Longstanton Primary School Project

Longstanton primary school pupil's project qualifies as a ringing success.

Twelve year six pupils from Hatton Park Primary School, Longstanton, near Cambridge, were taught to ring in rounds in record time in response to a challenge from their Head Teacher, Matthew Try. Although not a ringer himself, Mr Try wanted the children to learn so that they could ring the bells at nearby All Saints’ Church before their school Christmas service in December 2014.

In November 2014, retired Hatton Park Primary School caretaker and ringer at All Saints’, Mike Cartwright, rose to the challenge and began organising weekly Saturday morning teaching sessions for the children at the church, with help from a team of experienced ringing teachers from the Ely Diocesan Association. Progressing quickly, the Hatton Park Primary School Ringers were ready for the big day after only five weeks of practice. With their ringing teachers alongside to give encouragement and guard against mishaps, two bands of six children each rang rounds at All Saints’ Church before their school Christmas service on 17 December whilst proud parents looked on.

Spurred on by their success, all the Longstanton children have continued to develop their skills at Saturday morning and Wednesday evening practices at All Saints’. Their goal was to achieve their ‘Learning the Ropes’ certificates, which were awarded at Hatton Park Primary School by Head Teacher, Matthew Try on Monday 9 March 2015. Delighted with his pupils’ achievement, Matthew said: “It has been such a pleasure to see the children grow in confidence over such a short space of time to the point where they gave the Annual Christmas Church Service a memorable opening. It is also a credit to the work of Mr Cartwright and the volunteers, in that the children wanted to continue into 2015 and beyond.”

On behalf of all the visiting ringing teachers from the Ely Association, lead coach Lesley Boyle added: “It was a highly rewarding experience to teach such an enthusiastic and willing group of youngsters. They are a credit to their school, church and village and I am certain that many of them will go on to become very good ringers.”

Peter Binns