Thanks to the dedication of our local Bell Ringers Guild, children are offered the chance to learn the art of bell ringing at our local church St Michael and All Angels. This club is popular with our older children and they enjoy ringing at our regular School Church Services.
Every Monday, Stag class children can take part in a Bell Ringing After School Club. It's led by Sheila Scofield and Les Boyce, both accredited teachers for the Association of Ringing Teachers. Members of the Troyte Ringers Guild also help out.
They teach learners to handle the bell using the practice bell (with no clapper - hence silent outside the tower) using a step-by-step process. The bell is very heavy and controlled through the rope. Each child has a small workbook and logbook to tick off each target as they complete.
The club follows the ART (Ringing Teachers) code of practice.
The children gain in confidence and skill as they progress - meaning that some of the older children get the chance to ring at weddings and other special occasions! The club also gets the chance to visit other ringing guilds and experiences. Most notably they enjoy using the Denmisch Ring at Exeter Cathedral School which is a fantastic opportunity to gain confidence using a lighter system.
Ringing at Exeter Cathedral
As well as ringing locally, our bell ringers are often given the opportunity to ring elsewhere. At Exeter Catheral School, there is a special computerised "ring" called the Denmisch Ring. This gives the students the experience of ringing with other children and bell ringers in a fun environment - they can even change the sound of the "bells" to other noises, including farmyard animals!
On our most recent trip to the Denmisch Ring, we were also given a tour of the bell tower at Exeter Cathedral and watched one of the practices. It is an inspiring experience for everyone!