Case Study with James
James is a Year 4 class teacher at St.Peter & St.Paul Catholic Primary School in Islington.
James and his class were in the middle of our adventure, A Cat Escapes, in March 2020 when the first COVID lockdown began. Having confirmed that all pupils in this class had access to a computer or device at home, KIT and James worked together to move the adventure online without losing momentum.
A Cat Escapes is based in the world of S. F. Said’s Varjak Paw book. Jasmine, Varjak’s cousin, has been cat-napped and Varjak himself contacts the class to ask for their urgent help. Lockdown started shortly after pupils had received their first letter from Varjak, meaning we’d already piqued their interest and were able to use digital tools to continue the story through their home learning platform:
“I was really impressed by KIT’s use of multimedia. The really clever use of emails, texts, phones, that’s what changes it. You bring the Adventure into the real world by putting it on the internet and into real life.”
Our trickiest challenge was replicating the live theatrical finale where pupils lure the catnapper into the classroom to allow the eponymous cat to escape. Our new plan was for pupils at home to send letters to the catnapper giving her an array of reasons to get out of the house and let the cat escape. Here’s the video our catnapper (played by the brilliant Fran Moulds) made in response to pupils’ letters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNC6u2234fk
In addition to finishing the story, this persuasive writing task also met one of James’ writing targets:
“They were really motivated by the project; it will stay with them.”
The adventure ended with each pupil receiving a hand (paw) written postcard from Jasmine herself through their letterbox, thanking them for their assistance and signing off with a trademark pawprint.
“The kids loved it…. Couldn’t get much closer to the magic of the day, and I received many happy messages from parents.”