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Our Day Out

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GCSE Coursework English Literature Our Day Out! This play is called Our Day Out. It is about a school trip with a progress class to Conway castle in Wales. These children are from an inner city school in a deprived part of Liverpool. Along the way the children get into trouble due too bad behaviour. Mrs Kay is the main teacher for the progress class she is shrewd, relaxed and realises that these children need lots of attention and encouragement. However Mr Briggs (who has been asked by the head teacher to go along) is one of the strictest teachers in the school and has little sympathy for, or understanding of the progress class. He also has a very different attitude towards education compared to Mrs Kay. Mr Briggs strongly believes that the children need to be disciplined and thinks that Mrs Kay is more like a 'mother rather than a teacher'. In 1970's when Willy Russell wrote the play there was a lack of money, lots of unemployment, economic recession, erosion of manual and unskilled work, poor education and prospects. Willy Russell uses the conflict between the teachers to show how the education for these children is regarded and also how society has failed these pupils. What we have to remember is that this play is based on reality and that Willy Russell used to teach in Liverpool schools. He wants us to look at the pupils and think why they do bad things, such as smoking, stealing and swearing, so he shows us situations where the children begin to find out about the better things in life, but shows that they are also unattainable for them. ...read more.


Meanwhile more kids have joined Ronson and Carol's example. They were all now clutching onto furry friends. Carol had also named hers "Freddy!" Mr Briggs is surprised to realise that the children are interested in the animal s and he offers to sort something out for them when they get back to school. This seems like the start of a new man and Mrs Kay is delighted. They start to then head back to the coach, Mrs Kay possibly feeling a little bit relieved that Mr Briggs might not be such a nightmare to be around anymore. The children are all checked in and present for once! The only thing is, the animals have all gone missing from their pit! The zookeeper runs onto the bus and demands for the animal's back, calling the children animals. They look innocent but eventually own up and hand the animals reluctantly back. Mrs Kay looks up to heaven as if she is asking for help and w when the living hell will end. On the other side Mr Briggs stares at the children with an icy glare! This makes the reader and audience feels agitated because the children have blown their chances with Mr Briggs by stealing the animals, breaking his trust again and causing trouble! Willy Russell uses lots of stage directions so we get lots of description and information. I guess that these children don't have pets but their affection shows the potential to look after one. When they are all playing with the animals they all show lots of love and are very caring. This also shows how the children want and need love and care. ...read more.


Willy Russell's message is that there are no easy answers and no quick fixes. Things will not change: Carol will not have a 'nice house', Ronson will not have a pet, Briggs will never change his attitude towards the children and the world will never be perfect. I think that Willy Russell's is quite accurate and effective on the presentation of a school trip. He achieves this by using the typical teenage behaviour and attitude, the way the teachers line you up before you get onto the bus, the way he uses the way those who think they are 'cool' sit on the back seats etc. I think that Willy Russell has put his point across quite well in this story, when we read to the end and realise that everything goes back to normal and nothing has been achieved in the day lots of people can relate to that situation. Willy Russell wants us to have sympathy for Mrs Kay. He does this by using another person; namely Mr Briggs to have completely the opposite ideas about the children and the way to treat them. By the end we do sympathise for her because we realise that when Mr Briggs does things her way; like taking them to the fair and talking to the children like there humans, that things work out a lot better and the children are better behaved. Also when we find out that Mr Briggs hasn't changed at all and he destroys the photos and drives past Carol we feel anger towards him so we automatically prefer Mrs Kay. I have enjoyed reading this play and watching the film because it makes you think about things from a different perspective and put yourself in their position. ...read more.

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