Junior Cycle Success - English - Website Sample

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David O’Halloran & Laura O’Brien

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Steps to Success

Topic 1 | Studied Drama 03

Topic 2 | Unseen Drama 13

Topic 3 | Studied Fiction 27

Topic 4 | Unseen Fiction 35

Topic 5 | Studied Poetry 45

Topic 6 | Unseen Poetry 59

Topic 7 | Non-Literary Texts 73

Topic 8 | Film Studies 83

Topic 9 | The Spoken Word 95

Topic 10 | The Written Word 105

Topic 11 | Writing Styles 123

Topic 12 | Use of Language 135

Topic 13 | CBA 1 139

Topic 14 | CBA 2 143


Scan the QR code on the back of the cover to have access to our bank of online resources to further assist you in your exam preparation.

Meet the authors

David O’Halloran studied English Literature and Psychology in London. He has worked at all the major private schools in the country, The Institute of Education, Bruce College, Yeats College and Limerick Tutorial College. David has an MA in Screenwriting and is currently studying Counselling & Psychotherapy. He is a state examiner and has written exam tips for the Irish Times.


Throughout this book you will encounter the Key to Success information boxes. These boxes contain expert analysis, explanations, hints and tips from the authors that will help you maximise your grade in the exam.

Laura O’Brien

Laura is an English and History teacher in St. Caimin’s Community School, Shannon, Co. Clare. She is an experienced Leaving and Junior Cycle examiner and reviews educational content for Gill and Studyclix. Laura has been part of the RTE 2FM exam sessions where she has spoken at length about the best way to approach exam questions. She is passionate about making her classes accessible and enjoyable for all students and incorporates a lot of co-operative learning into her lessons.

David O’Halloran
UNSEEN POETRY 59 6.1 Top Tips 6.2 Sample Question A 6.3 Sample Question B 6.4 Sample Question C 6.5 Sample Question D 6.6 Sample Question E 6.7 Sample Question F UNSEEN POETRY Topic 6 SAMPLE

Top Tips

Seeing a poem for the first time in the exam and then responding to it is challenging. Remember that any difficult words will be referenced with an asterix (*), as will any obscure references, such as those pertaining to Greek mythology or Irish folklore.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Start by reading the introduction/title of the poem. This will help you to understand what the poem is about.

Read the questions, underlining the key words/terms. This will give you an indication of what you are looking for in the poem.

Read the poem at least twice before attempting to answer any questions. If you find yourself at a point in the poem where you don’t fully understand what is happening, go back to a part that you did understand and start again. Underline and take brief notes as you go through the poem.

Divide the exam time between all of the questions. The space given to write in the booklet is a good indication of how much you should be writing.

Use the ‘Rough Work’ area to organise your thoughts and plan your answers.

It is useful to ask yourself the five ‘W’ question words when starting to analyse a poem.

Who What Where When Why

Who is the speaker? Who is telling the story? Is it a first or third person narrative? Is it a personal, confessional poem?

What is happening? What are the main events and core issues at the heart of the poem? e.g. love, loss, conflict, isolation, nature, etc.

Where is it happening? What is the setting for the poem, and what is the reason for setting it there?

When is it happening? In what time period is the poem set? Is it set in the present or in the past? Why/why not?

Why is it happening? What is the purpose of the poem? Is it instructional, entertaining, enlightening?

Topic 6 60

Main types of questions

There are only so many questions that can be asked on the unseen poem. They will all be variations of the following sections. If you can extract these elements from the poem, no question will surprise you on the day of the exam.

• Theme

• Character / Speaker

• Language features

• Imagery

• Tone/mood

• Rhythm


The theme is the central issue at the core of the poem. There may be more than one theme in the poem. The theme is not the events that take place in the poem, but what they represent, e.g., holding hands and looking longingly at each other represents love and being at a funeral represents loss. Common themes in poems are:

• Love


• Isolation/alienation

• Conflict/control

• Nature

• Disillusionment.


You may be asked your thoughts about the poet or you may be asked about the character of the speaker in the poem. They are not always the same. The poet may wish to write from a different perspective, e.g., the point of view of a child, someone of another gender or someone from a different time period. However, it may be a very personal poem related to the poet’s own life, where they are writing from their own perspective.

‘Character’ questions are interested in your personal opinion, but your response must be based on evidence from the poem. Is the poet or the character in the poem intelligent, insightful, funny, depressed? Give examples of how the poem shows this.


Language Features

Here is a list of the most common language features you would be expected to know and/or comment on.


Sibilance Assonance

Words in close proximity starting with the same letter, e.g., “She was fatigued, frustrated, and frazzled”. This gives the sentence a flow and a musicality.

A particular form of alliteration using the ‘s’ sound, which is very effective, e.g., “the slithery snake”.

Internal rhyming vowel sounds which give a pleasant musicality to the poem, e.g.,”there was a sound from the mound on the ground”.



Sound words that are spelt like the sound they make, e.g., ‘bang’ ‘snap’, ‘moo’, ‘clip-clop’.

Deliberately over-the-top language used to exaggerate your point, e.g., “I’ve told you a million times not to do that”.


Repeating the same words or phrases in a poem to add emphasis to their meaning and reinforce the point, e.g., “I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree… I will arise and go now, for always night and day”.


Imagery is used to create a word picture in the mind’s eye of the reader. Imagery can take many different forms.

Sensory imagery


Imagery that appeals to the senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. E.g., “the tumultuous breeze tickled her neck as she slowly slid off her scarf” (touch).

Giving human qualities to non-human elements to bring them to life, e.g., “the leaking radiator burned with embarrassment”.


