M3 - History

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COURSE

Without wanting to build the part up too much, we feel that you should realise that the course you are sitting has undergone many changes to the format etc.The first course was held in January 2002 - We were all totally new to it, although we all knew what we had to do and what we had to teach, we were just as nervous as the students. 

Everyone turned up at 8:30AM and the first thing we did was to work out the format and layout for the weekend.  Initially, the plan was to break everyone into groups, and rotate them through the different lectures over the course of the day.  

However, as the rooms were being used, everyone got bundled into the well, that's how its been ever since…

We learnt a few things from that first course, the first one being that putting Technical Basics on first thing Saturday morning, was a bad move - this pretty much pickled everyone's heads at 9am - by 11AM, people were looking afraid. 

Over the course of time, Dave's (G1PIX) Technical Basics ended up on Sunday afternoon, the theory being that the relevant information would still be fresh in the minds of the students, come the exam.

The other thing of note, was the Morse Assessment - although we said from the offset that no prior knowledge of Morse - when we mention the 'M' word - people panicked - there was no need.  This ended up being put first thing on the Saturday.

Over the next couple of months, different teaching formats were trialed, subjects were moved around, subjects were taught differently, more practical demos were introduced.  We also figured out a rather unique way of teaching the Safety lecture - or at least a way of putting the students more at ease - but we figured that this was a very important part of the course, a little light-hearted teaching couldn't go amiss, suffice to say that John's Safety lecture is well worth watching, But I think I've given too much away already ! - Just remember to pay attention!!!! 

As we continued ever onwards, we moved this here, put that there, and so on - We finally settled on the setup we have now, although guaranteed that may change as time moves on - We decided to put the Morse first - the point here, is that its very easy, however, we still get people who look like they're on their way to the gallows as they file past myself and Steve in the canteen - on their way to the assessment.  

Since January 2002 we've done one course every month, with the exception of March 2002 where we ran 2 courses - We now run a course every other month, with the Intermediate being run on alternate months. We normally have summer off - as We're on holiday, as are most of our potential students are.

We have put through some 1500 or so licensees, we've had people from as far a field as Inverness, and as southerly as Bedford - We've put about a dozen ATC cadets through and most passed first time. People come back as well.

Over the months, we've had some of our M3s / M6’s come back and give us a hand, most notably Steve, Julian, Ted, Richie and Dave.

Overall, We try to make the course as fun and interesting for you as we can.

Between the staff, we have a laugh, we heckle each other, things occasionally go wrong, but this puts everyone at ease.

It's seen some changes, and will continue to change as we see the need - We are always looking at ways of improving the course layout, the teaching and our support roles, please feel free to discuss feedback about the course with your personal tutors, or Kath and Dave Wilson themselves.

© Stephen Roberts 2014