We started teaching bridge in Bassingham about 10 years ago, firstly to a few people at home and then on Wednesday Evenings at The Hammond Hall from 7-9pm.
We are giving up taking Wednesday Evening Beginner Classes and we hope that someone will volunteer to continue them after Christmas. We would usually have started a new Beginner course in September but because of the interruption caused by Covid we are running a Refresher Course for the rest of this term. Any new Beginner Group would be able to start with new tutors in January 2022. We are now able to use the larger Tower room and it would be a shame to lose that booking and the potential influx of new members to the Club.
We gradually developed a two year course, based on the EBU Programme, usually with weekly Powerpoint presentations supported with set hands. We advertised our course among our members, in The Witham Staple and on the Club Website and usually got between 12 and 18 participants ranging in age from 12 to 90 years of age!
Our plan was for complete beginners to be able to pick up any hand and bid and play after the first term, using only natural bidding, so they could play with friends and at the Tuesday afternoon social bridge sessions. In the second term we concentrated on practising and reinforcing these bidding and playing skills. We found that many of our beginners were happy to stay at this level and had no wish to play competitively.
In the third and fourth terms we introduced conventional bidding up to Basic Standard Acol with duplicate scoring and encouraged participation in the fifth Thursday Academy evenings. For the last two terms we introduced more complex bidding and playing techniques, including Benji Acol whilst continuing to reinforce the basic skills.
We usually taught 10-12 sessions a term, with breaks for Christmas, Easter and August and there were no sessions on Curry Bridge Evenings or if we were away on holiday. We advertised each new term’s programme to the group, on the Bassingham Club Website and on the Hammond Hall notice board.
Of course someone else would wish to develop their own programme but hopefully our experience could be used as a basis from which to go forward. We would be happy to hand over all our notes, Powerpoints etc. Because of how we organised the programme, different people could take on different sections: complete beginners – 2 terms; up to standard Acol – 2 terms; up to Benji Acol 2 terms. Two or more people could share a section.
The Beginner Sessions have been very popular and we need new members to keep our Club vibrant so we hope that someone or a group of people will be willing to give it a go. Please contact us for more details.
Barry and Lesley