A direct comparison using ‘as’, ‘like’ or ‘than’, usually for the purpose of emphasis or exaggeration. E.g. “ as cold as ice”, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”, “the sauna was hotter than hell itself”.


An indirect comparison of elements where there is no obvious comparison, e.g., “the sky wept” (we know that the sky does not have eyes, tears, or the capacity for emotion, but we understand that it is comparing crying to rain falling from the sky).


A symbol is used to represent an idea, e.g., the cross representing Christianity or the tricolour flag representing Ireland.

Topic 6 62


The tone of the poem is the attitude of the poet towards the subject matter, e.g., is the poem trying to convey happiness, anger, sadness, etc? The tone may alter over the course of the poem.

Mood is very similar to tone, it also focuses on the atmosphere of the poem. The key difference is that mood is based on the perspective of the reader and how they are made to feel.


Sample Question A


You are unlikely to get a full question on rhythm, but it’s definitely worth including in any question on language or structure. The rhythm of a poem is its pace, e.g., does it flow easily or is it deliberately disjointed to support an uncomfortable subject matter?

• Lack of punctuation creates a fast pace for a poem, while excessive use of punctuation gives the poem a stop-and-start quality.

• The rhythm of the poem can be measured by beats and end rhyme structures, such as abab or aabb.

• Enjambment is when you have run-on lines in a poem, e.g., when one stanza runs into the next stanza in mid-sentence. This metre gives the poem a sense of momentum.

Read the following poem by Paul Durcan and answer the questions that follow.

Caught Out

Face to face with a lamb

On a Spring evening at twilight

I have nowhere to hide

Black legs, black ears, White baby-grow, Two black eyes peer up at me

I feel as guilty As if caught out by my grand-daughter Telling her a lie.


Question 1

Do you find the poet’s reaction to the lamb in this poem surprising? Explain your answer with reference to the poem. (10 marks)

Sample Answer 1 – 5/10 marks

Yes, I did actually, lambs aren’t intimidating creatures, you don’t need to have somewhere to hide from them, I mean at the end of the day, what can a lamb do to hurt you?

I think the poet’s reaction is way over the top and completely unjustified. He feels guilty because he is probably about to slaughter the lamb, that’s obviously the only reason he’s there and he feels bad about killing it.

Introductory sentence should make reference to the question for context.

Point not explained and no evidence given.

An assumption is made here without any evidence.

Sample Answer 2 – 10/10 marks

Paul Durcan’s reaction to the lamb was not surprising to me in the least.

One associates newborn spring lambs with innocence, purity, and fresh beginnings - so much so that the lamb evokes feelings of his young grand-daughter and of being caught out in a lie to her.

What this suggests to me is that he feels disingenuous* standing in front of the carefree lamb. This could possibly be explained by the fact that perhaps he eats meat and knows what the baby animal tastes like.

This leads to feelings of guilt and discomfort standing there in front of the lamb. “I felt as guilty as if caught out by my grand-daughter telling her a lie.” In this context, the poet’s reaction makes perfect sense.

*disingenuous = not honest or sincere

Opening relates to question and gives a strong opinion.

Point developed and explained. Personal opinion given and supported.

Quote given as evidence to support the point.

Closing sentence relates the point back to the question.

Topic 6 64


Sample Question B

Do you think Paul Durcan uses language effectively in his poem, ‘Caught Out’? Explain your answer with reference to any two examples chosen from the poem. (15 marks)

Sample Answer 1 – 7/15 marks

Yes, Paul Durcan does use language effectively in the poem. The language he uses is simple and I am able to understand all of it. This is not what you expect from poetry, you expect old, difficult language in a tight structured manner and that’s not what this was, therefore I was able to relate to it more.

In other ways I don’t think the poet uses language very effectively in the poem. It didn’t really hold my interest and I found it a bit boring, to be honest. Whilst I knew all the words, I was completely confused as to why he would feel guilty about meeting a lamb for the first time. What has he to feel guilty about? In fairness, he hasn’t done anything to the lamb. His ideas could have been clearer.

No example given to illustrate the point (and not the strongest point to use).

This does not explain how they were able to relate to the language.

If you critique the poem, you must provide a reason and evidence.

This is not relevant to the question, which is about language.


Sample Answer 2 – 15/15 marks

Language features are used brilliantly in this poem.

The simile “I felt as guilty as if caught out by my grand-daughter telling her a lie” compares the guilt he feels at facing this spring lamb to the guilt he would feel at lying to his innocent granddaughter. This illustrates his discomfort in this seemingly innocuous* moment.

Durcan uses alliteration in the second stanza when he writes “black legs, black ears, white baby grow, two black eyes”. This repetition of the ‘b’ sound gives the poem pace and a sense of urgency to reflect his heightened anxiety in this moment.

Durcan also uses run-on lines to give the poem a sense of flow. In the first stanza, he says, “Face to face with a lamb / On a spring evening...” This gives the poem an informal, stream-of-consciousness style, allowing us to be thrust along with the poet’s seemingly meandering thoughts.

I feel the language features in the poem effectively support the subject matter working in perfect synchrony

*innocuous = harmless

Strong opening which doesn’t just repeat the exact wording of the question.

The effectiveness of the simile is discussed. Clear point developed with a quote from the poem as evidence. Another clear language feature identified and explained.

Closing sentence refers back to the question.

Topic 6 66

6.4 Sample Question C

Complete the table below by matching the poetic terms to the most appropriate line of verse. The first one has been done for you. (Use each word only once.) (5 marks)

Alliteration Onomatopoeia Hyperbole Metaphor Assonance Simile

Sample Answer 1 – An answer that would be awarded 5/5 marks

A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch…

Onomatopoeia What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun? Simile

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, The furrow followed free…


All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Metaphor

And a river of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees… Assonance

But I would walk 500 miles, And I would walk 500 more, Just to be the man who walks a 1,000 miles to fall down at your door.



