When I first heard about the "Module 1 Teaching Bell Handling" course held in Chirk on Saturday 19th March I was very keen to attend. I had been on the Module 1 training course in 2015 but felt that I wanted to refresh my skills. I also wanted to work towards being an accredited ART tutor, so retaking the course seemed like an ideal way forward.
The day of the course soon came round, and 8 candidates and I joined our tutor Clare Mcardle, for what turned out to be a very informative and fun day. Chirk tower turned out to be an ideal location for the course. - we made extensive use of the well-appointed church hall and in the belfry, we had all bells physically silenced but sounding through a computer simulator. We could undertake as much ringing as we wanted without having to worry about any noise.
The day was split into several training sessions; some theoretical, and some hands-on. The theoretical sections were undertaken in the church hall and used PowerPoint to convey significant points about each subject. Clare also illustrated points with examples from her extensive experience teaching handling, and we had plenty of chances to ask questions to clarify any points. The hands-on sessions were undertaken in the belfry, with Clare demonstrating a technique and skill, with us then pairing up and spending time practising the skill with a bell. This was really good fun and very illuminating. We learned an awful lot from these sessions! For each of the practical sessions, we paired up with different people each time. This allowed us to see people's different approaches to presenting similar information.
Using the skills taught in every part of the ringing process is supported by one or more exercises. This helps introduce, develop and hone that skill in a safe and easy to use manner. More importantly, when the learner is capable of ringing the whole pull, these exercises can be revisited and used to iron out any issue with the technique that develops, allowing the learner to become a capable and skilled ringer.
The day flew by! Overall, there was a lot of information to take in, but we were all keen to learn, and it did not overwhelm us at all. I enjoyed the practical sessions. Even though I have attended this course previously I still picked up a lot of good suggestions and tips and will put them all into use to improve my tuition skills. I would certainly recommend that people attend this course. Having an accredited, structured and consistent way of teaching can only improve the quality of ringers for the future.
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.