Saturday the 27th of January saw 12 ringers from across Sussex gather at Southover, Lewes for the ‘M2F’ course run by the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART). The one-day course at Southover was fully booked, with Gill Hughes (from Derbyshire) putting them through their paces on the road to becoming better teachers / coaches.
Ian: “I had no pre-conceived learning objects for attending the Module 2F course, but, based on my experience of the Module M1 course I had an expectation for a very useful informative day, which would provide valuable tools to improve my teaching technique and effectiveness, presented in a collaborative environment and friendly atmosphere. I was not in any way disappointed.”
The ART approach takes the development of teaching skills back to basics, breaking activities down into bite-size chunks, using a range of different methods to explain theory and put into practice. A number of the ringers had met Gill in the autumn when she led a Module 1 Course which takes a non-ringer through to being able to ring rounds safely and unaided. Module 2F takes a ringer from rounds into plain hunt using a whole suite of armoury. Many Sussex ringers will be familiar with Kaleidoscope Ringing where pairs of bells make places whilst perhaps other pairs dodge. All of these build excellent foundations skills as well as making practice nights more enjoyable but the fun doesn’t stop there! Ringers had a go at whole pull and stand, diminishing rounds, Mexican Wave, Bastow and Cloisters as well as leading some kaleidoscope ringing and doing some interesting problem-solving.
Debbie: Having attended M1F course back in Oct I was really looking forward to M2. I gained so much knowledge and confidence from the first course my expectations were very high and I wasn't disappointed. Gill has a very easy way of teaching and made us feel comfortable enough to ask even the "stupid" questions. I came away feeling inspired. So many thanks to her and my fellow students for a positive and enjoyable day.
The day is an excellent balance between theory and practice and everyone had the opportunity to be a coach or a tricky pupil (some people took to this better than others!). Each ringer received a pack of information and access to the ‘SmART Ringer’ website for further downloads and left with renewed enthusiasm for challenging ringers at all levels of expertise. We are working towards having a few accredited teachers in Sussex and the commitment (of time and money) shown by ringers so far is really encouraging. Another two Foundation courses are planned; April is already full and details of the 30th June workshop can be found at https://smartringer.org/public/daycourses/
[The course was kindly organised by Matthew Jones, Ashburnham tower captain. Matthew is the SCACR web designer.]
Marisa: I really enjoyed putting the idea of breaking down each task (like a 3-4 down dodge) and concentrating on getting that aspect as a solid / reliable skill before hurtling headlong into a method.