M1: 22 February 2020 - Berriew

I found the whole day very interesting and surprising in that it put you in the place of the learners and made me appreciate how daunting learning to ring appears to them. It has been some considerable time since I was in that position and have forgotten how out of my comfort zone I was, and they must be! I loved the idea of starting the learner off with chiming the bell, partially raising it and shadowing the teacher’s hand. It was a different perspective I hadn’t considered before, having only ever seen the learners being taught the backstroke first on a bell that's already up, with all the rope then flailing around them! I thought the bit right at the start where we discussed the different ways people learned was very valuable. It means that no one way is correct for every learner. This is something that is rarely considered. Other ringers' input can be valuable, not just the teacher's.

The pace of the day was just right and I would recommend the course to anyone hesitating about doing this or thinking they already know all there is to teaching learners – there was something new for all of us to take away. It was all really enjoyable, helped by Paul’s expertise in keeping us all on track and focused on the lessons.

My only small criticism would be that the bit at the end about looking at our own handling technique should have been done near the start of the day maybe as a bit of an ice breaker, but that’s the only bit I think I would have done differently.

Many thanks to Paul for making it through the floods to get to Berriew and suffering the cold of an unheated church all day – it was very much appreciated. Maybe we can arrange an M2 Course on a day not so wet and cold!

Rachel Hamer

Course Tutor: Paul Lewis

Teaching Bell Handling

Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.

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