Tag Archives: sarah mcdade

Castle Hill and The Iron Man

Castle Hill Primary reflect on their experiences of studying The Iron Man:

This half-term, the children in 5/6H at Castle Hill Primary School have enjoyed studying works by the local author, Ted Hughes.

The text we focused on during our project was The Iron Man.  One of the ways we have made the text come alive is by producing and displaying artwork inspired by the book.  Currently on display in our junior hall are some beautiful paintings inspired by the famous first chapter of the book.

We have been lucky enough to work with a ceramicist (Sarah McDade) and a storyteller (Ursula Holden-Gill).  The children have produced beautiful clay images of The Iron Man which we can’t wait to see again once they have been fired in the kiln.  With Ursula, the children explored the characters of the book in detail and are now in the process of planning their own ‘prequel’ to the book entitled How The Iron Man Came to Be.

At Castle Hill, we enjoy inviting parents into school to share our work by viewing our class assemblies.  For our assembly this half-term, we created a giant cut-out model showing what we thought The Iron Man may have looked like.  The children co-wrote a set of instructions entitled How to build The Iron Man based on clues hidden within the narrative in chapter one of the book.  We imagined that after his fall from the cliff, we had been given the task of reassembling him, piece by piece.  During the assembly, we then constructed our Iron Man in front of a captivated audience.

Castle Hill


Cast in Clay – The Iron Man

Isobel Roberts and Ben Sinnott-Roberts reflect on their school’s experience of The Iron Man

Todmorden C of E SchoolDuring the summer term, Todmorden C of E School has been learning about Ted Hughes and The Iron Man. We have been celebrating the links with local artists and authors.

We have read the book together and have created and finished different activities.

Reception class made a giant iron man model out of metal kitchen materials whilst Year Three put together a unique play with music.  They also made some models.  Year Four have recently reviewed the book and turned it into a play script.   Also they drew some detailed pictures.  Year Five continued a chapter of what they predicted would happen next in the story.

With local artist, Sarah Mc Dade, each class made a different creation and designed their own iron man sculpture.  When working with Year 5 Sarah helped to create a clay sculpture of The Iron Man’s head.  With Year 4, Sarah made tiles showing the scenes from The Iron Man.  When put together they created the whole story.  Some of these clay models will be on display in September for all to see in Todmorden Library.  We thought the experience was amazing, and loved working with an artist.  It was a very different experience to our teachers.

We really enjoyed the project and loved the book.  Other books by Ted Hughes are now in the school library for all the children to come and borrow.  We hope to do something like this again.

Written by: Isobel Roberts and Ben Sinnott-Roberts, Year 4 & 5

Todmorden C of E School

The Iron Man Project at Walsden St. Peter’s School

Mia Franklin and Millie Ringland-Elswood tell us how their school participated in this project…

Here at Walsden St. Peter’s Primary School we have been lucky to have been participating in a project about The Iron Man by Ted Hughes.

As part of the project, we were given a huge amount of The Iron Man books to read. In the first week, we read them aloud as a class and talked about the story. We read all of the book and finished last week. I really enjoyed the story and talking about the characters.  It was very exciting to read.

On Tuesday mornings we had a visitor, artist Sarah McDade, who came into our class and helped us to create art sculptures out of thick raku clay. This was an amazing opportunity. First we sketched a portrait of what we thought The Iron Man’s head would look like after discussing the adjectives used in the book. Then we each made a sculpture of The Iron Man’s head and added details like bolts and nails. The next week we worked as a group to make a scene from The Iron Man out of clay.  I made the scene where Hogarth tells his dad.

In the third week of this fun project we made pencil sketches, paintings and collages of The Iron Man and proudly showed them in our assembly.

After having a chance to read the whole book, we decided to write our very own play script of the story. We wrote dialogue for the characters and added stage directions. As our homework, we wrote character descriptions so that the actors would know what to wear and how to move and speak. We performed the different scenes in front of the class and made a video.

In Design Technology we built an Iron Man torch. We used cardboard for his head, and yogurt pots for the eyes. We added a circuit with a working switch that we made ourselves. We used different coloured cellophane for his eyes. I enjoyed this very much. I will paint my Iron Man head this week.

Finally, because we had all worked so hard on The Iron Man project, we went to the Hippodrome in Todmorden and watched the amazing film, The Iron Giant.  It was different to the book, but still good.  I thought it was a sad film, but it was the best film I have ever watched!

by Mia Franklin and Millie Ringland-Elswood, Walsden St. Peter’s School

Walsden School