12 Nov 2013

AQA ENG1H Question 2 Exam Answers with Examiner Comments November 2012

November 2012 Question Paper + Reading Insert Mark Scheme

All AQA ENG1H Paper 1 Model Answers and Resources
Not the actual image (woman holds child), but close...
'Homes and crops wrecked, but relief sweeps Queensland in Yasi’s wake'
  1. Explain how the headline and picture are effective and how they link to the text. 
The headline sets a very serious tone at first by describing the “wrecked” homes and crops. [ideally comment on the connotations of the word 'wrecked' - i.e. total destruction - then link to the fact that it's not just people's homes, but also their crops - food/livelihoods that have been
destroyed] This is very effective as it makes the reader curious about the incident which in the text we learn has affected many people. [this is a bit of a general comment 'makes the reader curious' is just too vague]
The first part of the headline – “homes and crops wrecked” – links in with the text and picture. The picture is giving the reader a visual representation of the incident the headline is dicussing by showing one of the affected families. [bit vague] Once the reader becomes devastated by seeing the wreckages, they turn to the text, only to understand why there has been a “relief sweep” making the reader feel relieved as well. [comment on connotations of 'relief' and 'sweep', as well as the juxtaposition of 'wrecked'/'sweep'] Additionally, the “relief sweep” explained in the title links in with the text, as we learn that a “baby girl” was delievered during the storm. [you don't make it clear how the baby being born links to relief, so this isn't an obvious link, though it is good that you quote] Despite our relief, we then become stunned as we read about the totalling cost of damages, which is “$3.5bn” causing the reader to look back at the picture and see for themselves. [this is a comment on the content of the text primarily. It would be better to begin with the detail from the picture or headline and then make a link to the text. Be methodical: headline > text THEN picture > text]
We see a possible family that has been affected by the “winds…and tidal surges.” The facial expressions of the family portray their feelings of devestation and fear making the reader feel devastated for them. [nice!] The angle of the picture makes the house look bigger than them, from which I can interpret that they cannot reach it and, as a result, have no home. [nice interpretation, lifts the grade] This links in with the text as the text clarifies that a vast amount of people are “homeless” because of the storm. [lovely, clear link]
Moreover, the browny-orange colour used in the picture suggests deterioration, perhaps of the crops, due to the “damage” the “170mph” wind has caused while the fact that the house has no roof suggests that the family have no stablity as a result. [much better - very specific comments on the detailed elements of the picture and how they link to the text]
As a whole, the picture is effective as it makes the reader feel sympathetic towards the family, as the text claims how frightening the night was, supported by the child’s facial expressions. [this conclusion will not add to your grade. Personally, in a short essay, I wouldn't bother with a summing up unless I was making a new, specific point that I hadn't already made.]
5/8 This answer is clear, on the whole, with some generalised comments. To raise to the higher grades, it needs to make stronger, more relevant links, explore connotations in more detail and consider the contrasts / juxtapositions that are present within the title (and which we can also see in the text).

Extra details which you could have included (taken from the mark scheme):
  • It gives us the information that homes and crops were wrecked by a cyclone in Queensland which the text tells us is in Australia. It also tells us that the damage was done by Yasi‟, which we learn from the text is the name given to the cyclone.
The word Yasiis effective because it is an unusual word. It encourages the reader to find out that it is the name which has been given to the cyclone by reading the whole news story.
The word wake‟ is effective because it has two meanings: what is left behind after the storm swept through and it also can refer to a funeral and death and, although nobody died, the houses were destroyed. It also suggests being awake, waking up‟ and the sleepless night‟ referred to in the text.
The picture:

IThe wreckage relates directly to the part of the text which describes some of the damage strewn across lawnsand Hundreds of houses were...seriously damaged.
The woman holds her child protectively; his expression is one of fear. They illustrate the personal cost but also the relief referred to in the story.

The author, , is an Oxford graduate, outstanding-rated English Language and Literature teacher and of ages 10-18 in the British education system. In 2012, she was nominated for Pearson's Teaching Awards. As a private tutor, she raises grades often from C to A. Her writing is also featured in The Huffington Post. She offers private tuition in the Haywards Heath area, West Sussex.