HC English

Holy Cross High School, Hamilton

S4 Macbeth Quote Bank

Macbeth quote bank copy

Intermediate 2 English – drama past questions

S5 Past Papers – Prose and Drama complete with Othello Quote Bank

Othello Quote Bank

Higher English Drama Past Paper

Higher English Prose Questions

BBC Young Reporter

Miss Cunningham’s first year class 1A are currently embracing their inner journalists and are frantically working on potential stories to share with the masses for the news day! Here are some photos of our future Jackie Birds at work!

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As you can see, the BBC School Report gets a big thumbs up!

What’s it all about?

This year Holy Cross High School will be broadcasting to the masses through the BBC school report. News Day is 21st March 2013 where S1 pupils, supported by upper school mentors, will broadcast their own news stories via the BBC. Check back on News Day to see our take on current affairs and what’s happening in and around Holy Cross. See you soon!

S2 Rap Battle – By Ciara and Gemma

Last month Mr Kelly and Mr Mackinnon’s second year english classes received a visit by Glasgow rapper, Loki. He gave them a masterclass to prepare them for a rap battle.

He offered advice on how to get into rap and told the pupils to listen to different kinds of hip-hop and see what styles they like. He also told them to write as much as they can because anything goes.

The advice he gave them was very helpful and he encouraged anyone who was interested to learn the skills and showcase their talents in a rap battle.

Loki judged the rap battle that took place on the 13th December. Both classes went head to head and the winners were Michael Ozareck and Connnor McEany from Mr kelly’s class. These two pupils showed creativity and talent and everyone was entertained.

This event was such a success it featured in the school bulletin and also was a feature in The Hamilton Advertiser. To all our future Jay Z’s check this out now.

rap battle



Harry Styles Shoe Trauma!

In light of Harry Styles sadly being hit with a shoe at last week’s One Direction concert in Glasgow’s SECC, some of our School Reporters recently had a debate on the dangers of throwing shoes.

Check out the link below to view the debate:



BBC Authors Live Event!

Our Young Reporters had the opportunity to take part in an Authors Live Event with international bestseller Darren Shan. He was there to discuss his new series of novels called ZOM-B. Pupils from Holy Cross High not only had the chance to meet Mr Shan but they also asked him questions about his epic writing career.









To view the event click on the link below.



Mrs Taylor: S5 Non Fiction – Shooting an Elephant.

Shooting an Elephant


Personal Writing Topics

Personal Writing Questions 2009

Miss Cunningham Intermediate 2 – Resources

The Intermediate 2 course comprises three key elements: close reading, critical essay writing and the writing folio. Below are resources and study guides for the three key areas. They should be used in conjunction with class notes to fully prepare for NABs, prelims and the final exams. More materials will be added throughout the year as the course progresses.


Critical Essay Resources

Click on the links below to access a variety of different materials on the poem War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy.


War Photographer Analysis Notes

War Photographer – Poem


Close Reading

Click on the links below for materials relating to the different types of close reading question. The links include hints and tips, advice and also examples for practise at home.



Making sense of sentence structure questions





The Writing Folio

The writing folio counts for 20% of the final Grade awarded for Intermediate 1, 2 and Higher English. For Intermediate 2 the candidate must submit two essays which are no more than 1000 words. The essays should be either personal, discursive or imaginative. The candidate can choose which two they prefer from the three categories. The final draft must be word processed and contain an accurate word count. For discursive essays a bibliography of all sources used to research the essay topic must be included with the final draft. Below are links to advice and guidelines on the writing folio. The assessment criteria used by SQA is also included to give cadidates an insight into how they are graded.



Writing Folio Advice

English Writing Folio General Guidance

Int 2 Writing Folio Assessment Criteria

Mrs Giusti: Halloween Homework for S1

Halloween Homework

s5 non-fiction: An essay by George Orwell


Flash Fiction

Flash fiction (also known as sudden fiction or microfiction) is fiction of extreme brevity.   

