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Education Officer and RATS

Education Officer and RATS Report 2016

The Education Officer chairs, and works through, the 8-person Recruitment and Training subcommittee (RATS), which welcomes new members, especially from the Huntingdon and Wisbech Districts - currently under-represented on RATS. The Education Officer was interviewed on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire as a response to the CCCBR September recruitment initiative. RATS can be contacted via the rats_at_elyda.org.uk email address.

Our main new project in 2016 was the New Ringer’s Packs. These are aimed at people who have just started to ring, whether or not they are yet Ely Diocesan Association (EDA) members. The packs contain simple instructional material and information about the EDA. You can request one from RATS for any new ringer you know. They are free of charge, as they are paid for by the Recruitment and Training Fund (RATF). The RATF paid for work on the mobile bell – servicing and repair of the trailer, and a new computer. The RATF made a grant of £300 for restoration of the Cherry Hinton handbells. All EDA members are invited to apply to the RATF (via the EDA Treasurer) for grants for recruitment, training or promotional projects.

The Young Ringers, with a new organiser, Catriona Shearer, implemented a new policy of holding meetings that were both social and instructional, with a regular pattern of meeting dates, advertised well in advance. They held three social / ringing events, as well as practising for the RWNYC, where, competing as the Fen Tigers, they came joint second in the call change category of the 2016 RWNYC with an A-, having scored a high A in the heats. Please do make Catriona aware of any young ringers you know, via the RATS email address.

Stretham Ringing Education Centre, which now possesses a dumbbell, continued to run training courses and give individual tuition. Courses run included: StartRinging (bell handling, ITTS Level 1), Conducting and the monthly Ely District 5/6 bell practice. The REC was featured twice on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and was awarded Highly Commended in The ART Award for Innovation in the Effective Use of Technology in Teaching. The REC has successfully applied to become a CC recognized Ringing Centre and an ART Hub. All EDA members are welcome to make use of the REC – please see our notice in this Annual Report.

ITTS teacher training continued, with M1 (bell handling) and M2F (rounds to plain hunt) courses. Over 60 ElyDA members have now undertaken ITTS training. EDA member Lesley Boyle has now been endorsed as an ITTS tutor, so it should be easier to arrange local courses.
Barbara Le Gallez, RATS Secretary

Education Officer’s Report 2015

A very successful seminar took place during the year at Swaffham Bulbeck, run by Mark Regan from Worcester Cathedral.  Those who attended were able to go back to their towers and consider what Mark had said. 

I was delighted that the Stretham Ringing Education Centre opened in 2015 as it has been something that I've wanted to see in the Ely DA for a number of years. I would now ask that ringers use the facilities at Stretham and make use of it now that it is up and running.  This is a very good education centre and let's make it work.

I would like to thank everyone on the RATS committee as we have had a very good year working on education and training.

Please remember even though all districts have ringing masters and/or education officers, I am very willing to give advice on any education or training matters. 

Philip Bailey

Recruitment and Training Subcommittee (RATS) Report 2015

The EDA Education Officer chairs this subcommittee, which was responsible for the following projects in 2015:

Fund-raising built up the Recruitment and Training Fund, to which all EDA members are invited to apply (via the EDA Treasurer) for grants for recruitment, training and promotional projects.

The RATS circulated a Ringing Questionnaire, as a result of which the training courses requested (ringing up and down in peal, simple methods and conducting) have been provided.

ITTS courses have been put on, and continue to be provided, as is support for those working towards qualification.

The EDA Young Ringers held seven meetings in 2015. One of these was in Oxford, as guests of the ODG Young Ringers. We joined the Huntingdon district for their pre-ADM ringing at St Neots and joined the Ely District for their summer BBQ. During the year, we met with the groups of young ringers at Longstanton (Ely District), March (Wisbech District) and Great Gransden (Huntingdon District). We also visited Stretham REC to use its new facilities. Attendance at events declined during the latter half of the year, leading to a decision to implement a fresh approach in 2016. The EDA Young Ringers entered the 2015 Ringing World National Youth Contest and came joint fourth, achieving a ‘B’ grade and improving on their placement last year.
The Stretham Ringing Education Centre (in St James’ Church, Stretham) was opened in August 2015. The REC is a bell ringing training school, equipped with the latest simulator technology and staffed by ITTS-qualified teachers. It was set up by the EDA for the following purposes:
  • Teachers from any EDA tower can bring their learners and teach them at the REC
  • Towers needing assistance with teaching can send their learners to be taught by REC staff
  • Any ringer from the EDA area can book lessons (practical or theory) with REC staff
  • Any ringer from the EDA area can book time at the REC for self-directed learning
  • New recruits can be taught the basic skills at the REC before joining a tower
  • Training courses on any aspect of bell ringing can be run on demand at the REC
The REC is equipped with a simulator working on all six bells. There are two computers available, permitting two ringers to ring independently (using headphones). There is the potential to easily extend this up to one computer per bell if required. You can ring alone on the simulator for as long as you like to practice a new method or perfect your striking. The REC is also equipped with materials for self-study – books, DVDs etc.

