – focussing on specific teaching goals
  • Simulator bitesize – video tips on setting up a simulator for practising unusual teaching exercises
  • Games, quizzes and crosswords – to reinforce ringing theory
  • Workshop plans and theory presentations

Responding to the constraints of lockdown, we’ve also added some new toolboxes – on Minimus and Slow Course methods. Slow course methods provide an opportunity for a mixed ability band to ring plain courses together. The methods are graded from Entry Level to Really Tricky. When the Slow Course Toolbox was launched on Facebook, it received some very enthusiastic responses, including:

“I swear by slow course methods as a teaching aid, and something you can get learners (improvers as I like to call them) doing on a Sunday.”

» The ART Teaching Toolboxes

Recruitment and retention workshops

Once bands have re-established, your thoughts might turn to recruitment and retention. If so, you might be interested in this workshop, as well as the online recruitment and retention resources. The workshop was developed in partnership with the CCCBR and was piloted at the 2020 ART Conference. It’s an opportunity to explore different ideas, find out what’s worked for others and develop your own 10-point recruitment and retention plan. If you’re interested in hosting or attending a workshop then please contact us directly.

» Recruitment and retention workshop

Module 1 and Module 2 courses

We have 20 requests for day courses on our books, at various stages of organisation. These will start being finalised and added to the Events website now we know that they can be run, subject to any additional restrictions required by the church authorities. If you’re interested in organising or attending a Module1 or Module 2 course, then please contact us.

» Events listing

We have updated the course risk assessment to include Covid-19 and each tutor and course organiser has been issued with a set of Covid-19 guidelines. It is for them to decide what, if any, extra precautions are appropriate for the venue, and these will be communicated at the time of booking. We ask that anyone booked on a course, who has Covid-19 symptoms, has had a positive Covid-19 test or has been asked to self-isolate, does not attend the course. We will give a full refund and work with you to get you on another course as soon as possible.

And finally

If there’s anything else that ART can do to help you, or that you’d like to discuss, then please contact us. We’d be delighted to help.


Lesley Belcher
ART Chair