ITTS Module 1, 2013

ITTS Module 1 at Over, October 2013

Ely DA members take first steps to become accredited ringing teachers and mentors.

Eighteen members of the Ely Diocesan Association gathered at St Mary’s Church and Church Hall at Over in Cambridgeshire on Saturday 19 October to attend Module 1 of the Integrated Teacher Training Scheme (ITTS), ‘Teaching Bell Handling’. Organised by the Association’s Education Officer, Philip Bailey, this was the first ITTS course to be run in the Diocese of Ely.

Led by presenter Graham Nabb of The Association of Ringing Teachers and The Harry Windsor Ringing Centre, Kineton, the attendees comprised both prospective ringing teachers and mentors in equal numbers. Each trainee teacher chooses or is assigned a mentor (normally an established and well-regarded ringing teacher in the area) who will work with the teacher throughout their subsequent training of a novice in the art of bell handling in order to demonstrate their ability and achieve Module 1 accreditation.

The day’s programme was divided into three theory and three practical sessions, in the first of which teachers and mentors learned how to teach a skilled activity and then put this into practice in the ringing chamber by going through the basic components of bell handling together. The second half of the morning concentrated on becoming a good teacher, including recognising the different types of learner (visual, auditory or kinaesthetic) and learning what teaching style and techniques work most effectively in each case. The following practical session used joining both strokes together to practice the application of the most appropriate teaching techniques.

After a hearty lunch of sandwiches and cakes provided by Dee Smith of Burwell, the afternoon started with a practical session on teaching how to ring up and down, returning to the Church Hall for a theory session on solving handling problems. This was followed by the last practical session of the day when solving common handling problems was put to the test in the St Mary’s ringing chamber.

Returning to the Church Hall for the closing session, attendees heard from Graham Nabb what was then expected of them in order to progress to completion of Module 1. Each teacher participant would receive a user name and password to be able to log in to Moodle, the ITTS website where they will subsequently be able to record their progress towards completion of Module 1 and beyond. The first task, however, was to take and pass an on-line theory test. Then the new teacher could embark on the identification of a suitable new learner for subsequent training to handle a bell correctly, ring handstrokes and backstrokes together, and ring a bell up and down. The teacher’s mentor judges when this training has been delivered effectively and then arranges for an independent assessment by another mentor to confirm, before submitting recommendation for accreditation.

The organised and progressive approach to teaching bell handling promoted by the ITTS was positively received by the course attendees.

  • Barbara Le Gallez of Landbeach said, “I thought that the content of the course was good and Graham Nabb presented it professionally. I also thought Graham proved a very skilled teacher of bell handling and I benefited from his comments on my handling”.

  • Richard Pargeter of Balsham added, “I went along because I wanted to be part of ITTS / ART, and not in the hopes or expectation of learning very much new (I've been at this for nearly 30 years now!), but I did nevertheless come across some new ideas which I shall be trying out”.

  • “Originally I was quite skeptical” said Edie Robinson of Over: “Judging by the stuff sent through beforehand I wondered if I was going to be taught how to 'suck eggs'; firstly because of my job as a teacher (with the lesson plans, evaluating and being positive - things I do all of the time), and secondly with teaching somebody to ring. I have taught loads of people, but I actually really enjoyed the course. I thought it was both useful and beneficial and I'm really looking forward to teaching somebody to ring using the system.”

  • Paul Newman of Litlington summed up the experience of many others: “Since completing the ITTS Module 1 I have new and different methods for teaching a new ringer. More tools in my tool box!”

Peter Binns, 30 October 2013

More information about ITTS courses is here.

Rehearsing best practice teaching methods
Graham Nabb (in green) beginning the first practical session