1A1 end of term exam

1st years, this exam will be one hour long. You must revise the following topics:

  • Diary entry
  • Informal letter
  • Debate
  • Nouns
  • Adjectives
  • Capital letters
  • Apostrophes
  • Literary terms e.g. alliteration, asonance, theme, character, simile, metaphor
  • ‘Mid Term Break’ by Seamus Heaney
  • Any novel that you have read

Remember that exams start on 22nd November so it is never too early to start your revision! Make a comment on this post if you have any questions.

Mrs Meighan

A Halloween Reading List

The following list was compiled by Darragh McManus of The Guardian newspaper specially for this time of the year. These are novels that are ‘eerie, horrifying or disturbing in unusual and different ways’.

‘Manual’ by Daren King

Fetishism, psychic dislocation, unhealthy obsession – ‘Manual’ isn’t an easy book to warm to, but it will linger in the mind afterwards. Sometimes gruelling, but worth it if only for the wholly original style: terse, often unrelated sentences, tiny explosions of descriptive power . . . like reading a series of connected haikus.

‘The Return of the Player’ by Michael Tolkin

Sequel to the novel that inspired the Robert Altman movie, but this is much darker and creepier, in tone and theme, than that relatively playful novel. Fundamentally about death, it’s a feaful lament for the end of things,

‘Brighton Rock’ by Graham Greene

Because Pinkie is one of the most terrifyingly believable sociopaths ever created . . . and the horror that awaits Rosie after the final pages is indescribable.

‘Shirker’ by Chad Taylor

Set in New Zealand, this tale of one man cheating death is one of the best crime novels ever. Beautiful artful prose, a great, twisting noir story, and a seriously spooky atmosphere. You’ll feel all sorts of chills running along your spine.

‘Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino

A tone of strange, spooky reverie permeates this fantasy from the incomparable Calvino. A group of wayfarers meet in the forest and, struck dumb, tell their stories through tarot cards.

‘High-Rise’ by JG Ballard

It opens with a man roasting an alsation over a burning phonebook, and doesn’t relent from there on in. Most of Ballard’s incredible body of work is disturbing enough, but ‘High-Rise’ was the one of the scariest.

‘The Body Artist’ by Don DeLillo

It’s a sort of ghost story – or is it? Reality, delusion and memory blur into one another in DeLillo’s short novel about the titular body artist dealing with bereavement.

‘Oryx and Crake’ by Margaret Atwood

Any one of a number of dystopian novels could have made the cut but Atwood’s ‘speculative’ novel is so unsettling because everything that happens is a possible, and often probable, consequence of what we’re doing now.

‘The Vanished Man’ by Jeffery Deaver

Deaver might not be a literary artist, but he’s a very skilled craftsman. ‘The Vanished Man’ has a deliriously serpentine plot – and a cameleonic villain who gets right under your skin because he can get right under anyone’s skin.

‘The Shining’ by Stephen King

Ghosts, the supernatural, psychic abilities – this novel has all the elements of a gripping gothic novel. A film based on the book was released in 1980, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson.

‘American Psycho’ by Bret Easton Ellis

This is a psychological thriller and satirical novel set in Manhattan during the Wall Street boom of the late 1980s. The story is told in the first person narrative by the protagonist, serial killer and business man, Patrick Bateman.



Some important quotes from ‘Macbeth’ Act 2

Again, make sure you know and understand each of these.


Banquo – Fleance

‘A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,

And yet I would not sleep.’


Banquo – Macbeth

‘I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters:

To you they have show’d some truth.’


Macbeth – Banquo

‘I think not of them’


Macbeth – soliloquy

‘Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee:

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible

To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but

A dagger of the mind, a false creation,

Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?’


Lady Macbeth – soliloquy

‘That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold,

What hath quench’d them hath given me fire.’


Lady Macbeth – soliloquy

‘Alack! I am afraid they have awak’d,

And ’tis not done; the attempt and not the deed

Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready;

He could not miss them. Had he not resembled

My father as he slept I had done’t. My husband!’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘I have done the deed.’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘But wherefore could I not pronounce ‘Amen’?

I had most need of blessing, and ‘Amen’

Stuck in my throat.’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘These deeds must not be thought

After these ways; so, it will make us mad.’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more!

Macbeth does murder sleep’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘Why, worthy thane,

You do unbend your noble strength to think

So brainsickly of things. Go get some water,

And wash this filthy witness from your hand.

Why did you bring these daggers from the place?

