An Oscar-winning director has made a Skype call to these Thanet primary pupils

Arnold (on the screen) Paul Ursell and pupils

It’s not every day you get to quiz a world famous, Oscar winning director via live video link for nearly an hour.

That is very rare…unless you are a pupil at Laleham School and in teacher Paul Ursell’s Panthers class!

Mr Ursell counts Hollywood director Arnold Swartzman (OBE) among his friends and got him to live Skype his class of seven year olds.

Mr Ursell said: “The Q&A session was really great for my class because it showed them how Arnold, a local boy from Margate, followed his dream to be a graphic designer and work in movies. And with hard work, some luck and a lot of perseverance he has ended up an Oscar winning director, living in Los Angeles and meeting the Queen.

“I hope it inspires them to aim high, go for their dream and keep working for it.”

Panthers class used an English lesson to write  questions for Arnold.

“The questions they thought of and their speaking and listening skills were wonderful” said a Mr Ursell after the 50 minute video call.

The children found out that Arnold was rescued from a bombed building in Wapping during the war before moving to Margate. Arnold also told them that for the last four years he has been making a film about Margate.

He gave the children tips for film-making, as well as sharing a fascinating history about various Margate cinemas. The class were surprised to found out that until he was 9 he had never seen an ice cream, an orange or a banana!

He told the children how he became friends with Mr Ursell and he hoped to meet him again when he comes over in the summer. When one of the class asked him about his awards he went off and got his Oscar to show them!

He said was “incredibly impressed at the questions” and pledged to contact the class again.