Beach Safety: a model response.

This post comprises a slightly embarrassing passage written under exam conditions this morning.

Year 11 were given a passage question relating to Edexcel Certificate Paper 1: Remind yourself of the passage Beach Safety.

Using the middle pages, explore how effective the language used
is in delivering the clear message of the leaflet.

I wrote my response at the same time that they did,m in an attempt to highlight the detail needed to achieve a Band 3 response. I allowed a maximum of 25 minutes for the task. I then marked and explained my response under the visualiser. Due to my horrible handwriting, I am indebted to our wonderful head Boy, Daniel Aduakwa who can be found debating in videos elsewhere on this page, who actually typed up my handrwitten offering!

My response is below, since they felt that they would like to see it again.

The leaflet has two main purposes: to inform and instruct about safety and to persuade readers to donate to the RNLI.

In the middle pages, the language mostly reflects the first purpose. The yellow section to the right of page two delivers clear information and instruction. The information about ‘rips’ is laid out in a single sentence at the top of the column. The language is simple and allows for easy comprehension. Beneath the column, the bullet points and the imperative verbs – “keep hold…” “Revise” give clear instruction. In the first bullet point, an antithetical pair is used to reinforce the instruction with the vital double imperative “stay calm – don’t panic”. The instructions even cover information about emergency telephone numbers.

In the two illustrations beneath the passage, the language is brief and clear, helping to ensure speedy assimilation of this important safety message. This idea continues on the next page, where the visual prompts of the flags are accompanied by clear, yet simple, explanation of the purpose of each. The message of the red flag is reinforced by the exclamation mark, following the emotive single word sentence: “danger!”.

In the right hand text box on the same page, Second Person address is used to communicate directly with the reader: “even small waves can take you by surprise…”. Once again the focus is on the clarity, the bullet points and the imperatives reinforce the instructions to ensure safety. The second person address is continued in the useful information boxes at the foot of the page, emphasized by the use of the illustration within the warning triangle.

On the first page, a personal anecdote is used to reinforce the message. Carolyne Yard is quoted, giving details of how her sons got into trouble and how they were rescued. The way she writes in the past tense in paragraph one sets up a relaxed tone at first, however, with the use of “but”, the reader is prepared for a contradiction. Verbs such as “swept”, develop the idea that her sons, despite being “big teenagers” were being caught by elements beyond their control.

The passage uses a clear, chronological structure to ensure that readers can follow the steps which lead to the rescue.The RNLI is name-checked in paragraph three because this section carries an element of advertising within it. The language remains calm and is not over-persuasive, The anecdote is an effective tool on its own. In paragraph five, the sentences are short and simple – each showing a clear stage in the rescue: “Angus and Will were shaking with shock”. The alliteration helps to reinforce the strength of this image.

The final paragraph is a first person response to the efficiency of the rescue – The function of the passage is clear: to raise assurances of “beach safety and to raise awareness of the RNLI.

4EA0_01_msc_20130822 Grid for Question 5