Look out for a giant Loaghtan at Marown School
A giant Loaghtan sheep looks out over the grounds of Marown School, thanks to the creative efforts of pupils taking part in an Island of Culture 2014-inspired project during National Week.
The Manx arts and culture project was the idea of Year 5 teacher Emma Huxham, who was inspired by the art installation on the Mountain Road created by local artists Stephanie Quayle and Darren Jackson. Their imposing Loaghtan has been standing guard over the Bungalow on the A18 Mountain Road since just before this year’s TT racing began.
To begin the project, the whole school visited The Grove Museum of Victorian Life in Ramsey, touring the house and learning about bee-keeping and butter-making. Jim Middleton, who manages the livestock at The Grove, encouraged the children to understand the uniqueness of Loaghtan sheep on the Island. He demonstrated shearing a sheep, and told them about the uses of wool and some of the history of the wool trade on the Island. Being a farmer and private wool trader, when Jim heard about the project he arranged to donate all the wool required including some from his sheep at The Grove.
Emma built the frame of the sheep and each class made hundreds of woollen felt shapes, during National Week, to create the fleece.
Ian Longshaw, Headteacher at Marown School, said: “The project has been a creative learning experience for all involved. The sheep looks striking outside school.”
Emma said: “Having seen the huge Loaghtan sheep on the Mountain Road, I knew we could create one at school. I am grateful to The Grove Museum for the donation of Loaghtan wool. The finished sheep is better than I had imagined. Well done to all the pupils who took part.”
Schools and young people can participate in the year in a number of ways – by attending performances they might not otherwise get the chance to see; by staging cultural activities of their own; by bringing popular cultural events that are already fixtures in the school calendar under the ‘Island of Culture’ banner; by enjoying visits to schools by artists, performers and the like. It’s hoped opportunities for staff development will be included in the programme for the year. It’s also hoped that young people will get a chance to collaborate on works and performances that will serve as a reminder of the year’s activities.
The 2014 Island of Culture press release can be found below:
A DEC working group is planning events.
Key contacts are:
Primary: Jonathan Ayres (Arbory Primary School);
Secondary: Helen Almond (Castle Rushen High School);
Manx curriculum: Jo Callister, Advisory Teacher;
Isle of Man College of F&HE: Helen Fox
King William’s College: Zoe McAndry
Administration: Jo Overty.