Tag Archives: the iron man

St. Joseph’s Pupils Rediscover Ted Hughes in Todmorden

After reading Ted Hughes’ Iron Man and Iron Woman, sculptor Mick Kirkby-Geddes worked with children from two classes to make the food for an ‘Iron Man Feast’.  All the food was made out of recycled materials and looked scrumptious – if you were an iron man that is!!

One mixed aged group of children spent a Sunday at Lumb Bank, the Ted Hughes Arvon Centre in Heptonstall where Ted Hughes lived.  They spent the day working with a performance poet Terry Caffrey.  They listened to, wrote and performed poetry all day.

Terry Caffrey then visited the School for two days. He began by delivering a hilarious poetry assembly for all ages before working alongside children for poetry workshops.  Masses of poems were written.

The final stages of the project saw children visiting the Hippodrome theatre and Central Library in Todmorden to watch an animated film: The Iron Giant – not exactly the film of the book but enjoyable nevertheless.

We are all looking forward to exhibiting our work along with the other Todmorden primary schools at the Library in late September.  We are very grateful to Todmorden Council for their support for the whole programme, it wouldn’t have happened without them.

St Joseph


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

The Iron Man Comes To Shade School!

Shade School tell us about the fun they had with The Iron Man:

Like many other children in Todmorden, our Year 5 class have been enjoying a project on Ted Hughes and The Iron Man.  We have thoroughly enjoyed all of our visitors: Terry Caffrey was hilarious and inspired us to write poetry any way we wanted without worrying about the “spellering or the handwritering”.  He also liked to make up new words!  This poem was written by Ebony Redmond about a week after we’d met Terry.

Don’t you ever wonder what boys hide in their pocket? 

It’s all sorts of bits and bobs, maybe a lady’s locket.

They have nails and snails, mats and cats.

Also logs and dogs, keys and peas, bees and knees.

Mostly tens of pens, for when they lose the pens from mums and dads.

Now you know what’s in their pockets with lady’s lockets. 

Terry also showed us how to be our own publishers.  We made our own books, then filled them with a poem and lift-the-flap illustrations.

Sculptor Mick Kirby-Geddes was great!  We all made a bust of a person from recycled materials.  It was a bit weird though because, at lunch time, none of us were very pleased with what we’d made.  Then, when we’d put on all the mod-roc, they looked fab!  After Mick had left, we set to and covered them in tissue paper –  they look a bit like mosaics.  We really like the fact that they were all different – unique, like us.

Last Ursula Holden-Gill came and we enjoyed her storytelling and made our own versions of The Iron Man story.  Last week, in the lovely weather, we went out onto our school-yard and did some filming of The Iron Man story.  We learnt to hold the story in our heads.  No writing, but we remembered to use story language and make it as interesting as possible.  We also thought about how The Iron Man ever came to exist in the first place.  Amelia Taylor thought, maybe it was a little girl who made him?

Many years ago lived a young girl.   at the age of eight Kaitlin was small and unhappy. She had no friends. Maybe it was because she had strange ideas. Or that she looked different. But whatever the reason Kaitlin was lonely.

One day Kaitlin was sent by her mother to collect scrap metal… something to do with the environment she was told. One by one the people of the village chucked a huge piece of scrap metal into the skip that Kaitlin was pulling along.  After a couple of hours, three skips were full of metal. Kaitlin miserably walked home; the rain pouring down on her and soaking her clothes. She told her father the skips were full and he set off to get them.

The next day Kaitlin sat staring at the metal and suddenly a strange, strange idea burst into her head like a balloon popping at a party.  It was a great idea!  She, Kaitlin Gruffin, would make a huge metal Iron Man and he could be her friend! Smiling smugly Kaitlin rolled out a piece of paper and set her plans.

Or maybe, as Harry Griffiths imagined, he was made by a magnetic force in space?

It all began one million years ago when a small magnet began to collect lumps of metal. Then the magnet created a hand, and then the hand began a project, the project of, ‘The Iron Man’.  When the project began the Iron Man was been created bit by bit, piece by piece. First the hand built the head taller than a bedroom, and then it created the leg taller than a metal fence. The torso was as big as a house and the arm was half the size of the leg. Then it was completed

Class teacher Mrs Sutcliffe says, “This has been a wonderful way to end our school year.  Every child has enjoyed learning and exploring new ideas.  We are really looking forward to the exhibition in Todmorden Library in the Autumn!”

This is the Year 5 class with their Metalhead sculptures – come to get a better look at the library in the Autumn.

Shade School

The end of our Sculpture day – saying thank you to Mick.

Shade School - with Mick

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

The Iron Man Lives in Cornholme

Cornholme School reflect on their experiences so far of the Discovering Ted Hughes project:

Year 3 and 4 children at Cornholme Junior, Infant and Nursery School have immersed themselves in the project supplied by Mid Pennine Arts.  The school is already a firm believer in delivering writing through the creative curriculum in order to inspire and enthuse children’s ideas and were therefore very keen to be involved.  Children in lower Key Stage 2 have explored the text of The Iron Man by Ted Hughes and then worked with two professional artists.  Mick Kirkby-Geddes, a local sculptor, helped the children to form their interpretations of the Iron Man.  The children thought this day was ‘fantastic’, using junk materials in small groups to model before covering the pieces in mod-roc to form completed structures.  As the children worked, language to describe and create was being used and developed.   Our teachers can now use this stimulus to feed into children’s written work.

The children then participated in two days of story-telling and drama workshops with professional story-teller Ursula Holden-Gill.  These sessions were extremely well planned and included a balanced structure of listening and working practically in order to develop ideas.  Children completed their drama session with a clear starting point for writing and are genuinely enthused about the prospect of creating their own piece of work.  Ofsted inspectors, who were in school during the workshop days,  commented on the positive benefits of ‘the opportunities to enjoy enrichment activities based on authors and books’, when feeding back on their judgements regarding achievement of pupils at the school.

The Iron Man in Cornholme