Sample Question D

Read the following poem by Seamus Heaney and answer the following question.

Lovers on Aran

The timeless waves, bright, sifting, broken glass, Came dazzling around, into the rocks, Came glinting, sifting from the Americas

To possess Aran. Or did Aran rush to throw wide arms of rock around a tide That yielded with an ebb, with a soft crash?

Did sea define the land or land the sea? Each drew new meaning from the waves’ collision.

Sea broke on land full identity.

Topic 6 68

Identify a line or phrase in the poem where the poet uses each of the poetic techniques in the table below and explain why you think the poet uses the technique. (20 marks)

Sample Answer – 20/20 marks


The line “Did sea define the land or land the sea?”offers us a contrast between the solidity of land and the fluidity of water. It seems suggestive of a continual battle for ascendency*.


We see Heaney bring the rock to life when he says, “wide arms of rock around a tide that yielded with an ebb”. This shows the landscape embracing the water and seemingly calming it. The use of the term “wide arms” gives it a nurturing, protective feel.


There is a restless tone to this poem. This is best exemplified by “The timeless waves, bright, sifting, broken glass”. The sense here of the relentless waves breaking and crashing into the coastline is suggestive of some element of tumult** and torment.


There are numerous examples of assonance in the poem such as 'glinting'/'sifting', 'wide'/'tide', and 'drew'/'new'. These serve to give the poem a sense of flow and rhythm replicating the movement of the ocean.


The run-on line of “Or did Aran rush / to throw wide arms of rock around a tide” is a blatant example of where Heaney wants you to get caught up in the flow and movement of the poem. He doesn’t want you distracted by poetic convention but carried by the emotion and pace of the poem. To do so, he takes everything out of your way for a continued reading.

These responses answer the question fully: they give examples of the techniques used and explain their effect and why they’re used. They express opinions and give evidence to support them.

*ascendency = power and control

**tumult = confusion and disorder



Sample Question E

What do you think is the message in this poem? Explain your answer. (10 marks)

Sample Answer


– 6/10 marks

The message of this poem is the power of nature. It shows the waves crashing into the rocks of Ireland, having come all the way from America. This shows the tireless nature of the waves, illustrating the inexhaustive power of nature. It’s asking which is more powerful, the land or the sea, who is going the win the longstanding battle as waves crash into the coastline.

There is a suggestion at the end that they complement each other and are best off working in synchrony. This is seen when Heaney says, “Sea broke on land to full identity”. This suggests to me that the land and the ocean are fully themselves when they are in connection with each other.

This answer misses something important. This poem is an extended metaphor about the relationship between two lovers. If this is not referred to, the poem has not been sufficiently interpreted for top marks.

Sample Answer 2 – 10/10 marks

This whole poem is a conceit* on the power dynamics of a relationship. Two lovers are represented by the ocean and the land. On the coastline, the elemental force of the sea meets the steadfast landscape. The waves seem powerful initially, like “broken glass” tumbling “into the rocks”. The sea wishes to “possess” the land. However, it yields to a “soft crash” when the “wide arms of rock” receive it welcomingly. There seems to be some debate over which is victorious in this collision: “did sea define land or land the sea”. However, the poet reflects that they are both only fully realised (“full identity”) when they are in contact with each other.

To me, this suggests an argument was about to flare up, but it was diffused by the calmness of one of the lovers. Their initial thoughts of who won the fight were reframed into how they are extensions of each other, so much better together than when they are apart.

This response recognises that the poem is a conceit; a symbol representing a relationship where there is some conflict and resolution.

Quotations are used to support the points being made.

A personal response is given. The poem is interpreted and discussed.

Concluding sentence brings the response directly back to the question. *extended metaphor

The message of this poem is one of empathy and connection.

Topic 6 70

6.7 Sample Question F

Evaluate how one of the poetic techniques named in Sample Question D of this section helps to convey the message you have identified in the poem. (10 marks)

Sample Answer 1 – 6/10 marks

Heaney’s use of personification in this poem, when he says “throw wide arms of rock around a tide”, conveys the message of empathy. We picture a scene where the waves are getting ready to crash against the rocks in a violent way reflecting a stormy relationship. The embrace of the rocks like wide arms suggests a hug. Picturing the rocks hugging the sea and calming it down is a good representation of a caring relationship.

This response is a little short for full marks and should include more than one quotation.

The answer should elaborate more on the relationship between land and sea and relate it back to the question.


Sample Answer 2 – 10/10 marks

The message of this poem is connection: connection of land and water, reflecting a connection between two individuals. Contrast is used very effectively in this poem to illustrate this theme.

The contrast of the fluidity of the water colliding with the hard rocks reflects a battle of two very different elements, i.e., two very different people. We expect to see a crash against the sharp rocks from the “dazzling… glinting” waves, instead we see a surrender into the “wide arms” of the embracing rocks. Metaphorically, this seems to suggest elevated moods have been averted and a compromise has been found through compassion.

Cleverly, this contrasts with our expectations for this scene. We expect to see a battle between two powerful forces, but instead we see co-existence, which of course relates to love and exhibiting emotional maturity.

This poem demonstrates that land and water are eternally connected, despite their contrasting roles and characteristics. This is a symbol for successful relationships involving strikingly different people.

The poem uses contrast to emphasise the theme of connection: bodies of water and land connected, lovers connected in spite of, or maybe even because of, their contrasting characteristics.

Clear context is given to start the response, in relation to the question asked.

