Making Changes

by Rob Parker

on behalf of ART Management Committee


It is now around three years since the Integrated Teacher Training Scheme was formed. Pip Penney and her working group, supported by ‘Tutors’ from established ringing courses and ringing centres, created a structure comprising two parts: ITTS Module 1 – Teaching Bell Handling, and ITTS Module 2 – Teaching Elementary Change Ringing.

Since then the Association of Ringing Teachers was formed to support the delivery, integrity, and standards in teaching, instruction and education of change ringing. Minor changes to the Teaching scheme have been made along the way, but the basic structure has remained the same.

Making a change

We are now reviewing how the scheme works, and need your help in creating the next stage of its development. We feel that it is particularly important to help those bands which perhaps only ring rounds, call changes or basic methods. These bands (and teachers/ captains in particular) often have little guidance and support, but would frequently welcome it. ART is not currently delivering teacher training appropriate to their current skills and needs.

In any activity there are large numbers of participants at basic levels. However, the broader the base the more participants the activity has to draw on, from whom potential top-end performers will emerge.

These are what is known in other activities as “recreational participants” and are vitally important to the health of those activities. A great number of Sunday service ringers, who go to practice every week and ring for special occasions fall into this bracket. However ringing loses many ringers at this level.

The objective of reviewing Module 2 is to support the teaching standards in towers who ring at the basic levels. This includes raising the personal standard of ringers and also increasing the enjoyment factor and future aspiration of both teacher/captain and ringers.

This is with the long-term aim of improving the retention of ringers.

Our starting point

Teachers engage in practical sessionThe current Module 2 programme is designed to provide the Teacher with the ability to teach basic change ringing and skills to take a leadership role in their tower or area. Skills development in the Module is split over four stages:

1. Day Course – theory sessions on foundation ringing skills for ringing with others, building a band and steps into Plain Bob. Practical sessions on foundation skills, moving on to Plain Hunt and using unusual teaching methods.

2. Theory Test – 30 questions covering foundation skills at rounds and kaleidoscopic level, instructions and feedback, sustaining participation and motivation, suggested methods and exercises, planning and delivering effective practice nights or sessions.

3. Skills Development Period – up to 1 year is given for the Teacher and Mentor to work together running training sessions and helping learners progress into change ringing.

4. Assessment – teaching sessions should be reviewed to ensure the Teacher understands learning theory, effective feedback and has the ability to deliver successful training sessions for their band.

Within this context, a distinction can be drawn between the teaching of elementary change ringing and the skills of maintaining a strong band and running practice nights. We hope to be able to better deliver each of these aspects – with the potential for them to be delivered to different audiences as separate Day Courses.

Tell us your views

We are looking to canvas the views of everyone in the Exercise – both those teaching and those learning from teachers. Today we invite you join our consultation on how we can support the future of change ringing teacher training.

We have set out eight questions to help hear your views. You can complete the online survey at or eMail us your response.

  • Do we need to review the scheme for the stages of teaching beyond initial handling (which is covered in Module 1)? Does the current Module 2 adequately cover the training of teachers beyond this stage?
  • Is the minimum requirement, of a quarter peal of Bob Minor, for enrolment on Module 2 too high? What alternative should it be?
  • Should the skills to teach a ringer be separate from the skills to run a practice or training session? Should all teachers be aware of how training is incorporated into a practice?
  • Should we split the training of a) fundamentals (rounds, listening skills, changing speed, call changes and kaleidoscopic ringing) and b) change ringing (plain hunt and beyond)?
  • If we were to provide differently structured courses, what should the minimum requirements be to attend each?
  • Are there aspects of ringing or teaching which are not incorporated into the existing scheme and should be?
  • It is one of our fundamental principals that the Module consists of more than a day of training and that there should be some system of on-going practical skills development and accreditation. Do you have any ideas of ways that this could
  • be improved?
  • Is there other training you would like ART to consider providing? And in what format?

Please participate in this consultation – we look forward to hearing your views!

BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers