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To Sir, With Love - Tasks

Discuss, Present and Write

  1. Why did Mr Braithwaite, a trained engineer, take up teaching in the East End of London?
  2. Why do you think the class tried to challenge the authority of their new master? Give some examples of their efforts to do so.
  3. How did Mr Braithwaite tackle the problems that cropped up? Why do you think he finally managed to win the confidence and respect of his pupils?
  4. What part would you say that racial issues play in this story? Account for the attitude of the class to the funeral of Larry's mother.
  5. Mr Braithwaite turned out to be a successful teacher back in 1948 mainly because he insisted on intellectual and disciplinary standards. Are things different today? Is there anything in his approach that strikes you as being somewhat strange? Do you think a similar approach would work today?
  6. The novel is set in a working-class neighbourhood in London’s East End. What characterises this area today? Write an article.
  7. The novel was made into a film in 1967. Listen to the title song To Sir, With Love . What is it about? What will you remember from “Your High School Days.” Write a text about your own memories or record interviews with some of your fellow students on the same topic.
  8. Study the link East London Guides. Find the locations listed and sum up your impression of East London and its residents in the past and present.
  9. Mumzy Stranger, Plaistow, Mz Bratt, Bow, Monica Ali, Brick Lane, Pauline and Arthur Fowler, Albert Square, Jack the Ripper, East End, Alfred Hitchcock, Leytonstone. All these characters/places are in some way associated with East London. Find out who/what they are, how and why they are related to the locations listed and present your findings in a glogster.

The East End of London

Fill in the missing words in the text below. Make sure you understand them all before you start writing.

employment; pejorative; closure; overcrowding; poverty; developed; area; devastated; successive; concentration; synonymous; century; known; regeneration; course; change; attempts; expansion; medieval; immigrants; criminality; attracted; suburb; followed; dispersal

The East End of London, also _____ as the East End, is the _____ of London, east of the _____ walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Use of the term in _____ sense began in the late 19th _____, as the _____ of the population of London led to extreme _____ throughout the area and a _____ of poor people and _____ in the East End. Over the _____ of a century, the East End became _____ with poverty, overcrowding, disease and _____.

The East End _____ rapidly during the 19th century. The area _____ large numbers of rural people looking for _____. _____ waves of foreign immigration began with Huguenot refugees creating a new extramural _____ in Spitalfields in the 17th century. They were _____ by Irish weavers, and, in the 20th century, Bangladeshis.

Official _____ to address the overcrowded housing began at the beginning of the 20th century. The Second World War _____ much of the East End, leading to _____ of the population to new suburbs, and new housing being built in the 1950s. The _____ of the last of the East End docks in the Port of London in 1980 created further challenges and led to attempts at _____ and the formation of the London Docklands Development Corporation. The East End is undergoing further _____, but some of its parts continue to contain some of the worst _____ in Britain.

Source: Wikipedia

key

The East End of London, also known as the East End, is the area of London east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Use of the term in a pejorative sense began in the late 19th century, as the expansion of the population of London led to extreme overcrowding throughout the area and a concentration of poor people and immigrants in the East End. Over the course of a century, the East End became synonymous with poverty, overcrowding, disease and criminality.

The East End developed rapidly during the 19th century. The area attracted large numbers of rural people looking for employment. Successive waves of foreign immigration began with Huguenot refugees creating a new extramural suburb in Spitalfields in the 17th century. They were followed by Irish weavers, and, in the 20th century, Bangladeshis.

Official attempts to address the overcrowded housing began at the beginning of the 20th century. The Second World War devastated much of the East End, leading to dispersal of the population to new suburbs, and new housing being built in the 1950s. The closure of the last of the East End docks in the Port of London in 1980 created further challenges and led to attempts at regeneration and the formation of the London Docklands Development Corporation. The East End is undergoing further change, but some of its parts continue to contain some of the worst poverty in Britain.

Source: Wikipedia

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