On April 30th 2022, a small group of nine of us attended the ART Training Scheme Module 1, the teaching of bell handling. Not having been in the classroom on a day’s course for many years, my concern was wondering if I could keep my attention focused all day. Of course, I need not have worried because of the skill of our trainer Paul Lewis. Paul took us seamlessly through the theory and, with clear skill, the hands on practice on the tied bells at Zeals church.
The day was broken down into easy stages in order to make the probationary teachers aware of the detail needed to make the student confident in their ability and also able to trust their teacher. Of particular benefit to myself was learning to take control of the rope when the student had failed to do so and the rope was doing a free-for-all about the tower.
One of the areas of bell ringing that many ringers find difficult is the ringing up and down of the bell and this aspect of ringing is fully covered in this module and under Paul’s tutoring, I can thoroughly recommend this course to any bell ringer whether or not they wish to teach. Thank you Paul.
Seven members of the Mere Branch of Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers and two members from neighbouring Branches within the Guild participated in the first ever ART course organised by the Mere Branch SDGR.
We were delighted to secure the services of Paul Lewis as our ART Module 1 tutor ably assisted by our local ART assessor David Hacker. The facilities available at Zeals provided an ideal venue for training, both for the practical and theory sessions.
Unfortunately due to very high rates of Covid infections locally, in the weeks preceding the course, several last minute changes were necessary to provide an environment that was as “Covid safe” as it was possible to make it. Delegates were seated individually for the theory with as much spacing as was possible, liberal amounts of hand sanitiser available and good ventilation.
After an unexpected severe overnight frost the premises were cold to start with, although it soon warmed up once things got going and Len had managed to fathom out the complexities of the heating. However this did not detract in any way from the wonderful atmosphere and laughter that ensued throughout the day.
All delegates appeared to have thoroughly enjoyed the course and all feedback has been very positive. With recruitment of new learners proceeding at pace, the new ringing teachers will be very much in demand in the coming months.
This very successful course will I hope be just the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship, between the Mere Branch of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers and the Association of Ringing Teachers, with several Zeals Module 1 delegates having already registered for a Module 2 Course at Edington in October.
Our sincere thanks go to Paul and to David for an excellent and enjoyable course.
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.