The response is structured into three points on contrast. Each is a separate paragraph and is supported with evidence.

Concluding sentence relates the response back to the question asked by briefly summarising the points.

Topic 6 72
FILM STUDIES 83 8.1 Top Tips 8.2 Sample Question A 8.3 Sample Question B 8.4 Sample Question C 8.5 Sample Question D FILM STUDIES Topic 8 SAMPLE

8.1 Top Tips

The average student is far more familiar with the medium of film in their everyday lives than they are with other elements of the English syllabus, such as poetry. However, they are not as familiar with the vocabulary of film and the terminology used. Here are the main terms that you will need to be aware of.


Mise-en-scène refers to everything that is seen from the perspective of the camera. Think of it as the film’s stage production. It covers the following:

> Setting: The key location(s) used to tell the story.

> Props: The moveable objects used in a scene, e.g., a mobile phone or a newspaper. Some of these may be symbolic, e.g., a picture of a lost parent being carried around could represent love and sadness.

> Character movement: How the characters will be framed in the shot (e.g., in the foreground or background) and how they will move around in the scene.

> Colour: The colour of a film can affect its atmosphere. Conventionally, blue is considered a cold colour (e.g., used in sci-fi films to create a robotic and desensitised feeling), while brown is a warm colour (e.g., used to make romantic comedies feel personable and inviting).

> Lighting: Dark lighting and night-time shots in a film can give it a mysterious or eerie ambience; bright lighting or day-time scenes can give it a sense of optimism.


The main characters of a film are called the protagonists. There are two main elements you should focus on when studying a character:

> Acting: The main characters will go on some type of journey and change in some way. Ask yourself: is this change convincing? Is their acting suited to the type of role they are performing? For example, are they playing a hero or a villain? Is their acting over-the-top or very subtle? What accent are they using? Is there a lot of dialogue or is non-verbal communication used regularly?

> Costume: As film is a visual medium, a strong emphasis is placed on how the characters are presented onscreen. The clothing and hairstyles they wear tell us a lot about the characters, and they are a useful shorthand for understanding them,

Topic 8 84

e.g., ragged clothes tell us the character may be struggling for money or neglected, while expensive clothes tell us the character has plenty of money or likes to show off. Clothing and hairstyles are also indicators of what time period the film is set in.


The narrator is the person who tells the story. There are different types of narrators (one film can combine several different narrators):

> First-person narrator: The action of the film is seen through the eyes of one character.

> Omniscient narrator: The action of the film is not tied to one particular character. The narrator is separate from the story and sees everything (compared to an individual character, who can only narrate their own experiences).


The camerawork is the role the camera plays in telling the story. There are various types of camera shots:

> Establishing shots: Give a sense of location and time.

> Action shots: Usually full body or torso. The bulk of the film will likely be action shots.

> Close-ups: A camera trained on the face to capture intimate emotions.

> Zooming in/out: Used to focus on and highlight a particular object or person.

> Shot /reverse shot: Going back and forth between two characters.

> Over-the-shoulder shot: Showing the back shoulder of the character in the shot as they look towards another character to create a sense of perspective and inclusion.


Film has three stages, or births:

> The screenplay: Dialogue and stage directions completed by the screenwriter.

> The film production: Camerawork while shooting the film.

> Editing: The post-production of the film, where it is all pieced together.

Editing involves choosing the best shots and finishing the film in a way that best tells the story. This is not always chronological (a linear sequence where events happen one after the other). Good editing should go unnoticed, which means it is often underestimated. In a film, you should pay attention to pace, music, lighting/colour, and special effects.



Action scenes move at a fast pace, so use choppy editing to create excitement.

> Action = fast pace = choppy editing. Car chase scenes use lots of shots of different elements to create excitement. These include the speedometer, the gearstick, the wheels, the road, the drivers’ faces, other cars, people and places they are driving past, or the reflection in the rear-view mirror.

> Emotional = slow pace = lingering shots. A deathbed scene might use lengthy close-ups on the faces of the characters to highlight the intimacy and emotional weight of the highly charged moment.


Music plays a vital role in enhancing the mood of a film.

> Action sequences usually have music with a fast tempo and a heavy beat, while romantic or sad scenes are often accompanied by slow melodic strings or piano.

> The music is usually composed specifically for the scene. It can be instrumental, so that it does not distract from the storyline, or include popular songs, used for impact. It also depends on the budget of the film.


Lighting choices can be made during production or colour filters can be applied during post-production to enhance the mood.

Special effects

Special effects can be physically created on set (e.g., a model of a monster or an actor dressed up as one), or can often be added in post-production (e.g., a computer-generated image of a monster added into a scene).

Topic 8 86
87 Description Answer
C 8.2 Sample Question A Match the following keywords with their definitions. (5 marks) A. Soundtrack B. Protagonist C. Set D. Angle F. DirectorSAMPLE
1. The main character in a film.
2. The position of a camera in a scene
3. A collection of songs in a film.
4. The person in charge of making the film who instructs the actors.
5. The place where the action in the film takes place.

8.3 Sample Question B

There are many techniques that can be used in film to make a story more appealing to an audience. Discuss how two of the following techniques made your film or documentary more enjoyable to watch. You must make reference to at least two key scenes where these are used.

Sample Answer 1 – 15/25 marks

Impor tance of a sense of belonging

Eliot’s father not present

Topic 8 88
Optional rough work ‘E.T.’
Special Effects
E.T. humanised
Big eyes
Friendly Voice
Funny movement
Pale when sick
E.T. going home
> Special
> Camera
> Props > Characterisation > Lighting > Soundtrack > Costumes > Symbols
(25 marks)

There are various techniques in a film used to appeal to the audience. In ‘E.T.’ by Steven Spielberg he uses special effects and symbolism superbly.

