The Undercover CareTaker Agency

About the project

The Undercover CareTaker Agency (UCA) is a series of teacher-led interactive adventures for primary schools, designed to spark classroom conversation on important topics. With UCA, teachers receive a comprehensive lesson plan and playable experience that combines digital and physical elements to educate and engage any classroom. The experience is co-created with young people and guided by teacher input and extensive classroom playtesting.

Episode 1: The Static

Research by the Office for National Statistics revealed that 40% of 11-16 year olds felt that lockdown worsened their lives, with three quarters of children aged 5-16 year olds’ parents expressing concern about their child missing out on social interactions. Long-term NHS data shows that 39.2% of 6-16 year olds had experienced deterioration in mental health since 2017.

In UCA Episode 1: The Static, a mysterious box addressed to a specific class arrives at school reception. The box is from Anne, a character from the fictional Undercover CareTaker agency. Inside the box is the UCA Beacon, which the class uses to help Anne connect with her friend Nigel, who she can’t contact because of the Static – Anne’s word for the anxiety she is feeling. Through the experience she learns to understand the Static better and how to cope with it.

Through exercises based on Mind’s 5 Ways To Wellbeing, the experience equips Year 3 & 4 pupils with a language to discuss, and a toolkit to explore, mental health and wellbeing. After the experience, pupils are supported to share their learnings with the rest of the school through creating and giving a Gift. These are practical tools, designed to be used throughout the rest of their time at school. Episode 1: The Static has reached over 1,000 year 3s & 4s so far.

In numbers

In May 2022, The Undercover CareTaker Agency landed in classes across five schools in Tower Hamlets, inducting circa 150 young people into The Undercover CareTaker Agency. Our evaluation found that…

  • …felt their class had learnt new skills to help manage and benefit their mental health.

  • …responded that they had enjoyed UCA or enjoyed it very much.

  • …reported that, as a result of taking part in UCA, they felt able to help a friend or a family member who was feeling sad or stressed. 

Episode 2: The Secret of Trees

UCA Episode 2: The Secret of Trees focuses on teamwork, emphasising the importance of trees and collective action. Initially launching in six Year 4 classes in Tower Hamlets schools in 2024, the project will be available for further distribution in 2025.

In this second instalment of UCA, pupils receive another mysterious box indicating Anne’s return to investigate mysterious signals surrounding their school. Through curriculum-based exercises covering tree anatomy, photosynthesis, and letter writing, students learn about climate activists Wangari Maathai & Felix Finkbeiner’s stories, the vital role of tree planting in climate crisis mitigation, and the importance of local action.

Learning outcomes

The Undercover CareTaker Agency aims to:

  • Inspire structured autonomy and creative agency in students
  • Engage students in active learning of a subject by participating in games and interactive activities
  • Develop students’ collaboration and teamwork skills
  • Foster links with the KS2 Citizenship Curriculum: students taking responsibility for the world around them, identifying positive traits about themselves and others, participating in democratic structures and preparing for and creating change in their lives.
‘Meaningful and experiential learning that engaged my class in important issues of mental health.’

Teacher, William Davis Primary School

‘It helped me a lot and was very fun’


‘The Undercover Caretaker Agency has been a memorable and self-enhancing experience that the children in my class grabbed with both hands. One full day of focus groups, working together towards common goals, empowering children to better themselves and their surroundings and taking away useful life hacks was a day well spent!’

Teacher, Hague Primary School

‘The UCA project has been a great workshop for children in my class to understand mental health and learn the tools to help manage their anxieties and worries in a beneficial and productive way.’

Teacher, Osmani Primary School

‘If you’re ever stressed, do the UCA breath!’


Interested in bringing The Undercover CareTaker Agency to your school? Say hello at [email protected]


Episode 1

Brigitte Adela, Brent Grihalva, Janisè Sadik, Anne Langford – Associate Makers
Emily Davis, Ellie Browning & Eliza Cass – Producers
DMLK Video – Filmmakers
Kirsty Harris – Designer
Jessica Sanders – Graphic Designer
Suzanna Hurst & Ed Naujokas – Programmers
Jen Igiri – Sound Design
Toby Peach – Director & ‘Nigel’
Anne Odeke – ‘Anne’
Made in collaboration with members of the Young Coneys.

Episode 2

Anoushka Bonwich, Anne Odeke, Germma Orleans-Thompson & Mel Frances – Associate Makers
Emily Davis – Producer
DMLK Video – Filmmakers
Kirsty Harris – Designer
Suzanna Hurst – Programmers
Toby Peach – Director & ‘Nigel’
Anne Odeke – ‘Anne’
Made in collaboration with members of the Young Coneys.

The Undercover CareTaker Agency was created thanks to funding from The Backstage Trust and Canary Wharf Contractors.