They must lie there: go carry them, and smear

The sleepy grooms with blood.’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘I’ll go no more:

I am afraid to think what I have done;

Look on’t again I dare not.’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘Infirm of purpose!

Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead

Are but as pictures; ’tis the eye of childhood

That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,

I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal;

For it must seem their guilt.’


Macbeth – soliloquy

‘Whence is that knocking?

How is’t with me, when every noise appals me?

What hands are here! Ha! They pluck out mine eyes.

Will all Neptune’s ocean wash this blood

Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather

The multitudinous seas incarnadine,

Making the green one red.’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘My hands are of your colour, but I shame

To wear a heart so white.

I hear a knocking

At the sout entry; retire we to our chamber;

A little water clears us of this deed;

How easy is it, then! Your constancy

Hath left you unattended.’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!’


Lennox – Macbeth

‘The night has been unruly: where we lay,

Our chimneys were blown down; and, as they say,

Lamentings heard i’ the air; strange screams of death,

And prophesying with accents terrible

Of dire combustion and confus’d events

New hatch’d to the woeful time. The obscure bird

Clamour’d the livelong night: some say the earth

Was feverous and did shake.’


Macduff – Macbeth and Lennox

‘O horror! Horror! Horror! Tongue nor heart

Cannot conceive nor name thee!’


Macduff – Macbeth and Lennox

‘Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!

Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope

The Lord’s anointed temple, and stole thence

The life o’ the building!’


Macduff – Lady Macbeth

‘O gentle lady!

‘Tis not for you to hear what I can speak;

The repetition in a woman’s ear

Would murder as it fell.’


Macbeth – Macduff and Lennox

‘Had I but died an hour before this chance

I had liv’e a blessed time; for, from this instant,

There’s nothing serious in mortality,

All is but toys; renown and grace is dead,

The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees

Is left this vault to brag of.’


Macbeth – Macduff and Lennox

‘O! Yet I do repent me of my fury,

That I did kill them.’


Donalbain – Malcolm

‘Our separated fortune

Shall keep us both the safer: where we are,

There’s daggers in men’s smiles: the near in blood,

The nearer bloody.’


Malcolm – Donalbain

‘This murderous shaft that’s shot

Hath not yet lighted, and our safest way

Is to avoid the aim: therefore, to horse;

And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,

But shift away: there’s warrant in that theft

Which steals itself when there’s no mercy left.’


Old Man – Ross

‘Threescore and ten I can remember well;

Within the volume of which time I have seen

Hours dreadful and things strange, but this sore night

Hath trifled former knowings.’


Old Man – Ross

‘Tis unnatural,

Even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last,

A falcoln, towering in her pride of place

Was by a mousing owl hawk’d at and kill’d.’


Ross – Old Man

‘And Duncan’s horses – a thing most strange and certain –

Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,

Turn’d wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,

Contending ‘gainst  obedience, as they would

Make war with mankind.’


Old Man – Ross

‘Tis said they eat each other.’


Macduff – Ross

‘Malcolm and Donalbain, the king’s two sons,

Are stol’n away and fled, which puts upon them

Suspicion of the deed.’


Ross – Macduff

‘Gainst nature still!

Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up

Thine own life’s means! Then ’tis most like

The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.’


Macduff – Ross

‘He is already nam’d, and gone to Scone

To be invested.’


Macduff – Ross

‘Well, may you see things well done there: adieu!

Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!’


Friendship as demonstrated by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

The friendship demonstrated by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is in sharp contrast to that demonstrated by Horatio. 

We first meet these two characters in Act 2 Scene 2 as they have been summoned by Claudius to court in order that they may spy on Hamlet.
‘I entreat you both,
That, being of you young days brought up with him,
And since so neighbour’d to his youth and humour,
That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
Some little time; so by your companies
To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather,
So much as from occasion you may glean,
Whether aught to us unknown afflicts him thus,
That, open’d, lies within our remedy.’ 

Their fawning response suggests that their loyalty lies with Claudius rather than with Hamlet. Their relationship with their friend is now defined by dishonesty, deception and duplicity.

‘But we both obey,
And here give up ourselves, in the full bent,
To lay our service freely at your feet,
To be commanded.’ 

Hamlet’s exclamation when he first sees Rosencrantz and Guildenstern certainly seems to be joyful:

‘My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern? Ah Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both?’

He engages in witty banter with them regarding Fortune and the misery of his existence. However, Hamlet sees through them and he questions their motives for being at Elsinore. Rosencrantz blatantly lies to Hamlet and states that their purpose is ‘To visit you, my lord; no other occasion.’ Even in the early stages of his madness, the Prince of Denmark sees through them and interrogates them further:

‘Were you not sent for? Is it a free visitation? Come, come, deal justly with me: come, come; nay speak.’

