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Our Day Out - a play written by Willie Russell.

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Introduction

Our Day Out Coursework Victoria Olubi Which of the teachers Mr Briggs and Mrs Kay are best suited for the needs of the progress class? This is a play written by Willie Russell. It is based around a school trip from the inner cities of Liverpool to Conway Castle in Wales. This play focuses on the Progress class and their first outing on a trip with two teachers called Mr Briggs and Mrs Kay. The Progress class is made up of children aged between12-14. They are special needs children with learning difficulties, and are taught by Mrs Kay who is in charge of the trip. This essay, concentrates on which of the teachers, Mr Briggs and Mrs Kay are best sited for the needs of the Progress class. The main pupil in which this play focuses on is a 13-year-old girl named Carol. Carol is a poor young girl who is eager to attend the trip; she rushes to school with enthusiasm. 'Carol rushes along the street wearing.... which doubles as a street outfit and her Sunday best'. (Scene one) This quote indicates that Carol is enthusiastic to go to school on this particular day. The writer uses this description of Carol to show that she comes from a poor background with little wealth. We know this because she wears her school uniform every day of her life. When Carol approaches the zebra crossing her conversation with Les, the lollipop man shows that children in this area are not normally enthusiastic to go to school. Carol: 'Agh ey, Les. Come on. I wanna get t'school'. Les: 'That makes a bloody change' (scene one) This therefore shows that she is eager to go to school because she has never been on a trip outside Liverpool before. On the coach in scene two, the audience can read that the children are not at all organised or well mannered. ...read more.

Middle

During Scene 22 at the zoo, Briggs educates the children and allows them to argue important politic views and situations. In their conversation, the animals in the cage, are representative of the children. ' And don't forget it was born in captivity so it wont know any other sort of life.' This statement brings out the debate that refers directly to the children's social environment. The writer uses metaphors to make the audience think further into what is going on. They've lived in a cage but want more things in life. Mr Briggs statement shows that he clueless. If people gave them a chance, they would be free from prejudice. They are forced into this lifestyle. They are trapped and Carol is the first to realise that she wants freedom. Mrs Kay has been the only person to give the children a chance. She shows trust in them, which is what they need most. The children's environment has had a negative effect in their lives. If they had been given opportunities they wouldn't behave badly. Mr Briggs is so narrow-minded that he believes that because the children were born into captivity, they know of nothing else. In scene thirty-three, when Carol goes missing Mr Briggs behaviour is childish and unprofessional. 'Look! I thought I'd made it quite plain that I was having nothing more to do with your outing.' This statement shows that he is very selfish. He is more concerned with going back to school to complain about Mrs Kay and the two other teachers rather than find Carol. He behaves immaturely by holding grudges and not paying attention to the fact that Carol is lost. On the other hand Mr Briggs professional attitude encourages the children to behave maturely, whilst Mrs Kay's behaviour can be irresponsible. ' Sir's in love, sir's in love!' (Scene 5) This comment made by Reilly shows that he is immature and not fully developed for a 15 year old. ...read more.

Conclusion

She has tried her best. She believes that they have been let down by all the adults around them, she doesn't want to let them down as well. After she tells the children that they are going to the beach, Mr Briggs is disappointed. Briggs: 'The Beach!!' Mrs Kay: 'We can't come all the way to the seaside and not go to the beach!' She is disappointed at Mr Briggs for not understanding what she has told him. It has had no effect on his opinions so she stands up to him because she strongly believes the children deserve fun. Mrs Kay has an excellent relationship with the children. 'The kids at the waters edge chant... Spluttering and laughing.' This shows that she has exceptional association with the children. She makes them laugh and have fun whilst she enjoys herself at the same time. This is important because she can communicate with them better and make learning fun for them. Mrs Kay does not believe in traditional teaching methods of discipline and high standards, she is lost to understand the unfairness of a society, which puts these children at the back of the queue. She wants the children to least have a good day out, even if they are not going to resolve the struggle of the unequal chance and social injustice. However Mr Briggs is completely the opposite to Mrs Kay, he is strict and intolerant to bad behaviour, he believes in the "old school" way of teaching with systematic views of discipline, standards and uniform, whatever the ability or background of the pupils in the progress class. For many of the children she has perhaps taken on a motherly role, she hold there hands, put her arm round them and cuddles them, which they may not get at home, she possibly feels they need more love and care then education. She also stands by what she believes in and defends her pupils against difficult attitudes based on discrimination. ...read more.

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