The REC is available for booking 9am to 9pm every day, except when the facilities are in use by the church or the local band. All ringers are warmly invited to book practice time at the REC (costing £2 per person per session). See the REC website www.elyda.org.uk/strethamrec for details.
Barbara Le Gallez, RATS Secretary

Education Officer’s Report 2014

I am aware that there has not been any training during the year at Association level, this has been because I have been concentrating my time on trying to move things forward with the Education Ringing Centre at Stretham. The General Committee agreed to set up a subcommittee to look into Recruitment and Training (known as RATS) and this committee has met throughout the year. This is something that I have wanted to happen for a number of years and I am really pleased with the progress so far. 

I have again continued during the year to be a source of contact for people with enquires about ringing and recruitment. I am pleased to hear that there are now a number of teachers signed off for module 1 of ITTS (Integrated Teachers Training Scheme) and many thanks to Phillip George who has assessed these teachers during the year. ITTS module 1 and 2 courses have been held at Bardwell, Suffolk, and a number of ringers from this Association have attended. 

If there are any specific training needs that are not covered at district level then please do contact me and I will see what I can do about it. 

Philip Bailey

Recruitment and Training Subcommittee Report 2014

The Recruitment and Training Sub Committee, or RATS as it has become known, was formed in February 2014 to give greater focus on the urgent need for attracting, recruiting and training new ringers. The committee members are Phil Bailey (Chairman), Peter Binns (Secretary), Nicholas Small, Barbara Le Gallez, Barry Johnson and Lesley Boyle.

The activities of RATS are not intended to replace or control the good work already undertaken by District Education Officers and others such as Barbara Le Gallez with her Young Ringers initiative, but to provide an Association umbrella for the co-ordination of educational activities and provision of dedicated training facilities. 

RATS have been working on developing the first of a number of organised Education Ringing Centres across the Association at Stretham.  A ringing simulator system is to be installed and repairs to the tower staircase undertaken to permit safe access up to the belfry for Centre users in order to view the bells in action.
A manager will be appointed for the Stretham Ringing Education Centre and it is anticipated that the centre will be up and running by the end of March 2015.
The Committee is also establishing a register of experienced ringers willing to teach others.  A questionnaire is being devised and will be circulated to the Association membership early in 2015.

During 2014, RATS organised two events to boost its funds:  a folk evening at Oakington in September and a handbell concert at stretham in December, both of which were very successful and raised over £500. 

A new recruitment poster campaign was devised during the year and will be launched in January 2015. Supplies of durable posters will be distributed to every tower correspondent with encouragement to make the best use of them in each community. One poster is general but the other is designed to target young people.
Peter Binns

Education Officer’s Report 2013

I organised two Association events during the year which were popular and the ringers taking part came away feeling that they had learnt something from the events.

Firstly in March, a belfry maintenance session was held at Stretham and Haddenham and run by the Association Bell Advisor Tom Ridgman. Stretham have their bells hung in a modern steel frame and Haddenham bells are hung in a wooden frame so those on the course were able to experience both towers and what to look for when dealing with the bells and their parts.

In October, an ITTS course (Integrated Teacher Training Scheme) was held at Over and was run by Graham Nabb who is one of the teachers from ART (Association of Ringing Teachers). This was a module 1 course with a possibility of a Module 2 course being held in 2014. 

I have continued during the year to be a source of contact for people with enquiries about ringing and recruitment. I would like to see the Association Education Officer working closely along side the District Education officers in future.  This is because we need to promote, recruit and retain ringers of all ages to keep the bells across the Ely Association ringing out for years to come.

 If there are any specific training needs that are not covered at district levels then please do contact me and I will see what I can do about it.      

