Year 7 optional 2005 english reading booklet

Contributed by:
The Tutoring Experts
1. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:09 pm Page 1
Sourced from
2. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:09 pm Page 2
Going Underground 3
Small tunnels 4
Getting bigger... 6
The biggest tunnels 8
Down the Mine 10
Sourced from
3. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:09 pm Page 3
Going Underground
Have you ever thought about what is going on underneath you?
Under your feet, at this very moment, there is a whole world of
tunnels and tubes. Inside these tunnels there are many different
pipes, cables and wires which carry all sorts of things, including
water, gas and electricity. In some cities there are tunnels big
enough for underground railways and cars. In many parts of the
world people dig mines to get coal, metal or diamonds.
There are many tunnels and pipes underground, but how do
they get there? Workers can lay pipes in different ways:
• sometimes they can push a new pipe inside an old one;
• sometimes they can use a tunnelling machine called a
‘Mole’ to burrow a tunnel under the ground – then
they push a pipe through behind it;
• at other times, workers need to dig a trench in the road
and lay the pipe inside.
Over the next few pages you will read about what goes on inside
some of the different sized pipes and tunnels under your feet.
Sourced from
4. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:09 pm Page 4
Small tunnels
Have you ever used the internet? It’s a huge
‘virtual world’ but, to be able to use it, you need
to have the correct connections. Most computers
connect to the internet through telephone wires;
they also need electricity.
All these wires and cables that connect the
computer to the internet are found under the
street. However, these cables are easily damaged
so they are laid inside plastic pipes called ‘trunking’
to protect them. Deeper down in the earth are
electricity cables that supply power to homes,
shops and offices.
Sourced from
5. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:09 pm Page 5
Many cables and wires can easily be laid in the pipes
but some tunnels are too small for humans to fit inside,
so a new solution has been found.
Ferrets, which are used as ‘special electricians’, are provided
by the National Ferret Association to do these jobs. Using
tiny straps, cables are attached to the
ferrets. They are then encouraged to
enter one end of the tunnel by putting
a bit of meat at the other end.
Some of these ferrets were even used to
save a pop concert in London. The
concert was being held in a park and
the concert organisers wanted to lay
power cables underground. However,
digging up the grass was forbidden. So A ferret ready to lay
the concert organisers used the ferrets cables inside a tunnel
to lay TV, lighting and sound cables
under the stage. This meant they could
push the cables through tiny tunnels
which snake about underground
without damaging the grass.
Sourced from
6. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:09 pm Page 6
Sourced from
7. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:09 pm Page 7
Getting bigger…
We use lots of water every day and expect to have clean running water whenever
we turn on a tap. Water comes into our homes and schools along pipes under
the ground and, because of the amount of water we use each day, these pipes
need to be quite large. You might be surprised to know just how much water we
use each day.
On average, each of us uses around 155 litres of water each
day – that would be enough to fill nearly 500 cans of drink.
Clearly, it is very important that clean water and dirty water don’t get mixed up,
so different types of water flow through different pipes.
In Great Britain there are over 700,000km of water mains
and sewers – enough to stretch to the moon and back.
The water mains are pipes that carry clean water for people to use every day for
drinking and washing. Lots more water is used for flushing the toilet and for
baths, showers and washing machines. All this dirty water is carried away along
the drain pipes into the sewer pipe, which then takes the water to be treated at
a sewage works. The water is then cleaned. Some of it is pumped into rivers.
The rest is recycled so it can be reused in our homes.
In one day, just to flush the toilet, the average family uses
the same amount of water as there would be in two baths.
Storm water drains carry rainwater from the street into the sewer pipe so that
roads aren’t flooded. This water is also cleaned and returned to lakes and rivers.
Sourced from
8. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:10 pm Page 8
The biggest tunnels
Tunnels called subways go under the street so that
people can avoid the traffic on the busy road and cross
in safety. Subways can also lead people to underground
trains which carry them quickly around cities. All the
tunnels in the station and under the street are round
because a round shape is stronger than a square or a
rectangular one. Several cities around the world have
underground train systems, including London (where
it’s called ‘The Tube’), Newcastle, Delhi and Moscow.
Sourced from
9. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:10 pm Page 9
The oldest underground
railway system in the world is
the London Underground.
Parts of it were built over 140
years ago. It opened for use in
1863, with trains pulled by
steam engines.
Delhi, in India, has the newest
underground system, which is due to
be completed in 2005. It is hoped that
it will ease the city’s huge congestion
problems and clear the air in one of
the world’s most polluted cities.
Moscow’s underground
handles nearly 9 million
passengers a day, the most
of any underground system.
As well as being the busiest,
many people think it is the
most beautiful underground.
There are lights made from
stained-glass, bronze statues
and marble columns.
Sourced from
10. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:10 pm Page 10
Down the Mine
This is an extract from an autobiography by Homer Hickman. In it he writes
about one of his childhood memories of life in a town in West Virginia, in
the United States of America in the 1950s. There was a mine in the town
where people dug for coal and that was where his father worked.
