I’m very excited to announce a brand new ABF initiative for teachers and novice players - the ABF Summer School. It's a 10 week online training programme to help prepare novice players for the experience of the Summer Festival of Bridge in January.
Kicking off in November, the Summer School will help novices develop a good foundation of bridge skills to make sure they are ready to participate in the Summer Festival. At the same time, the Teacher Program will give you tips for conducting lessons or help with play sessions in the lead up to the Festival.
Each lesson will be delivered via email and will contain notes, a video, practice hands to play, an invitation to a Facebook Q&A session, and teaching tips.
Students who complete all 10 online exams will receive a graduation certificate. Teachers registered with the ABF Accreditation Program who complete the Summer School course will receive up to 20 points towards accreditation.
Please encourage your students to sign up for Summer School. The course is free and can be completed by anyone, not just novices attending the Summer Festival. It will also give teachers lots of resources that can be used for lessons later on too.
Defence is high on the list of popular workshop topics. We all know that defending is hard to get right, but teaching it can be tough too.
At first, a student’s attitude towards defending is one of utter confusion. Their instinct is to take all their winners. They’re terrified of losing the lead and can’t imagine how they will regain it. Even if they succeed in defeating a contract, they don’t know why they did. They have no idea of working together as partners.
You can’t blame them. Teachers need to demonstrate (via the Cards on the Table method) exactly how the trick taking process works. Use one suit only to show students how leading the top of a sequence will actually promote winners, how leading fourth highest will develop tricks through length etc.
A course of lessons on Defence should cover at least these areas:
- Opening Leads against No Trumps and Suits
- Signals – Attitude, Count, Suit Preference and
- Keeping Defensive Communications
Defensive signals are not really a topic for beginners, it's more for players who are experienced in card play.
This year, Defence has been introduced as the second Professional Development Day in the ABF Accreditation Programme, and it is proving to be popular.
In 2017, we will introduce the third Professional Development Day, an Introduction to Two Over One Game Force for teachers and students. This means teachers who have completed the initial Teaching Training Program will be able to choose to complete the following workshops to earn 10 points towards accreditation:
- Modern Bidding Methods
- Introduction to 2/1 Game Force
2017 workshop dates will be announced in the future. If your club is interested in hosting a workshop, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.