Tag Archives: ursula holden-gill

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 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