I was almost shaking with
excitement . I’d lived in Coalwood
my whole life, but had never
been where Dad was going to
take me. I was going down the
Dad led me to his locker and
handed me a one-piece overall,
hard-toe boots, a black foreman’s
helmet and a leather belt. When
I joined him at the lift, he
showed me how to clip a lamp
battery pack onto my belt and
the lamp on my helmet. With
the lamp attached, the helmet
felt heavy. I moved it around
until it felt comfortable. He
looked at me and readjusted my
helmet and then my belt, until
the buckle was squared in the
front and the battery hung exactly off my right hip. I felt like a soldier under
inspection. ‘Now you look like a mine foreman,’ he said. ‘Let’s go.’
Sourced from
11. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:10 pm Page 11
The attendant swung the gate aside, and for the first time in my life, I stepped
onto the wooden plank platform of the lift. I thought of all the times when I
was a small child and had watched the miners descend into the darkness.
Now it was my turn! I could feel my heart speed up.
The boards in the floor were
set apart enough that I could
see between them. There was
nothing beneath us but a dark
gaping hole. I had a brief
twinge of fear that we were
going to fall. The bell rang
three times, to let us know that
we were about to be let down.
I took a deep, gasping breath.
The machinery began to creak
and the lift dropped quickly,
my stomach rising up around
my throat. I grabbed Dad’s
arm, then quickly let go in
embarrassment. He said
nothing, and I watched the
solid rock of the shaft slip past.
Men had hand-dug the mine
shaft, but I couldn’t imagine
Through the gaps in the floor, I started to see lights far below. Above us, the
square of light at the top of the shaft had shrunk to a tiny twinkling star. We
were being swallowed by the earth, and I hadn’t decided yet whether I liked
When we neared the bottom, the lift slowed, jerked a few times, and then
settled level with a rock platform. I switched on my helmet light.
Sourced from
12. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:10 pm Page 12
Solid grey walls surrounded us. I felt almost as if I was on some alien planet.
All the things I’d ever known that were familiar to me – trees, the sky,
mountains – none of them were around. The air even smelled different, like
wet gunpowder.
I stood up and slammed my helmet into the roof so hard it almost knocked
me to my knees. I staggered, then looked up to see what I had hit and saw
slabs of rock with roof bolts jammed into them every few feet. Dad ignored
my trouble and took off at a fast pace, never looking back. I took off after
him, hitting my head every so often. Every time I thought I had found a
rhythm to my walk, I hit my head again. Once I hit my head so hard it
knocked me off my feet. I landed on my back, my helmet flying, saved only
by the lamp cord attached to the battery on my belt. I scrambled after it. By
the time I got my helmet back on, Dad had disappeared around a corner. I
could see the jumping reflections of his lamp on a far wall. I hurried after him,
my helmet still knocking against the roof. Pretty soon, he was so far ahead
of me that I knew I would never catch up. I was close to panic. What if I got
lost? If my lamp went out, nobody would ever find me again!
Sourced from
13. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:10 pm Page 13
Then I heard a noise, like the mine was tearing itself apart. I felt like running
away, but where would I go? I turned a corner and I saw an amazingly huge
machine, spotlights bolted to its side, tearing at a wall of coal. Dad was off to
the side, watching it. He saw me and waved me over.
‘That’s a continuous-mining machine!’ Dad yelled over its roar. It looked to
me more like some kind of great prehistoric animal.
The noise was deafening. Dad yelled in my ear, explaining what I was seeing.
Then he went to talk to the foreman of the work party. I wandered away,
trying to get a better angle on watching the continuous-mining machine.
Turn over
Sourced from
14. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:10 pm Page 14
Uncle Robert came and got me. ‘That’s not a good place to stand,’ he said.
He carried a three-foot wooden pole with him and used it to poke at the
ceiling. A big, ragged rock came loose and hit the floor with a heavy thump
right where I had been standing. I jumped and whacked my helmet once
more against the roof. Uncle Robert chuckled. ‘A man has to be thinking
every second down here, Homer.’
Soon Dad led me back to
the lift. I was thinking about
all that I had seen. Then Dad
suddenly started to talk.
‘I love the mine,’ he said.
‘I love everything about it.’
I listened, amazed that he
would share such thoughts
with me. I felt proud, grown-
up. Dad took off his helmet
and rubbed his head,
scratching around it where
the sides of the helmet had
pressed in his hair. ‘I love
going to the coal face. I go
every day even though I
don’t have to. I was born to
lead men in the profession of
mining coal. You’re my boy.
Maybe you were too.’
Sourced from
15. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:10 pm Page 15
Sourced from
16. 265487_TunnelsReader v6.qxd 20/6/05 3:10 pm Page 16
‘Down the Mine’ adapted from October Sky by Homer Hickman, Fourth Estate.
Photograph of Delhi (page 9) by Ali Sewell.
Photograph of Moscow’s underground (page 9) by Bee Flowers.
This text has been incorporated into this test paper solely for the purposes of the examination in
accordance with Section 32(3) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. No copyright
clearance for any other use has been obtained or sought.
© Qualifications and Curriculum Authority 2005
QCA, Years 7 and 8 Team, 83 Piccadilly, London W1J 8QA
Order refs:
QCA/05/1479 (pupil pack)
QCA/05/1478 (teacher pack)
Sourced from