Loaghtan sheep looks out over school

Pupils with the sheep

Pupils with the sheep

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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 project was the idea of 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 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 more about 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.’

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