While there is no universally-accepted word limit, most flash stories are between 250 and 1,000 words. Flash fiction is, however, primarily defined by the intent that it be read at a single short sitting.

Flash fiction employs the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles or complications, and resolution. This principle, taken to the extreme, is illustrated by Ernest Hemingway’s six-word flash:

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Flash Fiction

The first national Flash Fiction Day was on 16th May, 2012. To mark the occasion, The Guardian ran this interesting story about published Flash Fiction author, David Gaffney, in which he explains how he got into writing ‘short-short stories’.

The Guardian also published some excellent examples of Flash Fiction sent in by their young readers.

Othello themes for Higher revision.

Here are some materials for those students studying Othello at Higher. The questions at the end of each theme should be attempted.

Othello Themes

Kidlit – S1/2 CfE

S1/2 pupils will read Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo and then work in groups to write their own ‘kidlit’ book aimed at 3-7 year olds.

They examine the use of characteristation, rhyme, repetition and theme in The Gruffalo, identifying how the story is structured in order to appeal to young children.

Initially, they will be writing individual plans before deciding as a group on the strongest story to work on.

The illustration of the story is important and they should elect one member of their group to put the words of the story into pictures.

Kidlit Gruffalo Sheet

Kidlit Individual Planning Sheet

Kidlit Group Planning

Here is a particularly good example of this type of story written by three S2 pupils!

The Lost Pirate

S1/2 CfE: Newspod

Newspod is a functional writing/podcasting unit in which pupils work in groups to plan, write, record and edit podcasts on issues which they feel strongly about.

Pupils will take roles within their groups as host and guests in debate/discussion, as well as presenting two minutes individually as part of the podcast.

There will also be opportunities for vox-pop and interviews, as well as integration of other features such as music and other sound effects.


Newspod Worksheet

The Structure of your Podcast

Newspod Self/Peer Evaluation Sheets

Listen to the Soundcloud widget below to hear Cara and Gemma’s podcast, Stereotype Station.

Remaking MacBeth

In this activity, groups rewrite key scenes from MacBeth using modern settings.

Through contextualising the play, themes can be addressed from different angles and a deeper understanding can be achieved. It’s also lots of fun!

Modern MacBeth – Power Point

Modern MacBeth – Worksheet

Modern MacBeth Peer-Evaluation

Int 2/Higher – Flannery O’ Connor

Mary Flannery O’Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American novelist, short-story writer and essayist. An important voice in American literature, O’Connor wrote two novels and 32 short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries. She was a Southern writer who often wrote in a Southern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and grotesque characters. O’Connor’s writing also reflected her own Roman Catholic faith, and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics.

The Life You Save May Be Your Own

Good Country People

The Life You Save May Be Your Own Symbolism task

Comparative Essay

Int 1/2 – Sylvia Plath ‘Mirror’ Task: ‘Mirror Images’ Personal Writing/Peer Work


In this Unit, pupils first annotate the Plath poem (either as individuals, a class or in groups as you wish).

Individuals then write about the person they see in the mirror initially in a plan, writing in response to four questions, then developing their ideas into full, final paragraphs.

Partners then write about each other, describing the person they see.

Finally, partners evaluate the similarities and differences between the two ‘mirror images’.

The intention behind this lesson is to encourage pupils to consider themes of insecurity and vanity, reflecting on their own thoughts and feelings about themselves.

S1 CfE – The APPrentice

A Group Discussion/Presentation Unit incorporating Functional Writing.

Based on the BBC television programme, The Apprentice. Pupils brainstorm, plan and present ideas for an educational App focused on an aspect of Curriculum for Excellence – Literacy, Numeracy or Health and Wellbeing.

Pupils’ Unit Evaluations:

“I learned to work better in a group… I felt that the project was perfect and would make no changes to it.” Joshua

“I thought it was fun that you got to use your imagination…” Amy

“I learned from this project that English isn’t just about reading books, that it can be enjoyable and fun too.” Shannon

“I learned about team work and to communicate better with people…” Dylan

The APPrentice – PowerPoint Unit

Individual Planning Sheet

Planning your App – Handout

Group Sheet

Group Evaluation Sheet

The APPrentice Peer-Evaluation

The APPrentice Unit Evaluation

Examples of Pupil App Presentations:

Sum Goal! – Numeracy-based Football App

Chefs International – Cookery App linked with Numeracy, Literacy and Health and Wellbeing!