The alien creature E.T. (Extra-Terrestrial) was made up of animatronics, which is basically a puppet with an inbuilt mechanism to allow it to move. Spielberg purposefully made E.T. very human in its features: head, torso, arms, legs, etc., so that we could relate to it. He made it very loveable, he gave it big doe* eyes, all innocent and playful like a child. He also gave it a soft voice for comfort and familiarity, having it scream in fear on occasion to show it was harmless. E.T.’s movements were also sometimes funny, moving his little legs, scurrying away to hide. This ingratiated E.T. to the audience. Once we, the audience, had fallen for E.T., Spielberg put the alien in mortal danger of dying. The special effects had him all pale, again like humans get when they’re weak, to have us feel concern for E.T. And it works. Spielberg using special effects to humanise an alien allows us to empathise with it and give the movie more emotional resonance.

E.T. is also a symbol in the film. His whole agenda throughout the film is to get back to his planet i.e. go home. This seems to represent the importance of home, belonging, and a sense of community as reflected when E.T. is befriended and helped by Eliot, his family, and his friends. Eliot’s father is not present in the film, and once more this is no accident. Spielberg has acknowledged that the film is based on his own childhood experience of inventing an imaginary friend to help him cope with his parents’ divorce. The use of E.T. as a symbol is appealing to the audience because, even though on a surface level it is a about an alien, it is ultimately about family, and nothing is more relatable to humans than that.

Spielberg uses special effects and symbolism to terrific effect in ‘E.T.’ by humanising an alien and making us care deeply about what happens to it.

*doe = a deer

All of the points made in this response are accurate and well explained. There is a good structure to the response but the question has not been fully answered. The question has asked for two techniques, which have been given: special effects and symbolism. However, it also asked for at least two key scenes where each of these techniques were used. Moments in the film are mentioned, but it is necessary to identify the key scenes being discussed. Failure to do so will result in lower marks for the answer, as it has failed to clearly tackle a portion of the question.


Optional rough work

‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’

• Characterisation

- Ricky Baker out of place at the beginning of the film

- Ricky Baker surviving in the wild to the end of the film, showing the journey he had been on

• Camera angles

- High camera angles at the start of each important section of the film show the scale and symbolism of the forested mountains

Taiki Waititi’s ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ is a really enjoyable watch. To achieve this audience satisfaction, huge contributions were made by two elements: the development of the main character, Ricky Baker, and the use of high camera angles to illustrate the scale of their surroundings.

At the beginning of the movie, we are introduced to the character of Ricky Baker by visuals alone - he doesn’t say a word. He is in this remote, rural, sparsely populated area, yet he is wearing streetwear: a multi-coloured hoodie, a varsity jacket with rapper lyrics on it, and a leopard-print baseball cap. Already an orphan, he is clearly a real fish out of water here. The child protection officer prepares us for Ricky by saying, “he’s a real piece of work, this one” and “a real bad egg”. There is also a montage showing Ricky committing petty crime in the city, such as theft, vandalism, and graffiti. Ricky tries to run away from his new home but eventually settles with Bella and Hec near the bush.

This introduction includes the name of the film and the director, as well as giving a brief overview of what will be discussed in the response.

First point on characterisation: the key scene chosen is the opening sequence.

Topic 8 90 Sample Answer 2 – 25/25 marks

Ricky must survive in the wilderness with Hec. We first see the evolution of Ricky’s character through his outfits, his clothing starts to mirror Hec’s as the film progresses. Then we see it through his behaviour, as the silent boy from the city who tried to run away puts himself between Hec and a charging boar whilst in the bush. Ricky was willing to put himself in danger for another person, for family. He careshe is not the “bad egg” we were warned about. Soon after, we hear a more positive haiku compared to his earlier darker haikus, and he is seen drawing a family portrait. He is home. Ricky’s development is a joy for the audience to witness.

The film is broken up into chapters, and at the beginning of nearly every chapter there is a high-angle shot of the bush to show its vastness. The Opening credits show an establishing shot with what must be a helicopter sweeping over the enormous forested mountains of the bush. We are amazed by its size and beauty but there is also a case of foreshadowing, as this bush is going to play a large part in this film and the director is teasing the audience with its presence.

The pattern of aerial shots of the bush is repeated at the beginning of chapter 3, when Ricky is running away and heading into the bush, and again at the start of chapter 5, when they are making their way out of the bush after Hec’s foot has healed. The bush almost becomes a character in the film, swallowing them up. They look so small from the highangle shot, running into the bush away from the police later in the film. These shots showcase the beauty of New Zealand for the audience but also show how seemingly insignificant humans are in the grand scale of awesome nature. We have our happy ending with Hec and Ricky returning to the bush to find an extinct bird, and we have one final aerial shot of them, which serves as a framing device to tie the first shot and final shot of the film together for the audience.

Characterisation and high-angle shots are techniques used effectively in ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’, as they help captivate the audience in the story being told.

Second point on characterisation: the key scene chosen is Ricky protecting Hec in the bush.

This relates the point back to the question.

First point on high camera angles: the key scene chosen is the establishing shots of the opening credits. Again, relating the point back to the question.

Second point on high camera angles: a selection of key scenes are being used.

Point again related back to the question.

The conclusion also relates the response back to the question.


8.4 Sample Question C

Examine the infographic opposite, and answer the questions that follow. (5 marks)

(a) What industry is the infographic discussing?

(b) What type of film is more popular with female directors?

(c) Which job has the highest percentage of females?

(d) Which year was the most successful for female writers?

