A digital experience for primary schools, focusing on youth mental health & wellbeing

It has been an unbelievably difficult couple of years for school communities across the UK. It has been and continues to be more important than ever that families, youth groups, and local charities come together to support the wellbeing of our young people and their school communities. That’s why we’ve developed The Undercover Caretaker Agency, a remote playful intervention co-created with 7–13-year-olds from Tower Hamlets, focused on giving young people the tools to increase their resilience and care for their own mental health and wellbeing.

It was the most exciting thing I’ve done in teaching for a long time! The children were absolutely captivated and most didn’t want the project to end

Teacher at Fore CE Primary School

The Undercover Caretaker Agency does all of this and more, whilst bringing adventure, curiosity, and fun to classrooms across the country! The project was piloted with over 400 primary school students in Tower Hamlets in 2021 and we’re now developing this exciting model of engagement to reach young people across London and the UK in their schools throughout 2022 and beyond.

How does it work?

1 – A mysterious arrival

A mysterious box arrives at school reception addressed to a specific class. The box is from The Undercover CareTaker Agency and is specially designed to house an unlit Beacon and six challenge cubes. Inside students, together with their teachers, discover the codes  to enter a website where their mission awaits.

2 – A mission for you

Having entered our bespoke interactive online platform, The class meet, via pre-recorded videos, Anne, a member of the Undercover CareTaker Agency, who explains the world of the secret organisation she works for and the problem she faces. There has been a rise in a mysterious static in the local area that has stopped her connecting with others, but she has an idea on how she could counter the static if she had some help. If they help her, she will induct them as members of the Undercover CareTaker Agency.

3 – Challenge Cubes

Anne takes the class through the challenge cubes that feature games, exercises and activities that follow the 5 Ways To Wellbeing. From learning to move through the UCA TOK or do breathing techniques through the UCA secret salute, the UCA Breathe. Over one day or split over several lessons, students are upskilled in the ways to look after their own mental health and support their peers towards resilience and community building. Learnings from each activity support statutory PSHE curriculum points, whilst engaging students in a fun, engaging adventure.

4 – Sharing beyond the class

Inspired by the fifth way to wellbeing, Giving, the class’s final challenge is to make a gift for a fellow class or the whole school, using the skills they have picked up from the previous challenges to positively impact the school. This may be a physical object or a chosen act of loveliness, focussed on increasing the resilience of their peers and the general wellbeing of the school.

5 – Their mission legacy

By delivering the gift to their school or peers, the class are inducted into the Undercover CareTaker Agency and become UCA Agents. After packing up and sending The Agency a piece of evidence of their mission, one week later they receive their own gift from Anne, celebrating the class for building their own personal resilience, increasing wellbeing, and helping Anne to change* the static. They receive a badge to remind them about what they have learnt and are granted access to one final video to learn one final skill; rooting (or anchoring), their badge to a memory that they can come back to if the static returns.

*Through the challenges, Anne learns that we can’t get rid of the static entirely but we can change it and learn to cope with it.

If you’re interested in getting involved with The Undercover Caretaker Agency – as a partner organisation or a school – get in touch with our Associate Director, Toby Peach, on toby@coneyhq.org.