Guildenstern attempts to evade the question: ‘What should we say, my lord?’. But Hamlet will have none of it:

‘You were sent for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks which your modesties have not craft enough to colour: I know the good King and Queen have sent for you.’

Rosencrantz continues the evasion: ‘To what end, my lord?’

But Hamlet persists:

‘That you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved love, and by what more dear a better proposer could charge you withal, be even and direct with me, whether you were sent for or no!’

It is only after conferring together in an aside that Guildenstern finally admits the truth:

‘My lord, we were sent for.’ 

Are there any examples from ‘How Many Miles to Babylon?’ or ‘Inside I’m Dancing’ of friendship that is dishonest or has an ulterior motive? 


Friendship of Hamlet and Horatio in Act 1

In Act 1 Scene 1 Horatio and Marcellus join Bernardo on the battlement of Elsinore so that they may witness the ghost if he reappears. When the ghost leaves without having spoken to any of the men there, Horatio declares:

‘and by my advice
Let us impart what we have seen tonight
Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
his spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?’ 

Horatio is clearly bound by duty and his friendship with Hamlet to tell him exactly what he has seen. 

Horatio gets the opportunity to give this news to his friend in Act 1 Scene 2. Hamlet tells the former that he sees his father ‘in my mind’s eye’. When Horatio tells him that he has seen Old Hamlet ‘yesternight’, Hamlet is surely shocked: ‘The King, my father!’

Horatio, like a good friend, wants Hamlet to calm down and he tells him:

‘Season your admiration for a while
With an attent ear, till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen
This marvel to you.’

They discuss the events together with Marcellus; and Hamlet carefully questions his friend about every detail. Horatio patiently replies and they decide to go back to the battlements together that night – ‘Perchance ‘twill walk again’.

 We meet Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus on the battlements once again in Act 1 Scene 4. We can see Horatio’s true concern for his friend as the ghost beckons Hamlet away:

‘What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
That beetles o’er his base into the sea,
And there assume some other horrible form,
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason
And draw you into madness? Think of it;
They very place puts toys of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain
That looks so many fathoms to the sea
And hears it roar beneath.’ 

Hamlet will not heed the advice given to him and tells Horatio and Marcellus to ‘Unhand me, gentlemen.’ He even insists ‘I’ll make a ghost of him that lets me’. 

Being faithful friends of Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus follow him. In the final scene of Act 1, Horatio tries to comfort Hamlet who is filled with ‘wild and whirling words’ after speaking with his father. Hamlet asks that Horatio and Marcellus keep his confidence when he tells them:

‘Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
How strange or odd soe’er I bear myself,
As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
To put an antic disposition on,
That you, at such times, seeing me, never shall,
With arms encumber’d thus, or this head-shake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As, ‘Well, well, we know’, or, ‘We could, an if we would’,
Or, ‘If we list to speak’, or, ‘There be, an if they might’,
Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
That you know aught of me: this not to do,
So grace and mercy at your most need help you,

His true friends can be trusted at this difficult time in Hamlet’s life. 

Now, if this tells us a little about friendship in Hamlet, we still need to connect this to ‘How Many Miles to Babylon?’ and ‘Inside I’m Dancing’. What key moments in these two texts illustrate friends who can be trusted and relied upon? Try to use some linking phrases in your comments.

The importance of punctuation!

Each of these examples demonstrates how variations in punctuation can alter the meaning of a sentence or sentences.


Woman: without her, man is nothing!

Woman, without her man, is nothing!



‘The teacher,’ said the student, ‘is listening!’

The teacher said, ‘The student is listening.’



Dear Jack,

I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy – will you let me be yours?



Dear Jack,

I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men I yearn! For you I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?





Charles the First walked and talked half an hour after his head was cut off.

Charles the First walked and talked. Half an hour after, his head was cut off.



Am I looking at my dinner or the dog’s?

Am I looking at my dinner or the dogs?

Some important quotes from ‘Macbeth’ Act 1

Be sure that you know and understand each of these quotations.


First Witch – Second and Third Witch

‘When shall we three meet again

In thunder, lightning, or in rain?’


All three witches

‘Fair is foul, and foul is fair’


Sergeant – Duncan

‘but all’s too weak;

For brave Macbeth, – well he deserves that name, –

Disdaining fortune, with his brandish’d steel,

Which smok’d with bloody execution,

Like valour’s minion carv’d out his passage

Till he fac’d the slave.’