(e) What job employs the least number of females and the highest number of males?

(a) The infographic is discussing the film industry.

(b) According to the infographic, documentary-film making is more popular with female directors.

(c) The job in the film industry that has the highest percentage of females, according to the infographic, is producer.

(d) The most successful year for female writers in the film industry was 2012, according to the infographic.

(e) The job that seems to employ the least number of females and the highest number of males in the film industry, according to the infographic, is the cinematographer.

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Section C Responding to Texts – Film and Images 55 marks Examine the following infographic and answer the ques ons.

8.5 Sample Question D

The lm posters feature superheroes from DC Comics. Do you believe the posters challenge gender stereotypes or reinforce them? You may wish to refer to image, colour, special effects and costume to explain your answer. You should refer to both lm posters in your answer.

The film posters above feature superheroes from DC Comics. Do you believe the posters challenge gender stereotypes or reinforce them? You may wish to refer to image, colour, special effects, and/or costume to explain you answer. You should refer to both film posters in your answer. (15 marks)

Op�onal Rough Work

Optional rough work

Challenges gender stereotypes

- Character: Wonder Woman looks more powerful

- Costume: Equally tight-fitting outfits

Reinforces gender stereotypes

- Costume: Wonder Woman is not fully covered

- Colour: Darker, more traditionally masculine colours used for ‘Batman v. Superman’

Ques on 2 15 marks

Sample Answer 1 – 8/15 marks.

I believe these movie posters challenge gender stereotypes because, if you look at how the characters are presented, Wonder Woman looks more confident and in control. It all looks a bit bleak on the other poster, and Batman especially looks defeated with his head slumped. Wonder Woman looks more powerful.

All characters are wearing similar tight-fitting superhero outfits, which signifies equality.

Sample Answer 2 – 15/15 marks

Despite some badly executed attempts at political correctness towards female empowerment and masculine identity, I feel these film posters actually reinforce gender stereotypes.

Firstly, if you look at the costumes of our superhero characters, which character is more scantily clad and exposing flesh? Yes, that’s right. Wonder Woman. Also, the only one of our superheroes who is presented with a weapon is Wonder Woman. This could suggest that she is not as strong without one. This seems like the wrong message to send out.

Secondly, there is a starkly different use of colours in the two film posters. There is a lot of black and dark blue in the ‘Superman v. Batman’ poster, which are traditionally strong masculine colours. However, in the ‘Wonder Woman’ poster the colours are much brighter: playful yellows, oranges and reds. This makes this poster seem more cartoonish, while the gritty ‘Batman v. Superman’ poster felt more realistic. Is this the correct message? Male superheroes are more realistic, while female leads are more outlandish and comic-book-like?

The ham-fisted attempt to made Batman seen unsure of himself by looking down, and having Wonder Woman in a confident pose, does not paper over the cracks of an unfortunately culturally ingrained mindset.

The response is too short and lacking detail.

First point: try to explain why Wonder Woman seems more in control, e.g., her facial expression.

Second point: the ending is abrupt. Try to close your response by referring to the question.

Strong opening that relates to the question and states a clear opinion.

First point on ‘costume’ clearly made and developed.

Second point on ‘use of colour’ clearly made and developed.

The concluding sentence relates back to the question.

Topic 8 94
THE SPOKEN WORD 95 Topic 9 9.1 Top Tips 9.2 Sample Question A – Debate 9.3 Sample Question B – Script for a Scene 9.4 Sample Question C – Podcast SPOKEN WORD THESAMPLE

9.1 Top Tips

Junior Cycle English places a strong emphasis on being able to create a piece of writing that is meant to be spoken out loud. This is particularly clear in CBA1.

As part of the exam, you might be asked to produce a short talk, a radio talk, a speech, a podcast, a debate speech, a script, an

Rhetorical questions

Personal pronouns Repetition

Emotive language

Humour Research

Short paragraphs Imagery

interview, or something similar.

The good news is that, while a speech can be a difficult thing to deliver, it can be an easy thing to create. You will find it very easy to turn a piece of writing into a speech by simply adding in a few specific ‘ingredients’.

Rhetorical questions are a simple way to engage the audience and make them think about their feelings on the topic.

Personal pronouns (we, our, us) show that you are not lecturing or speaking down to your audience, you are including yourself in the conversation.

Repetition is a great way to emphasise a point and put a spotlight on it.

Emotive language encourages the audience to feel, not just listen. You might want them to feel anger, pride, guilt, joy, etc.

Humour is the perfect way to add enjoyment to the audience’s experience, but should only be used when it is appropriate.

Research elements such as facts, statistics, and quotes support your point and add weight to your argument.

Short paragraphs can ensure your listeners stay engaged, as it can be difficult to pay attention for a long period of time, or to follow the line of argument in a long paragraph.

Imagery encourages people to think about the topic in an abstract way, and can help them relate to it more personally.

The ingredients above apply to most speeches. There are a few other more specific ingredients that you would need for certain types of speech – you will see examples of these in the following pages.

Topic 9 96


Sample Question A – Debate

It is now against the law for circuses in Ireland to use wild animals.

You are participating in a debate on the motion that: ‘The use of all animals in circuses should be banned and zoos should be closed down.’ You must either agree or disagree with the motion. State and develop any two points you would make to persuade an audience attending the debate that your views are correct. (20 marks)

Before you start:

> This is a task where some planning would be beneficial

> Your thoughts/points/arguments should be laid out in a clear, logical manner

> Always be aware that this is a debate: you are trying to win by persuading the audience that you are right and the other team is wrong

> You must open and close in a formal manner.

Sample Answer 1 – 10/20 marks

Hello everyone, and thank you for coming today to hear my speech about the circus.

