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11+ English Reading and Writing

1. What weather event has just passed?

1 Mark

A rainstorm

2. Quote three words or phrases from paragraph 1 which show that the mood is calm and quiet.

Explain your choices.

3 Marks

‘the rain ceased’

‘the breeze died too’

‘there was no noise’

‘presently even the sound of the water was still’

1 mark for each quotation (max 3), 1 mark for each comment (max 3)

3. How does the writer make us feel sorry for Simon in paragraph 1?

2 Marks

‘Simon’s body lay huddled’ makes his body sound small and vulnerable

‘the stains spread, inch by inch’; describes the blood and suggests his life is draining away

up to 2 marks for a well explained idea, with or without a quotation

4. Write down two quotations which describe the small creatures at the edge of the water.

Explain what your quotations suggest about these creatures?

2 Marks

4 Marks

‘strange, moonbeam-bodied creatures with fiery eyes’

‘the creatures made a moving patch of light as they gathered at the edge’

‘the strange, attendant creatures, with their fiery eyes and trailing vapours, busied themselves round his head’

they are unusual with other-worldly aspects made up of light, fire and vapour-trails

they are performing some sort of service, working together

1 mark for each quotation up to 2 marks for each comment

5. Write down two quotations from paragraph 3 which suggest that the water has made Simon’s dead body more beautiful. Explain your choices.

2 Marks

4 Marks

‘dressed Simon’s coarse hair with brightness’; hair is turned into a source of light and made to shine

‘The line of his cheek silvered’; silver is a beautiful and precious metal which suggests his body is shining and beautiful to look at

‘the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble’; the dead body sounds like a beautiful scupture and marble is a stone which shines and gleams.

1 mark for each quotation up to 2 marks for each comment

6. Simon’s death was very violent and shocking. How do you think the reader feels about it by the end of this passage? Have the reader’s feelings changed? Explain your views.

2 Marks

4 Marks

Simon’s body sounded vulnerable at the start of the passage and it was surrounded by blood which stained the beach

By the end of the passage, Simon’s body has been washed clean and made to look beautiful so the reader feels less shocked and the description is comforting

His death was violent and shocking but the small creatures in the water are very gentle and kind to Simon, which makes the reader feel less disturbed by the killing

Simon’s body was left alone on the beach but now it is being looked after, which makes the reader feel less upset by the terrible events which have happened

For full marks, candidates should show an awareness of the disturbing nature of the killing as well as an awareness of the calming nature of this description

Award 1 or 2 marks for explaining how disturbed the reader might feel about the killing

Award 2 or 3 marks for explaining how the passage comforts the reader

Section B: Writing Task

1. Doing the right thing

1 Mark

The atmosphere is comparatively calm after the passing of the rainstorm

The breeze dies away, the sounds of running water gradually cease

2. Caution and risk. Think about the advantages of being cautious and the advantages of taking risks. Write a speech in which you argue the importance of one rather than the other. You may wish to include:


  • the advantages and disadvantages of each

  • who might be affected, other than yourself

  • examples to illustrate your view

4 Marks

Minute particulars, ‘sand grains’, are contrasted with the ‘great wave of the tide’

The sky, with its stars, is mirrored in the sea

2 marks for identifying contrasts

2 marks for sensible comments on the use of contrast

3.  Think about a time when either you or a member of your family suffered an embarrassing moment in public.

Describe this event in an entertaining and humorous way.

6 Marks

They are unusual, with otherworldly aspects made up of light, fire and vapour trails and they seem to be providing some sort of service, working together

Suggestions of the angelic, preparing a reception on the other side of death might be particularly rewarded


(a) ‘A good book should make you walk into lampposts.’ (Nick Hornby) You have probably never done this, but have you ever read a book which gripped you so much that you became unaware of your surroundings?

Explain why this book had such an impact on you.




(b) ‘It doesn’t matter how unbelievable a story is, as long as the characters are realistic.’

By referring to your own reading, to what extent do you agree with this statement?

25 Marks

The body is being turned into something attractive, ceremonially prepared, an artefact with some of the qualities of a funerary monument

It is lifted and turned with great care in preparation for the next stage of a journey

Reward any responses which show sensitivity to the language

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