War Photographer – Int 1/2 poetry resources

Carol Ann Duffy’s poem ‘War Photographer’ focuses on the work and feelings of a man whose job it is to capture images of war for publication.

War Photographer – PowerPoint Unit

War Photographer – Word Doc Unit

War Photographer documentary (broken into seven parts on You Tube – all on Power Point!)

http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/ – War Photography Website

John Updike – Int 2/Higher prose

John Hoyer Updike (March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009) was an American novelist, poet,short story writer, art critic, and literary critic.

Updike’s most famous work is his Rabbit series (the novels Rabbit, RunRabbit ReduxRabbit Is RichRabbit At Rest; and the novella “Rabbit Remembered“) which chronicled the life of Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom over the course of several decades, from young adulthood to his death. Both Rabbit Is Rich (1981) and Rabbit At Rest (1990) received the Pulitzer Prize. His work has attracted a significant amount of critical attention and praise, and he is widely considered to be one of the great American writers of his time.  Updike famously described his own style as an attempt “to give the mundane its beautiful due.”

A & P Setting and Symbolism

A & P Hot-Seating

Haruki Murakami – Int 2/Higher prose

Haruki Murakami (村上 春樹 Murakami Haruki?, born January 12, 1949) is a Japanese writer and translator.[1] His works of fiction and non-fiction have garnered him critical acclaim and numerous awards, including the Franz Kafka Prize, for his novel Kafka on the Shore, and the Jerusalem Prize.

He is considered an important figure in postmodern literatureThe Guardian praised him as “among the world’s greatest living novelists” for his works and achievements.

The Second Bakery Attack

The Second Bakery Attack Notes

The Second Bakery Attack Hot-Seating

The Second Bakery Attack Group Discussion

The Second Bakery Attack Another Point Of View

The Second Bakery Attack Another Point of View Handout

In the Another Point of View task, the class write imaginative responses to Haruki Murakami’s The Second Bakery Attack.
Pupils work in pairs (a boy and a girl, ideally) to write 1st Person Narratives from the wife’s perspective addressing one of three parts of the story, which are then compiled to make up an audiobook.

Play the Soundcloud widget below to listen to an example.

The Second Bakery Attack 30-Minute Essay

The Second Bakery Attack Critical Essay

Anne Sexton – Int 2/Higher poetry unit

Anne Sexton (November 9, 1928, Newton, Massachusetts – October 4, 1974, Weston, Massachusetts) was an influential American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse.



Courage In Your Own Words – personal writing task

A Question Of Courage – textual analysis questions/answers

The Loner/ Dramatic Monologue

A dramatic monologue is a speech in which a character reveals their true thoughts and feelings. They may be alone onstage or simply unheard by other characters.

The Loner:

A loner is a person who does not connect with others or who chooses to isolate themselves.

In this creative writing exercise, pupils write a dramatic monologue from the perspective of a loner in which they explain their reasons for being alone.

The Loner (Word)

The Loner (Power Point)

Deeper Into Movies

S2 pupils present a solo talk based on the film which has had the greatest impression or influence on them.

Their presentation should use Power Point and possibly incorporate film,images and music.

Deeper Into Movies

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Notes

Music Notes

The Soundtrack To My Life

Music Notes

iPod Roulette

Music Notes is a unit for S2 which is based on pupils’ musical tastes. Students are encouraged to think in more depth about what they choose to listen to and develop their analysis and evaluation skills in spoken and written activities.


The Soundtrack To My Life – solo talk/personal writing materials

iPod Roulette –  journalism/personal writing

Pupils will also watch the award-winning short film Heavy Metal Jr by Chris Waitt to help stimulate thought and discussion about the influence music can have on a young person’s life. It’s also extremely funny.

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