Exam Paper used: November 2021 English Paper 1 Resit (AQA)
The insert and the question papers are now on the AQA website for all to download, so go ahead and do so, because the story used for the insert is brilliant; moving, eerie and very well written. If the rest of her novel is half as good, it will be well worth the buying of the book.
And so, when you look at the question paper, you get the usual questions.
- Select 4 things about Rosie – so easy it is meant to get you started.
- Use of LANGUAGE in a section of the text.
- Use of STRUCTURE in the text.
- An opinion question, based on what you think of the opinion.
All of those are relatively easy, apart from the middle two, because for those, you need BIG answers using those dreaded PEED chains.
But you have done them well before now (type in PEED into the search bar on this website and see) so all should be well. 2 pages for questions 2, 3 and 4 should be enough, or more if you can do it. Less would mean a low score and final grade.
Then you get to section B and the creative writing bit. Here it is below and what a corker it is too! Again, you get a choice. It is an either/or question, so do not do both!
That would be foolish!
Section A has all been about what we think is a ghost story, or some sort of vision, whereby we see through Rosie’s eyes, as she sees a mysterious young girl appear and through trickery of her language used, we suspect that the little girl is a ghost, or an echo of another little girl, possibly even an ancestor (left handed like she was) who has lived in that house before now and is playing in the garden.
So section B continues (as always) with the same theme and asks you to have a go at writing the same. Your teacher, if s/he is any good, should have asked you to write such as this in class, or for homework, before now, so this should be straightforward.
But just in case, here are a few pointers….
- This is only meant to be a description, not a story (2-3 sides A4 needed here)
- It can have the movement of a story, but keep to the description as much as you can
- Use the picture!!! I cannot stress this enough.
- It is like a time portal to me (sci-fi fan here) used on Star Trek, so time travel comes to my mind immediately
- Perhaps it lights up so you can see something the other side
- Perhaps it is a portal to the afterlife
- There are hundreds more ‘perhaps’ in your heads
- Use the colours; greys, mist swirling, iron gates (typical ghost story starter)
- The weeds, the trees, the branches, how they are eerily shaped, “like fractured arms set off at different angles, mangled by the evil of time.” (my words)
Those are just some of the ideas from my head but I am sure you have a few more.
Now, you have to plan the thing.
So, use the Power of Y (into the search bar at the top if not sure) to get you from the usual 4 or 8 things to write about up to about 24 things or more you could write about.
Then plan it as shown in that blog piece.
The planning should take no more than 10 minutes! Remember that!
Section B (other choice)
Then you get this choice…. Do not forget, you do one OR the other.
They usually give you an either/or and I will always tell my students to use the one with the picture because when you get stuck, you can look at the picture and get another idea and then continue writing, but let’s say you are the brave type and want to do this one.
How do you do it?
Write about an event that cannot be explained! (40 marks) (2-3 sides A4)
- THINK – What cannot be explained?
- Supernatural things?
- Things that happen that do not go as planned, or as you’d expect
- Ghostly stories?
- Aliens maybe?
- Car crashes where someone survives when they should not
- Moments where we get a sense of heaven when we die, only to be yanked back by God or paramedics? (this happened to me in 2010)
Whatever the choice is, the preparation is the same as the one with the picture.
Plan it using Power of Y and then write it, making sure you do the following: (for whichever you choose, the one with the pic, or not):
- New subject = new paragraph
- Movement in time = new paragraph
- Speech on its own line for each thing said
- Lots of description
- Above all, whatever you have found in Section A (simile, repetition, metaphor, alliteration etc) use plenty of that in your piece, so you can show you know what it is and how to use it yourself!