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Compare and contrast any two of the main characters in Our Day Out

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Mrs Kay is the form tutor of the progress class. She is in her early forties. She is a very caring teacher and is admired by her pupils and most of the other faculty. Although some teachers are not so sure of Mrs Kay’s teaching methods one of these is Mr Briggs. Mr Briggs is the form tutor of year six. He is in his early thirties and above Mrs Kay in the school. He is a very stern man and can often be taken as uncaring but the other teachers on some level respect him. The first difference in these two people is the way that they think. Mrs Kay thinks with her heart and Mr Briggs thinks with his head.

Although Mrs Kay’s way of thinking isn’t really an appropriate way of thinking in a normal school environment the progress class is not normal. These children have problems learning and need to be approached in a different manner. Mr Briggs might understand that if he understood the need for a progress class but he sees the class as an excuse for valuable teaching time to be wasted. Briggs’ way of thinking can be classed as “Old School” where as Mrs Kay is a new age teacher. She believes in teaching the children with respect and trust and they will gain responsibility and behave well.

Briggs believes hat in giving them an inch they will take a mile so he doesn’t give any trust therefore the children never get a chance. One similarity is that both of these people help children. I would say that Briggs helps more of the children in the academic department but Mrs Kay helps the children socially. A lot of these children don’t come from a loving family so Mrs Kay provides them with a lot of love and care. But also a lot of the children don’t have father figures at home and Briggs gives them a stern role model fatherly figure.

They would make a good parenting team together. Mr Briggs is very trustworthy and reliable whereas Mrs Kay is rustworthy she isn’t very reliable. The children are in a lot safer hands with Briggs than Mrs Kay. In the beginning of the play there is a scene with the Principal is telling Mr Briggs that he is to go along on the trip to supervise. Headmaster Well I’d like you to go with her, John. We can get Frank Collins to take over your examination classes for the day. I’d just like you to be there and keep an eye on things.

I don’t want to be unprofessional and talk about a member of staff but I just get the impression she sees education as one long game. Briggs Well … if the antics in her department are anything to go by …! She always reminds me more of a mother hen rather than a teacher…. Headmaster Well, anyway, just try and keep things in some sort of order. In this scene it sways us in to thinking that Mrs Kay shouldn’t be trusted with the children. This also makes us think that something unmentioned has happened in the past that has made the Headmaster think this off Mrs Kay.

This scene is short but tells us a lot about the chain of command within the school. Briggs is obviously close with the Headmaster. The things he says in this way can be seen as a way of sucking up and I think the tone he would say thins in would be not as ominant as he usually speaks with everyone else. The audience gets the impression of a sort of “Old Boys club” while the rest of the staff go for a drink after work to socialize, the Headmaster and Briggs go for a game of golf and have Sunday lunch with their wife’s at each others house.

Also I think that Briggs was from a more stable background than Mrs Kay was. Mrs Kay seems to have more understanding with the troubles of the children and families. They share one similar characteristic they are both very naive but in different ways. Mrs Kay is naive in the way she cant see the bad in nybody for example when she says that Digga and Reilly can come on the trip she doesn’t think that they will cause trouble.

Briggs sees the bad and not the good in anybody and at the zoo when the children keep asking him questions he thinks they are just being funny and not actually being serious. He thinks that they are not interested in animals just by the way they behave when really they are they just haven’t ever been given the chance to touch the animals. Briggs Perhaps when we get back to school we could arrange something: maybe I could come along and give them a small talk with some slides I’ve got.

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