Ross – Duncan

‘Assisted by that most disloyal traitor,

The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict;

Till that Bellona’s bridegroom, lapp’d in proof,

Confronted him with self-comparisons’


Duncan – Ross

‘No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive

Our bosom interest. Go pronounce his present death,

And with his former title greet Macbeth.’


Macbeth – Banquo

‘So foul and fair a day I have not seen.’


Banquo – Macbeth

‘And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,

The instruments of darkness tell us truths’


Macbeth – aside

‘This supernatural soliciting

Cannot be ill, cannot be good. . .

. . . and nothing is

But what is not.’


Macbeth – Banquo

‘At more time,

The interim having weigh’d it, let us speak

Our free hearts each to other.’


Duncan – Malcom

‘There’s no art

To find the mind’s construction in the face.’


Duncan – court

‘We will establish our estate upon

Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter

The Prince of Cumberland.’


Macbeth – aside

‘The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step

On which I must fall down, or else o’er-leap,

For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires!

Let not light see my black and deep desires’


Lady Macbeth – soliloquy

Yet I do fear thy nature;

It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way; thou wouldst be great,

Art not without ambition, but without

The illness should attend it.’


Lady Macbeth – soliloquy

‘The raven himself is hoarse

That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan

Under my battlements. Come, you spirits

That tend on mortal thoughts! Unsex me here,

And fill me from the crown to the toe top full

Of direst cruelty.’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘Look like the innocent flower,

But be the serpent under’t.’


Duncan – Lady Macbeth

‘Fair and noble hostess,

We are your guest tonight.’


Macbeth – soliloquy

‘If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well

It were done quickly; if the assassination

Could tramme up the consequence, and catch

With his surcease success; that but this blow

Might be the be-all and the end-all here . . .

. . . I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only

Vaulting ambition, which o’er-leaps itself

And falls on the other.’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘We will proceed no further in this business:

He hath honour’d me of late; and I have bought

Golden opinions from all sorts of people,

Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,

Not cast aside so soon.’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘Was the hope drunk,

Wherein you dress’d yourself? Hath it slept since,

And wakes it now, to look so green and pale

At what it did so freely? . . .

. . . Letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’,

Like the poor cat i’ the adage?’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘I dare do all that may become a man;

Who dares do more is none.’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘I have given suck, and know

How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me:

I would, while it was smiling in my face,

Have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums,

And dash’d the brains out, had I so sworn as you

Have done to this.’


Lady Macbeth – Macbeth

‘But screw your courage to the sticking-place,

And we’ll not fail.’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘Bring forth men-children only;

For thy undaunted mettle should compose

Nothing but males.’


Macbeth – Lady Macbeth

‘I am settled, and bend up

Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.

Away, and mock the time with fairest show:

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.’

Novels set in boarding schools

If you’re looking for something to read, you may want to find a novel that you can relate to. Here are a number of novels set (or partially set) in boarding schools. Do they relate to your experience? Which of these have you read?

  1. Lord Dismiss Us – Michael Campbell (1967)
  2. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger (1951)
  3. Fools of Fortune – William Trevor (1983)
  4. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro (2005)
  5. The Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling
  6. A Good School – Richard Yates (1978)
  7. Friendly Fire – Patrick Gale (2005)
  8. The Night Music – Christopher Campbell Howes (2006)
  9. Skippy Dies – Paul Murray (2010)
  10. Spud – Howard de Ruit (2005)
  11. Prep – Curtis Sittenfeld (2005)
  12. A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray (2005)
  13. Cracks – Sheila Kohler (2000)
  14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce (1916)
  15. The Land of Spice – Kate O’Brien (1941)
  16. Old School – Tobias Wolff (2003)
  17. Testimony – Anita Shreve (2008)
  18. Decline and Fall – Evelyn Waugh (1928)
  19. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (1847)
  20. The Chocolate War – Robert Carmier (1974)
  21. A Separate Peace – John Knowles (1959)
  22. The Headmaster’s Papers – Richard A. Hawley (1983)


What do you look for in a book?

Write a note about what you look for when you are choosing a book to read. Do you prefer novels, biographies, history books, sports books? Is character important to you or are you drawn to books with plenty of action? Have you ever been disappointed by a book that did not live up to expectations?

Refer to books you have read in the past or whatever you are reading now. Don’t forget to give the name of the author.

Re-read the Responsible Blogging page before you start and don’t forget to re-read your comment before you publish.

I’m looking forward to reading your posts!

Mrs. Meighan