Philip Bailey

Education Officer's Report 2012

It has been interesting finding out from districts what sort of training is going on within the Association. The post of Association Education Officer is somewhat different to how it may well have been a few years ago. I have spent the last year in an advisory capacity to ringers who have been enquiring about education and training. I have been training ringers within the Ely district to master Plain Hunt and Plain Bob. I know that training takes place in the other districts and that is good. I have had several enquires about maintenance of bells and belfries. This has therefore given me something to organise and arrange for 2013 with the help of the Association Bell Adviser. If there are any specific training needs that are not covered at district levels then please do contact me and I will see what I can do about it.

Philip Bailey

Education Officer's Report 2011

I have spent my first year as Education Officer of the Association trying to establish what ringers require to progress with their ringing abilities and to keep the bells in this Association ringing so that they don’t become silent. I have not done as much as I would have wanted too because I have had a very difficult year at work and unfortunately, that has had to come first. I now hope to be able to spend more time on developing education and training from Committee level and work along side the districts to ensure that we move forward positively with enthusiasm. I do not want districts to think that I am trying to take over from the good work that they do but I am very passionate about ringing and I want to help ringers progress.

I am looking into the idea of developing a Ringing Centre within the Association as my other hat is a member of the Ringing centres committee on the Central Council. I do believe that if a centre was available then we could train ringers and arrange courses for ringers to attend. I do think this will be a positive way forward but I will keep you all informed of any developments.

Please be patient with me as I would like to be in this post for some time but I need your help to move education and training forward. I need your input for me to be able to support you and I look forward to working with you. I will be planning on attending meetings around the districts so that I will be able to see the standards of ringing throughout the Association.

Phil Bailey

Education Officer's Report 2010

There is no Education Officer's Report for 2010

Education Officer's Report 2009

During the year I contacted the officers in each of the Districts with responsibility for education and training to try to ascertain what support they would like from the Association. From this exercise I learnt that the Districts have very different needs ranging from information sharing conference style events to ringing skills training.
Time and resource constraints do not easily allow for all needs to be met in any one year and I opted to organise an ideas sharing event. This event was held on 30th October 2009 in Hilton Village Hall and was attended by thirty people. Unfortunately the event made a small loss as some of those who had booked places did not attend. For future events where there are hall and catering fees to be paid payment in advance should be considered.
Nick Smith
 

Education Officer's Report 2008

The Association Training event for 2008 took place in March and looked at techniques for learning methods. This event was led by my predecessor as Education Officer, Richard Pargeter, supported by Peter Hinton. A report of the day is here.

The 2009 event will take place on Saturday 31 October and will take a conference style format. Although the agenda is not yet finalised it is intended that the day will cover such topics as:

  • The recruitment and training initiatives being taken at Worcester
  • The Training Foundation
  • The Ringing Practice Toolkit
  • The Framework for Training Ringers

Suggestions for topics for inclusion in this year’s event or future events will be very much welcomed.

Nick Smith

Education Officer's Report 2007

The Association training event in 2007 was the Central Council Listening Skills course, run by John Harrison at Swavesey on 30 June (See page 64). There was a good turn-out, and although I was unable to be there myself, I have heard good reports. Many thanks to Andrew Stevens and the Swavesey ringers for doing all the local hard work.
I hope I have achieved some degree of stability for these courses, in that it has been agreed that they should take their place alongside the AGM and the striking competition in the Association calendar, with the Districts taking each in turn. The training day will be hosted the year after the AGM, so this year it will be in the Huntingdon district. The subject will be (or will have been, by the time this is published) method learning and it will be at Hemingford Grey on 29th March.
Since I took on the job of Education Officer, I have arranged courses on belfry maintenance, running practice nights, teaching bell handling, conducting, teaching beyond bell handling, listening skills, and now method learning. I feel that I will be going round again, which after seven years is quite OK, but nevertheless I feel it is time for someone else to have a go, and to give a different slant to the job. I hope that maybe someone with more time will even be able to expand the job. I have never been able to ‘get out there’ and keep in touch with needs in the way I should have liked to. So, I intend to pass the job on, and it is therefore a good time to say thank you to all the people who have supported my efforts. Each of the events I have organised has been a real team effort. I have been able to leave financial decisions to Sheila George, Andrew Stevens has publicised things on the website, and the local representatives have managed all the local arrangements. I have often had multiple speakers, and last but definitely not least, since the third course, the food has been as much of an attraction as the course! I should also thank Andrew for putting a variety of help sheets on the website for me. I’m sure there are people I have forgotten – please forgive me – but I am truly grateful.
Wishing the next incumbent all the best.
Richard Pargeter