Training & Courses 2022

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This page lists training courses available to branch members, either run by branch members or by our parent Guild.

Some feedback from recent course participants:

Thanks so much for organising the ringing school. It's such a good opportunity for both learners and teachers.
– Teacher from Oxford City Branch
Thank you very much for inviting me to this morning’s Bell Ringing Lesson at St Helens Church, Abingdon; I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to joining you on future Saturday mornings.
– Learner from Childrey
I must also say how much I enjoy my hour at Abingdon on a Sat morning. It is no exaggeration to say it is the highlight of my week! I was no pleased with what I achieved this morning with Debs that I was walking away from the church about 2 feet off the ground with a big smile!!! Thanks so much!
- Learner from Wallingford
The sessions are fantastic! I am so pleased that I was given the opportunity to attend. The coaches give up their own time to help your ringing experience. They are all enthusiastic and really help with all aspects of ringing. It is such a great opportunity to ring and learn from experienced ringers. Each week you can focus on a different aspect of bell ringing and move towards being a confident solo ringer. the sessions have given me so much more confidence and experience, with handling and ringing bells up and down.
– Learner from Bicester Branch

Branch Ringing School

The Branch Ringing School provides extra teaching sessions for those learning to ring church bells in and around our Branch. Our aim is to help the learners to learn more quickly so that they are able to take a more active part in ringing in their own towers earlier.

The Branch Ringing School runs two sorts of sessions according to the time of year:

  • Winter Ringing School (October till March)
    Weekly one hour sessions to teach bell handling with up to five learners taught to handle a bell on a one to one basis; and
  • Summer Ringing School (April till September)
    Weekly or fortnightly visits to practice nights at towers in and around our branch to learn the foundation skills needed before starting to ring plain hunt.

It is important that the ringers local to each tower should attend the practice and help by joining in with the ringing organised that evening.

Syllabus: ART Learning the Ropes

The syllabus of the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART) is followed. Each learner will receive a copy of the Ringers Personal Progress Logbook which will be completed by their teachers as they progress through the Learning the Ropes scheme. They will also receive the Ringers Guide to Learning the Ropes, a step-by-step guide for ringers from bell handling through to ringing Plain Bob Minor inside.

Course fee

An initial fee of £10 is charged to pay for the books provided. A donation of £2 each week for the rope fund of the church visited will also be expected.

Winter Ringing School: 0930 – 1030 Saturdays

Sessions will take place at St Helen’s Church, Abingdon (OX14 5EB) each week from October until the end of March. It is important that learners should also attend another teaching session at their own tower at least once a week to help them to progress more quickly. Free parking is available for up to two hours in nearby car parks.

Emails are sent to every participant each week to make the arrangements. It is not always possible for every learner to be given a lesson every week, depending on how many learners wish to be taught.

Summer Ringing School:

The Summer Ringing School Sessions are designed for those who can handle a bell reasonably safely. The weekly sessions usually take place 1930 – 2030 but on a different evening and at a different tower each week. The practices will be pre-arranged with the tower concerned and notified to those attending each week.

Ringing Teachers:

Experienced ringers are invited to attend one day training courses run by ART. After the training course, the new teachers may gain experience and confidence by teaching under supervision at the Winter and Summer Ringing Schools in preparation for Assessment and possible accreditation by ART.

More details are available from Susan Read, the branch Training Officer

Rope Maintenance Course (26th February)

The ODG Towers & Belfries Committee is offering a Rope Splicing, Rope Maintenance and Management Course at Radley Church Hall between 10:00 and 15:00.

Please see the attached poster for more details.

Radley 1-Day Course (Sat 9th April)

The Radley course 2022 will be going ahead but in a slightly different format due to covid-19 considerations. We anticipate having fewer volunteer helpers available and only want to use well ventilated towers. There will be 3 or 4 groups, subject to demand, and we will not be meeting before or after at Radley Church Hall.

The cost of the course has been reduced to £20 this year to reflect this. It is difficult to plan ahead too far, but participants will be expected to follow the covid-19 guidance as it stands at the time of the course.

Please do not hesitate to contact Lindsay Powell if you have any queries (check the poster for contact details).