Planning your answer

Here are two example answers (one foundation tier and one higher tier) that are just focused on point 1 of the extract.

Foundation tier question sample answer 1 – based on main point 1

The start of this extract is happy:

His mother hugs him and his father produces a toy gun for him. EDWARD, delighted, seizes it and ‘shoots’ his father, who spiritedly ‘dies’ to EDWARD’s great amusement.]

This shows that Edward is having fun.

Then Edward and Mrs Lyons start reading a book so this means that they are a well-educated family and Edward’s parents make sure that he is a good reader, so that he will do well at school and go on to be successful. This works because later in the play he goes on to Oxford University and then gets a job as a Councillor.


  • This response is not focused only on the extract. You should not write about other parts of the play, just about the section you have been given for this question.
  • The quotation used is too long. Try to use quotations of only a few words.
  • The comment on this quotation is too brief so needs more detail.
  • The second half of this answer does not answer the question. Make sure you read the question carefully and keep your whole answer centred around it.

Foundation tier question sample answer 2 – based on main point 1

At the start of the extract there is a happy feeling because it seems like the Lyons family are getting on well. The stage directions say that:

[EDWARD and his father romp on the floor.]

Which makes me think that they are being playful and enjoying themselves. This makes me think that Edward and his father get on well because they are having fun together.

However, this changes quickly because Mr Lyons starts to leave and Edward says Daddy... we haven’t finished the story yet. This makes me feel sorry for Edward because he was enjoying spending time with his father and now he is going, but Edward isn’t demanding. He is still polite to his father.


  • A secure Foundation tier response.
  • This has started to track through the response so the content is covered logically and comprehensively.
  • Quotations (which are not too long) are used regularly to support the answer.
  • Comments are all focused on answering the question.
  • This is just the start of the response – try finishing it yourself, making sure you cover as much of the extract as you can.

Higher tier question sample answer 1 – based on main point 1

There is a happy atmosphere at first in the extract. The stage directions say: [EDWARD and his father romp on the floor.]

This suggests that they are happy and having fun like a normal father and son. This is what Mrs Lyons wants so she is happy as well. However, Mr Lyons then leaves his family which upsets both Edward and his mother and shows that their relationship isn’t as good as it seemed at first. This makes me think that although Edward has a richer family, that does not necessarily mean that he will be happier.


  • This answer is mainly focused on the extract and uses a quotation, but it begins to talk about the play as a whole, which is unnecessary in an extract question.
  • The second part of the question is not answering the question. It is very important to concentrate on what the question is asking throughout your answer, otherwise you will not be able to achieve high marks.
  • In Higher tier responses, more detailed close analysis of quotations is required. Try to focus on particular words and phrases and their effect on the reader.

Higher tier question sample answer 2 – based on main point 1

Initially, there is a warm and cheerful atmosphere in this extract, with a traditional happy family scene. Edward and Mr Lyons [romp on the floor,] the word romp suggesting energy and vigour, and reminding the reader of Edward’s youth and vitality. This idyllic scene, however, is quickly shown to be merely a façade, as Mr Lyons soon [gets up and walks towards the door,] before any of the characters have even spoken. This suggests that while the family appears to be happy superficially, underneath the appearances there is division and insecurity. The mood is quickly changed to one of uncertainty as Edward says to his father: Daddy... we haven’t finished the story yet. The uses of ellipsis demonstrates hesitation and therefore doubt, implying that Edward is somewhat distressed by his father leaving and also uncomfortable with challenging him about this.


  • A strong Higher tier response.
  • This answer also shows signs of tracking through the extract carefully.
  • Brief quotations are analysed in some detail.
  • There is evidence of evaluation of the text.
  • There is a clear focus on exploring the mood and atmosphere of the extract.
  • This is just the start of the response – try finishing it yourself, making sure you cover as much of the extract as you can.