I actually think it is ok for animals to be used in circuses. I loved going to the circus with my family when I was small.

We got to see loads of cool gymnastics and wild animals and the clowns were always really funny. One time, they pulled my dad out of the audience and threw an ice cream at him!

We actually learned loads about the animals while we were there, and they were definitely being treated well. They got loads of food and plenty of breaks. They seemed to enjoy giving all the little kids rides around the ring. I went on an elephant and a camel. We also got to take photos with them. I would probably never get to see these animals if it wasn’t for the circus.

It’s a great day out for all the family and I would not like them to not be allowed. I hope you agree and thanks for listening.

This is not the correct opening for a debate speech. Anecdotes are effective but this speech only mentions circuses, it should also mention zoos.

The ideas are not developed and the expression is very casual.

There is an attempt made at the end to address the audience but this should happen throughout the answer.


Sample Answer 2 – 18/20 marks

Chairperson, adjudicators, members of the proposition, family and friends, I welcome you all here today to our inter-schools debate final. We have a very interesting motion today and I, Lorraine, am team captain of the opposition. We will prove to you today that all animals should not be banned from zoos and circuses. Firstly, let me ask you: who here has been to the zoo or the circus? Yes, most of you. And who enjoyed it? Again, most of you!

Just as I thought. We all have fond memories of packing the car for a day trip to the zoo. We got to see a wide variety of animals and learn about where they come from and how they survive. If it wasn’t for zoos, I would not have this knowledge. I remember being so excited to see and hear the monkeys screeching from branch to branch in Fota Wildlife Park in Cork and I still treasure the cuddly monkey that my dad bought me that day. Do we really want to deprive families of these fun-filled and educational days out? I think not!

It is, unfortunately, true that all animals have not always been treated well in zoos and circuses and I know the proposition will speak about this a lot. But thankfully, we have improved as a society and have introduced many laws and regulations that make cruel treatment illegal. I know this might not be true in all situations, but we cannot simply shut them all down because some bad guys won’t follow the rules. I believe there should be stricter punishments for animal cruelty.

Zoos, in particular, are places that focus a lot on conservation. This means they help endangered or sick animals so they can survive and don’t become extinct. In the past year, Dublin Zoo has nursed over 100 endangered animals back to health, including Tilly, a baby elephant whose mother had died giving birth to her.

Animals are beautiful. Animals are precious. Animals are important. We need to have facilities like zoos and circuses to inform and educate people about animals so people will continue to feel positively about them. I know I would hate future generations not to have the wonderful memories I have of riding an elephant around the circus ring, or watching the cheetah pounce on the meat when it’s dropped into his enclosure.

I am sure you agree with me and will join me in opposing this motion.

Thank you.

This is the correct opening for a debate speech.

It is a good idea to introduce yourself and explain which side of the debate you are arguing. Use of rhetorical questions to engage the audience. Personal anecdotes are a lovely way to illustrate your point.

Good planning and layout, each paragraph is focussing on a different, distinct point. Awareness of the other team is very impressive.

This paragraph has evidence of “research”. You can make this up, just make sure it is believable. Nice use of repetition.

You must make sure to end it as if you were in a debate.

Topic 9 98

Sample Question B – Script for a Scene

Wet towel pile on bathroom floor Up all night, in

Sample Answer 1 – 10/25 marks

Mum: Why can’t you be like your sister?

Me: She’s a goody-goody.

Mum: At least she stays out of trouble. I roll my eyes.

Mum: Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me!

Me: Whatever.

I storm out of the room.

Mum: I will deal with you later.

Mum picks up the overflowing laundry basket and storms out of the room.

bed all

the room

Why can’t you be like...? “You just don’t understand me” Totally empty fridge - again Door Slam SO embarrassing! “I hate your” Mouldy plates and mugs in bedroom Facebook activity at 3 am Eye Roll Used up all the hot water Treat this place like a hotel SAMPLE

The layout is good; it is roughly what a script should look like.

There is clear evidence of conflict but not enough detail.

The script should have character names, It is not in the first person.

A good attempt at some stage directions.

You’re a complete Mystery to me You’re not
out wearing that MMS (Major Mood Swing) DON’T GET IT
is going...” “Whatever” Cheeky Yeah Right How could you? Your room is a pig sty! Grunt
at the table Barefaced lie Shoes EVERYWHERE Overflowing laundry basket Totally silent car journey involving headphone use
Using one or more of the words or phrases from the Word Cloud above, write the dialogue for a scene in a TV drama where an adult confronts a teenager or a teenager confronts an adult. Your dialogue may be serious or humorous or both. You may refer to location, the use of special effects, and make suggestions for movement in your script. Indicate each speaker on the left-hand side of the page. (25 marks) selfie taking Every single light in the house switched on and left on
day “There’s never anything to eat in this house” Storming out
“Everyone else

Sample Answer 2 – 25/25 marks

The scene opens in a typical modern living room, with plush furniture, television, colour, and warmth. Jennifer, 15 years old, is on the couch in her school uniform. She is scrolling through her phone. Her mum enters.

Mum: Hi love, how was school?

Jen: Grand, the usual.

Mum: Homework done?

Jen: Yeah.

Mum: Fancy lasagne for dinner?

Jen: Sure. (The phone rings, Mum leaves but the audience hears her side of the conversation).

Mum (offstage): Hello… yes, this is Mrs Simons. How are you, Mr. McPherson? What? Are you sure? Yes, I understand. I’m so sorry... I’ll see you tomorrow.

Mum (walking back into the living room): Jen, I need you to tell me what happened today.

Jen: What? Nothing happened.

