Chapter 17 : To Sir, With Love Questions and Answers ICSE Class 10

Question 1 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

The Half-Yearly report of the Student’s Council was on November 15th, and was one of the important days in the calendar of Greenslade School. I had heard quite a deal about these occasions and became as excited as the children as the day approached. It was entirely their day, arranged, presented and controlled by them. I observed the activities of my class as they prepared for it, noting with pride the business-like way in which tasks were allotted and fitted into a neat programme.

(i) What explanation of the Council’s purpose and activities did Miss Joseph present?

Answer : Miss Joseph explained to the assembly that each class would report, through its representatives, what they have studied during the half year that began after Easter. When all the classes had completed their reports, a panel of teachers would be invited to occupy the stage and answer questions from the body of the hall on matters arising out of the various reports. The selection of the panel, as with everything else, was entirely at the discretion of the children and no members of the staff knew either how many or which teachers would be invited to sit.

(ii) Why did Fernman display a skeleton during his presentation?

Answer : Fernman as usual had a trump card up his sleeve. When called, he made a signal to someone off-stage and Welsh and Alison appeared bearing a skeleton between them, together with a sort of gallows. Calmly he told them that it was a female skeleton; that was a fact and could easily be proved. But he could not say with assurance whether she had been Chinese or French or German or Greek; nor could he say if she had been brown or white or a mixture of both. And from that, he said, the class had concluded that basically all people were the same. The trimmings might be different but the foundations were all laid out according to the same blueprint.

(iii) What aspects of the school’s curriculum did Denham criticise in his report?

Answer : Denham was a boxer and he condemned the fact that there were not enough P.T. classes in the school. He severely criticised the general pattern of P.T. and games, emphasising the serious limitations of space obtaining and the effect of that limitation on their games activities. He complained that the P.T. was ill-conceived and pointless, and the routine monotonous; he could see no advantage in going it.

(iv) How many teachers were called on stage to answer the questions of the students? What does Braithwaite say in praise of the manner in which Miss Phillips answered the questions?

Answer : Three teachers – Mr Weston, Mrs Dale Evans and Miss Phillips were called on the stage after a lottery sort of a thing to answer the queries of the students. Braithwaite mentions that the frilly, seemingly brainless Miss Euphemia Phillips proved to be the coolest and best informed of the three. She dealt with questions put to her with candor and authority and would often intervene skillfully to assist one of the others without causing embarrassment.

(v) Why did Weston cut a very ridiculous figure? Why did Denham consider PT to be a waste of time?

Answer : During the Half-Yearly report, Mr Weston was questioned¬† by the students. Weston cut a very ridiculous. In the face of Denham’s blunt criticism and Fernman’s clever questioning, he found himself completely puzzled and tried to bluster his way out with a show of offended dignity. He could not effectively support P.T. exercises, for which he was partly responsible, as having any definite physical advantage.

Question 2 :  Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

When the reports were over, Denham called two children at random from the audience and asked them to write the name of each teacher, including the head, on a slip of paper. These slips were folded and placed in a hat, juggled vigorously and then withdrawn one by one.

(i) What ‘reports’ are being mentioned here?

Answer : The Half Yearly reports of the Students’ Council are being mentioned here. Each class would report, through its representatives, on the studies pursued during the half year. When all the classes had completed their reports, a panel of teachers would be invited to occupy the stage and answer questions from the body of the hall on matters arising out of the various reports.

(ii) Who is Denham? Why was his report shocking?

Answer : Denham is a big boy of the top class of the Greenslade School. He is a trained boxer also. Braithwaite write that his report was a shocker. He severely citicised the general pattern of PT and games, emphasising the serious limitations of space obtaining and the effect of that limitation on their games activities. He complained that the PT was ill-conceived and pointless and the routine monotonous ; he could see no advantage in doing it.

(iii) Name the teachers whose name came out of the hat? Why was this lottery being conducted?

Answer : The three teachers whose name came out of the hats were Mr Weston, Mrs Dale-Evans and Miss Phillips. They formed a panel of teachers that was invited to occupy the stage and answer questions that the body of the hall on matters arising out of the various reports that were presented by the representatives of every class.

(iv) Denham was again seen getting after a teacher. Why was Denham angry? Who was the teacher questioned by him?

Answer : Denham was furious at the lack of PT classes and was of the impression that they had become useless. He went after Mr Weston who could not effectively support the PT exercises, for which he was partly responsible. He was reduced to a rather sorry figure at the Council’s meeting but Miss Phillips was able to help him and got him out of his misery quite often.

(v) Why did the questions mostly from the top two classes? Why was Braithwaite surprised?

Answer : Braithwaite thought that the questions were mostly from the top two classes, probably because the young children were either too timid or too uninformed to formulate their questions. The teachers had no briefing, and were often caught out stammering in their indecision. Here again he received a big surprise. The frilly, seemingly brainless Miss Euphemia Phillips proved to be the coolest and best informed of the three teachers that formed the panel. She dealt with questions put to her with frankness and authority and would often intervene skillfully to assist one of the others without causing embarrassment.

Long Questions

Question 1 : Describe , in detail, the proceedings of the Students’ Council emphasising upon the conduct of Braithwaite’s class and Miss Phillips.

Answer : The Half Yearly report of the Students’ Council was on November 15th and Braithwaite was looking forward to it as he had heard quite a deal about these occasions. The activities were managed by the students themselves. Each class would report, through its representatives, on the studies pursued during the half year. When all the classes had completed their reports, a panel of teachers would be invited to occupy the stage and answer the questions from the body of the hall on matters arising out of the various reports presented by the students.

Braithwaite soon realised that with each succeeding term, the students showed improvement in presenting their ideas. Then the turn of his class came and Denham introduced the representatives. He addressed the girls as Miss and Braithwaite was very proud. Then turn by turn the representatives presented their reports. Miss Joseph gave a short address. She said that their lessons had a particular bias towards the brotherhood of mankind. Then she called on Potter.

Potter went on to speak of the work they had done on weights and measures; of the relationships between the kilogram and the pound, the metre and the foot. Sapiano spoke of the study that the class had made of pests. He showed how many countries had pooled their knowledge and results of research on the behaviour, breeding habits and migration of these pets, and were gradually reducing the threat they represented to these important products.

Miss Pegg and Jackson divided the report on geography between them while Fernman’s report had the whole assembly class in splits but also giving the message that all human beings were same. When the questioning began, Denham was ruthless and Fernman very skillful. Together they took apart Mr Weston. However, Miss Phillips was very calm and composed. Braithwaite realised that she was much more informed than the other two and intervened to help them. She also saved Mr Weston from the attack of Denham and Fernman.