Lerryn C of E Primary School pupils win national bell ringing award
Lerryn C of E Primary School pupils were announced as the winners of The Sarah Beacham School Group Award by the Association of Ringing Teachers at a ceremony on 3 March 2018.
Pupils from Lerryn C of E Primary School, the only school in Cornwall with a team of bell ringers, are celebrating after winning The Sarah Beacham School Group Award. Runners-up in 2017, the school achieved the top prize this year in the prestigious award recognising groups promoting the art of bell ringing.
The path to the pupils’ outstanding success began three years ago when the bell ringers of St Mary Bradoc and St Winnow churches asked the school to become partners in a project to promote bell ringing in Cornwall. School monitoring councillor and bell ringing captain, Rob Pearce, had the idea as he thought it would be a great opportunity to involve the children in a community project and showcase the fun of bell ringing.
Rob said: “This project demonstrates how two small churches and a small school have engaged with young people and their parents and had fun. The whole group’s profile and involvement in the community has grown significantly because of their participation. Thanks to the funding opportunities this created, we have been able to invest in our resources and now have an accessible state of the art teaching centre at our church at Bradoc and ten new bells at St Winnow Church.”
Bell ringers from the church meet with the pupils each Friday morning, regularly helped by Roz Lee, parent and school monitoring councillor, and other parents at times. The children have clearly enjoyed learning these new skills, describing it as: “fun and exciting”, “inspirational”, “I think other children should be encouraged to learn to ring bells.” They can also see how their success will ensure bell ringing in the community continues. Olivia, previously a pupil at the school, said: “Maybe one day my child or grandchild will ring the bells.”
Invitations to see the pupils’ bell ringing skills in action have been numerous and include civil and church weddings, BBC Music Day, the Churches Together stand at the Royal Cornwall Show, St Winnow Way Pilgrimage, BBC Children in Need appeal, BBC Spotlight South West, Radio Cornwall, Pirate FM and events at Truro Cathedral. Their success also led to the first Cornish Scout Badge for bell ringing being launched earlier this year.
Image: Pupils from Lerryn school ringing the portable 8 bells at Truro Cathedral