Handbell Club

One of the things we have been doing lately is running a handbell club at our children's primary school, and so far as we know, this is the first time something like this has been attempted at this age level.

Having checked out the excellent resources at Discover Bellringing's Resource Finder, we found nothing at all about teaching change ringing on handbells, and the standard instruction manuals about change ringing on handbells either assume a pre-existing knowledge of change ringing, or are aimed at an adult audience.

Tune ringing has a long-established method of teaching ringing to primary-aged children, and we took a lot of lessons from that area, especially in terms of bell management, games and exercises.  We had a lot of specific advice (and owe a debt of gratitude) to Judith Frye, who teaches tune ringing in Dunblane to schoolchildren.

After not nearly enough preparation we got stuck in with two four-week 'taster' blocks, working with a total of 17 pupils.  Half of them wanted to carry on, and now we are running a lunchtime club with the remaining nine.   Most of the games and preparations I had planned got abandoned - the children wanted to ring and wanted no substitutes.  But the advice from Judith has been spot on.

Because there wasn't many resources about change ringing on handbells, and other good resources about change ringing are in many many places, we created a resource of our own, which includes some pictorial guides to basic ringing skills, a selection of videos about handbell and tower bell ringing, worksheets and links to pages we found useful for novice ringers (and their parents).

Like everything else, it is a work in progress: http://club.handbellringing.co.uk/