Learning the Ropes is a progressive learning scheme for new ringers.

It uses milestones to enable ringers to progress faster and further. It has five levels from basic handling to change ringing and includes assessment by quarter peal - by level 5 a new ringer will have rung at least six quarter peals. Progress by the ringer through the levels is recognised both in the tower and nationally.

What is Learning the Ropes?

Learning the Ropes provides a structured approach to the development of ringing skills where new skills are built on those already learned. It is available to new ringers being taught using the ART method. It is similar in concept to the music grades or karate belts that people are already familiar with. Learning to ring is broken down into five stages, known as levels; each level develops key skills from bell handling, listening and ropesight to understanding ringing jargon and conducting. Breaking up learning to ring in this way gives new ringers a sense of progress in learning such a complex, but rewarding skill. Each ringer gets a Personal Progress Logbook, access to an online learning website of resources and a certificate of achievement at the completion of each level.

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

Standards are high. The higher levels all require assessment by quarter peal (for non-ringers that's ringing for 45 or more minutes continuously) and by the time level 5 has been mastered, six quarter peals of increasing levels of difficulty are required to have been rung. For those ringers who have a physical limitation preventing them from ringing for an extended period of time, alternative assessment criteria can be agreed in line with our equality policy. 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. » Visit the Learning the Ropes website


Like many hobbies, learning to ring can take a long time, requiring the mastering of many skills. Learning the Ropes splits this process into a number of levels, providing clear goals for both the teacher and ringer. This has significant benefits:

  • Ringers can see themselves progressing towards becoming a competent change ringer and support themselves whilst doing it
  • Certificates visibly recognise ringers' (and teachers') hard work and achievement
  • The structured nature of the scheme means that skills are gradually built onto what has already been learned

Put together, a higher percentage of students achieve success at higher levels. Why? Because the scheme creates a sense of progress and achievement based on the development of good foundation skills. It keeps people going and reduces the risk of a ringer getting stuck at a level below their potential.

Why not look at the to see what other teachers and new ringers have to say about Learning the Ropes? » Check out the SmART Ringer blogs


If you're a teacher interested in using Learning the Ropes then you need to go on one of our day courses. Have a look at the courses in more detail, including their entry requirements; decide which is the right one for you and then apply. » The ART Training Scheme

If you're interested in learning to ring using the Learning the Ropes scheme then why not look for an ART accredited teacher in your local area or contact your local organiser who will be able to talk you through your options. » Find an ART teacher near you