Mum: That was your principal. He told me you and Louise did not come back to class after lunch. Where were you?

Jen: Oh Mam, don’t mind him, there must be something wrong with the system. We were there all day. This is ridiculous, I’m so sick of that place. Alright fine, we stayed in the park after lunch. We just lazed about and chatted. Louise broke up with Simon and she just couldn’t face double French.

Mum: Jen, the guards are on their way here.

Jen: Why?

Mum: Did you and Louise walk home together?

Jen: What? No, she was supposed to be in after school study, so she stayed in the park and headed home after that. Are

Good description of the set to help paint a picture in the reader’s mind. Nice, natural conversation and clear layout.

Great use of stage directions to make the scene more realistic.

Slow build-up of tension.

Topic 9 100

the guards saying we did something to the park? Haven’t they anything better to do?

Mum: Have you heard from her?

Jen: Yeah, of course. Well, actually not for a while. I’ll text her now.

Mum: Jen, don’t…

Jen: Mum, what’s wrong?

Mum: Love, Louise never arrived home and her parents went looking for her and…

Jen: What?

Mum: I’m so sorry, love, she’s dead.

(The lights fade as Jen’s wails get louder).

A surprising and shocking end to the scene.



Sample Question C – Podcast

You have been asked to have a conversation with the host of a podcast for young people called “What the world will look like in 2030”. Write out the script of a conversation you would have with the host on the topic. (20 marks)

Before you start:

As podcasts are a relatively new medium, it is important to be aware of some of their unique features.

> There is usually the name of the overall podcast and then each episode has its own title.

> A podcast has a lot of the same layout elements as a script.

> Podcasts can have sound effects, competitions, interviews, quotes, etc.

> They are often quite casual and conversational in style.

> You must always remain aware of your audience.

Sample Answer 1 – 10/20 marks

Host: Hello Martin, thanks for coming in today. Tell me what you think the world will look like in 2030.

Martin: Thanks Jack, I’m thrilled to be here. Well, I’m hoping 2030 will be a lot better than 2022. We’ve had a very tough few years dealing with Covid, and now there’s war in Europe, so I hope those two things will be over and done with by 2030. I also hope people have finally copped on about climate change. We are destroying our planet every day and need to make drastic changes or we will seriously regret it. I hope 2030 is a far more welcoming place for members of the LGBTQ community. We have come a long way but there’s def room for improvement. I really hope Ireland will have made it to at least one World Cup and that Ireland’s weather has improved!

Host: Thanks for all that Martin, see you again.

Martin: You’re welcome.

There is no introduction to the podcast, segment, or guest. One long chunk of speech is not a good idea. Speech should be separated between two or more people and be more detailed.

Some interesting topics are brought up but they are not explored enough.

Topic 9 102

Sample Answer 2 – 20/20 marks

(Podcast jingle, followed by an advertisement for Tesco Mobile.)

Jack: Hello listeners, and welcome to another episode of “Teens Know Things”. I’m your host, Jack Mac, and today we are going to try and look into the future! We will be chatting to local swimming sensation, 16-year-old Martin O’Dowd, and getting his thoughts on what he hopes the world will look like in 2030! Welcome Martin…

(Applause sounds)

Martin: Wow, thanks for that, Jack, I’m delighted to be here with you guys today. I’ve been listening to you guys from the beginning, when you started two years ago as a TY project, and have loved watching you go from strength to strength.

Jack: Thanks Martin, it’s been so brilliant. Let’s dive right into things. After a crazy few years we are all hoping things are set to improve for the world. What would you like to specifically see happen?

Martin: Well, 2030 is not that far away, so we have to be realistic, but I would certainly hope that Covid is a distant memory by then and that its impact on travel has resolved itself. I think seeing the world is so important for young people and they should take every opportunity possible to experience other places and cultures.

Jack: I agree, Martin. And I know you have been a very active member of our school’s “Green Team”. Are there some specifics you’d like to see in relation to all that?

Martin: Yes, absolutely, I’d like the majority of cars to be either hybrid or electric and to see more houses move to renewable energy, like solar panels. These are changes that are slowly happening, but I would love to see them seriously ramped up by 2030.

Jack: That would be fantastic for sure. Martin, we asked some of our followers if they had any questions for you, is that ok?

Host introduces himself and the episode.

References to the background of this podcast adds realism. Excellent layout and natural, conversational style.

Answers are in depth; he is not just listing topics.


Martin: Sure, go for it.

Jack: Ok… (Jingle sound)

Listener: Hi Martin, I’m wondering what changes you’d like to see in relation to female sports by the year 2030?

Martin: That’s a great question. I think we’ve made great strides of late in relation to women’s rugby, soccer, and hockey, but I think the GAA could pick up the pace a bit. They need to encourage more media coverage of ladies’ games and put more resources into development and underage levels.

Jack: Mar tin, we’re running out of time. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today and we wish you all the best in the upcoming national qualifiers.

Martin: Thanks Jack.

Jack: Thanks for tuning in as always, loyal listeners. Our next episode will look at the growing popularity of veganism among teens and the benefits of this diet and lifestyle. See you then! (Final jingle to fade out).

Good sound effects and awareness of the audience/followers.

Topic 9 104
Notes 152

Before you finish your study, check that you have everything you need ready for the following morning, exam number, pens, etc.

• Don’t sit up cramming, make sure you get a good night’s sleep.

• Eat well before the exam to keep up your stamina.

• Give yourself plenty of time to make sure you arrive on time.

• When you get to school avoid conversations with others about what they have revised, it might onlyincrease your stress.

• Read the paper very carefully.

• Always start with your strongest question.

• Make sure to give yourself time at the end of the exam to re-read over your answers and check them.

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