I booked onto the ART M1 Bell Handling Module on the Essex Ringing Course as I was keen to be able to teach others basic handling of a bell. I was unsure about what to expect on the three days as I hadn’t attended anything like it before, but I was looking forward to seeing what the course entailed. Day 1 was based solely at Coggeshall which involved our mentor Lesley Boyle going through the theory side of the course. I did think beforehand that the theory part would be a little boring, but I was really surprised to find it very engaging and informative on all of the techniques/activities involved with teaching bell handling. The first day left me looking forward to day 2 at Felsted which involved me putting my new learned theories into practice on two people who had never rung before! This really put into perspective what goes into teaching first timers how to handle a bell by breaking down each step to ensure that both strokes are achieved to a sufficient standard. I was amazed how quickly the two learners progressed in just one hour with both strokes being successfully achieved! On day 3 we were back at Coggeshall where we joined the Foundation Handling course and tried out our newly acquired skills on the learners, in which I could see the improvements they made by the end of the day and how much more confident they became. Overall, I throughly enjoyed the three day course as it has given me the confidence to go forward with teaching others how to handle a bell.
I really enjoyed the Module 1 course. It was a group of mixed ages and the course was fun while being really informative. We worked through the stages of teaching a learner in a way that gives you the confidence to put it into practice in a safe but effective way. We even had a chance to try out what we had learned on some real learners which was really challenging at times but actually very rewarding too. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
The Essex Course is a lovely one to teach at since we have the luxury of three days to not only cover the training (theory and practice sessions) but to also put some of the learning into practice, and spend some time on achieving the teaching practical skills, for example, maintaining a bell just under the balance and fighting the urge to 'get the bell up'. Many thanks to all who put so much into organising the Essex Course, but also to our two 'guinea pigs', Andrew and Sue, who had never touched a bell rope before, but willingly gave up their afternoon to be trained by the new teachers.
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.