A key target of Mobile Belfry 2.0, and other mobile belfries and mini rings, is schools and other youth groups. We want to get bells into the minds of school-age children before they associate bell ringing with churches, which limits our reach to different cultures and ethnicities.
We don’t think this should be too difficult based on limited experience so far.
Jason Hughes first used the Charmborough Ring with a group of 96 year eight pupils at a secondary school in Croydon the “Charmborough Ring in Schools” project. Jason is currently an OFSTED Inspector and a member of the CCCBR Schools and Youth Workgroup and has developed a package of lesson plans in ten subjects linked to the National Curriculum to be used by teachers in schools.
The Mancroft Ringing Discovery Centre have been taking the Carter mini-ring into schools for the past three years in Norfolk.
One of the best examples of the use of bells to engage with young people comes from Cornwall, where Bradoc Church uses handbells, a mini-ring and the church bells to engage with kids from a very early age.
The St Mary Bradoc & St Winnow mini-ring has been used at Lerryn School in Cornwall and is an ART Awards winner.
In June this year Jason Hughes’s lesson plans were very successfully piloted in two schools in Worcester. After the lesson the children were taken to see real bells and try ringing backstrokes. A Mobile Belfry would have been a great enhancement to the day.
To supplement this we wish to promote ringers taking mobile belfries and mini-rings into schools for activities weeks and enrichment programmes. We plan to launch the lesson plans with a mobile belfry or mini-ring at a Curriculum Fair.