Music was the theme of the English Ordinary Level Paper One,?featuring a wide array of singing sensations to inspire student writing, including Denise Chaila, virtual popstar Hatsune Miku?and……. Irish soccer fans.
Teacher Kate Barry thought the paper was very fair, with a good level of challenge in the comprehension section.
Ms Barry, an Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI) subject representative thought the comprehension tasks, in Question B, in particular, were “very nice”.
The Ordinary Level paper maintained the tradition of having one of the three comprehension “texts”, made up of images only, although that was not a feature of the Higher Level paper this year. It was in this question that an image of the Irish soccer fans was used.
Ms Barry, who teaches at Loreto College, Fermoy, Co Cork, also liked the essay choices, particularly the one where students were invited to write a short story set in a world where all music has been banned.
Ursula O’Connor, a Teachers’ Union of Ireland (|TUI) subject representative, described the paper as “lovely” and, similar to Higher Level had “questions that were of an upbeat and positive nature”.
Ms O’Connor, who teaches at Mulroy College, Milford, Co Donegal, said the paper featured “lovely, engaging writing tasks”.
She liked that both the higher and ordinary level papers included an essay choice on the theme of community; the one at Ordinary Level was about the different kinds of activities and experiences that can help to bring people living in a local community together.
Teacher Lorraine Tuffy of Studyclix.ie and Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone, Co Sligo, described the paper as “well balanced.”
She thought the text on Hatsune Mike “was perhaps the most inviting for its exploration of how music connects us as well as its consideration of the transformative impact of technology on our musical experience.”
Like Ms Mulroy, she was struck by the essay choice: “You shouldn’t bend to fit the world and its labels”.
Ms Tuffy described the composition titles as broad and varied and thought a more discursive writer might have opted to write an article on the impact of technological developments.
“Most enticing were perhaps the personal essay titles which would have been well received; a particularly provocative title promoting individuality asked students to respond to this statement: “you shouldn’t bend to fit the world and its labels”.