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Greater Dublin Area (GDA) for Leaving Cert Geography

Tip: I found it extremely beneficial to know this chapter inside out and back to front. There is more to write about the GDA in comparison with the West of Ireland, and the questions are often easier to get big marks in. There’s a good bit in this chapter, but much of it is common sense or things you’d hear about on the news. Be specific; learn exact figures regarding population, average temperatures etc. This is a critical piece of advice across the entire geography course, but particularly in the Regional section. 

Our Geography notes are coming soon, subscribe to our emails to get all the important updates (it's free and secure) Physical processes  Climate  Cool temperate maritime  Lower precipitation (compared to the WoI). 800-1000mm per year. In rain shadow of Dublin Mountains (which are 1200m high) Sunshine- 4 hours per day average Summer temperature- 16 degrees Celsius Winter temperature- 5 degrees Celsius Growing season- 270 days Relief
Lowland region- low, flat land Dublin…

Short Story Sample Answer: Fit the story to the title on exam day

HL Paper 1 Section C

A versatile short story. This story is written in a way that could be altered on exam day to fit into a broad range of titles. Consider how the short story below could be adapted to fit a variety of essay titles below:

Write a short story in which setting/location is a significant feature (2008).
Write a short story in which the central character is faced with making an important decision (2009).
Write a short story in which a central character is either manipulated or is manipulative (2013).
Write a short story about a reunion (2013).
Write a short story in which a ghostly presence plays a significant part (2014).
Don't miss out on the latest A1 notes and tips from top Leaving Cert performers!

I keep myself hidden from sight. Silent. Obscured. There is a pond nearby; deeper than it is wide. In summer, children come here, and I watch them; silently watching as they swim and play.

leaving cert english notes paper 1


I constantly remind myself of the old adage, “Look, but don’t touch.” But it is a rule I have always struggled, unsuccessfully, to abide by. The pond is an idyllic spot; the water sparkles beneath the light of a blazing sun, while the edges are shaded by ancient weeping willows that dip their leaves and branches beneath the surface. On the opposite side of my hiding place is a clearing, known locally as “the shore”, and it is here, that dog walkers stop to throw sticks and children; stones. Today, there are three visitors: boys aged twelve (my favourites). Two of them are known to me, John and Danny. They’re twins. Danny is older and constantly reminds his three-minute-younger brother of this. They don’t get on, but today they seem happy, skimming stones to my side of the watery expanse.

I knew their grandmother, but despite this connection, it is the third boy in their trio that has caught my attention. Paul, they call him. He is taller than the twins; handsome, with blonde hair and blue eyes. They laugh as they try to outdo each other. Paul laughs loudest, but his clear eyes are red at the edges. Earlier, the twins suspected, he’d been crying. They were right. Crying had become somewhat of a pastime for Paul.

His father left when he was nine. It was a Wednesday night. Paul lay on the bathroom floor, his ear to the cold tiles, listening to his parents shout at each other in the room below. Then there was silence. The news came on. Even to this day those opening credits remind Paul of those words shouted by his mother: “You had sex with her!”
“Sex” was a concept nine year old Paul didn’t fully understand, but it was that word that resulted in his father leaving, never to come back. It was mum’s fault. Mum made dad leave. Everything was mum’s fault. It was mum’s fault Paul didn’t see his cousins, it was mum’s fault he couldn’t go on the school tour, and it was mum’s fault that Paul wasn’t going to the same secondary school as John and Danny.

“But St. Anne’s is a great school,” she argued.
“I want to go to the Comp.”
“You’ll do better at St. Anne’s.”
“None of my friends are going there.”
“So you’ll make new ones.”
“I don’t want new ones.”

John and Danny were both going to the Comprehensive school, and they laughed at Paul, especially when they found out he started school two days earlier than they did. 
That St. Anne’s was an all-boys school, was another hilarious fact for the twins who had spent most of the summer talking about the things they were going to do with the girls in the Comprehensive. Even today, the word “sex” was used.

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John and Danny laughed. Paul did too, but it was a fake laugh, to him there was nothing funny about that word. To him, it wasn’t a word associated with fun or pleasure. It was a loaded word; a word that had destroyed his family, and ruined his life. Last night, Paul had cried. He cried thinking of the future, thinking forward to dark September evenings. John and Danny would move on. They’d make new friends and Paul would be alone. Alone. And struggling to fit into a school he neither wanted to be in, nor did he belong.

His sadness is palpable. I want to reach out to him, tell him he wouldn’t be alone. I could be his friend. He could talk to me, cry to me. And I would hold him in my arms, like his father should have.

“Time for a swim”, announces Danny. They quickly disrobe.

I am now fixated by Paul, so much so, I don’t even notice the others enter the water.
They swim in circles, laughing, splashing and sending wave like ripples to the edges of the pond. Paul changes direction and effortlessly crosses to my side, eventually pulling himself out of the water.

He is so close to me now. He might have even seen me, had he been looking. He looks well; a fine specimen of adolescence and so close, I could almost touch him... He re-enters the water in spectacular style, plunging deep below the surface. 

Now’s my chance.

You see, even on hot days like this, the water remains cold, and the deeper you go, the colder it gets; sometimes below freezing. It is a lesson Paul would have been taught in Geography in a couple of weeks... but not now... not now that I’ve introduced myself...

A tap on his shoulder; a whisper in his ear, “Time to go”.

***

After ten minutes of hysterical searching for their friend, the twins eventually drag his lifeless carcass to the shore. It lies there, sprawled out on the grass; quite undignified.
I think back to the twin’s grandmother. It was summer when I met her too, but that night was different; all candles and rosary beads, and she was peaceful, almost happy to come with me - poor Paul; cold, wet, frightened.

leaving cert notes english higher level

I glance back over my shoulder at the ensuing pandemonium; a jogger stops to help. Soon the ambulance will arrive, with the paramedics frantically pounding on Paul’s chest, desperately trying to expel water from his lungs... I do hate to see people waste their time.

Besides, someone somewhere is finishing a short story and I must go to relieve them of any future reading pleasures.

Based on a student's essay

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