Why Learning the Ropes?

Learning the Ropes is a progressive learning scheme designed around the following principles:

  • motivation and inspiration – working from a carefully structured syllabus towards a definite goal
  • measurement of personal progress and attainment against recognised benchmarks
  • provides an objective guide to improve your ringing skills
  • skill consolidation through performance and long extent opportunities
  • a real sense of achievement – including a personalised certificate and your name published in the Ringing World

Most people learning a musical instrument have lessons from a teacher who takes them through a series of progressive grades to build their skills. Learning the Ropes is designed to provide a progressive development of ringing skills, where new skills are built on those you have already learnt - therefore making each new stage easier to grasp.

Enjoyment through achievement is a key principle, and earning a Learning the Ropes certificate is a rewarding experience. If you are working hard to make progress with your ringing, you need some way of recognising your success.

Learning the Ropes has five stages, known as Levels. Each Level develops key skills from bell handling, listening and ropesight to understanding ringing jargon and conducting. There is flexibility at Levels 4 and 5 to choose either a Doubles or Minor pathway. You get a Personal Progress Logbook, access to an online learning website of resources and a certificate of achievement at the completion of each Level.

When you have completed Level 5, your ringing will be at the standard where you will be able to progress quickly in the exciting and diverse world of method ringing.

Benefits for Teachers too

A structured, progressive teaching and learning process enables a higher percentage of students achieve success at higher levels. Learning the Ropes was created in response to requests from Teachers for a learning pathway for ringers.

It provides clear goals for both the teacher and ringer – allowing faster progress and facilitating group working. As a graded scheme where new skills are built onto what has been learned before, it helps to make each stage easier to learn and reduces the risk of a ringer getting stuck at a Level below their potential.

Association of Ringing Teachers

Learning the Ropes is taught by Association of Ringing Teachers Members and teachers that are working towards ART accreditation.

All ART Members have completed one or more Modules of the ART Teaching Scheme, which involve a one-day instruction course followed by up to two years skill development before a final assessment of their teaching. Those who have completed accreditation and become ART Members have also been DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked when they work with young people or vulnerable adults.

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Learning the Ropes


Level 1

Ensures a new ringer has a strong basic technique. This is important, not only for safety reasons, but in order to facilitate the future progress of the ringer.

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Level 2

Builds the core skills that are essential for further progression. Foundation skills should be practised until they are an ‘automatic’ ringing action.

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Level 3

Takes ringers from Called Changes to Change Ringing, building up to ringing the treble and covering to methods.

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Level 4

Reinforces and builds on the skills developed in Level 3. Ringers progress to ringing methods as part of a band of 5 or 6 ringers.

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Level 5

The final Level in the Learning the Ropes scheme, Level 5 guides ringers up to confidently ringing methods and onto trebling to complex methods.

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