The Modern Foreign Languages Department
- Mrs D Egan – Leading Practitioner and Head of Department
- Mrs P Stanziola – Spanish Teacher
- Miss C Williams – Spanish Teacher
We aim to open pupils’ minds to new worlds and help them appreciate the richness and value of language. We want our students to celebrate cultural differences and be eager to engage with people who speak other languages. We aspire to ignite and nurture our pupils’ interest in how the Spanish language works, increase their self-confidence so that they become excellent communicators, not solely in the target language, but in their own native language.
Key Stage 3
Our curriculum is built upon three main language competencies: phonics, vocabulary building and grammar. These and intercultural understanding drive every aspect of course and each competence is revisited, consolidated and built upon throughout every lesson, topic, year and key stage. Throughout all key stages, pupils learn and develop the essential skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in the target language.
Pupils begin their language journey in year 7 learning how to say the letters of the Spanish alphabet, identifying and making basic sounds and the pronunciation of main cities in Spain and where they are located. Grammatically they begin to learn the difference between ‘ser’ and ‘estar’ in the third person singular present tense for saying the names of the cities, the size of them and where they are located on the map. Beginning with the key vocabulary related to greetings, talking about Spanish geography. Every Spanish lesson in year 7, pupils will learn how to listen and respond, read and respond and speak and write words and short phrases accurately. As year 7s progress through the course, they learn how to pronounce key words, sentences and short texts confidently and write down sentences that are read aloud to them with correct spelling. Grammatically, students learn how to identify word categories and use them appropriately in the correct order (nouns, adjectives and verbs in the infinitive form, the singular and plural imperative forms, the present tense and the immediate future tense). Pupils learn how to memorise and use key vocabulary related to the topic areas of family, home, towns, school and free time activities.
In Year 8 we build on knowledge and understanding of phonics, grammar and vocabulary acquisition through topics related to intercultural understanding of Spanish speaking countries in Latin America. Pupils revisit the pronunciation of the Spanish alphabet in a Spanish accent and then learn the main differences in pronunciation of the letters and sounds in a Latin American accent. They continue to learn how to pronounce words and sentences, building on their oral skills by learning how to use intonation for questions and reading aloud texts. All grammar learnt in year 7 is revised, focused on constantly in lessons and built upon. One example would be in year 8 pupils will still be mastering how to use adjectives with nouns, but they will also build on their knowledge by learning how to recognise and use comparative and superlative adjectives as well as learning how certain nouns can be used as adjectives. As well as revisiting the present and immediate future tenses, year 8 pupils learn how to recognise and use the present continuous, preterite past and imperfect past tenses. Pupils learn how to memorise and use common vocabulary related to the topic areas of the geography of Latin American countries, Latin American people (including food and clothes), traditional stories, famous Hispanic people and an imaginary trip to South America.
Year 9 students continue to develop and improve upon their pronunciation and intonation by learning how to give detailed responses to questions and short presentations of topics. They deepen their knowledge and understanding of grammar by learning more tenses such as the immediate and conditional future. Vocabulary building in year 9 is focused on less common words related to family life, city life, school life, work life and global issues. Intercultural understanding in year 9 is focused on understanding and exchanging information about different cultures and life in the UK.
Key Stage 4
Pupils follow the AQA course that includes further developing their spoken, listening, reading and written skills through focusing on a range of topic areas that are pertinent to the three main themes: ‘Identity and Culture’, ‘Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest’ and ‘Current and Future Study and Employment’. Throughout the two-year course, pupils develop their fluency and confidence in manipulating the language. All basic grammar and vocabulary taught in key stage 3 is revisited and practised constantly throughout the different themes. Students build on their intercultural understanding of Spanish speaking countries in topics such as global issues, the environment, eating and drinking out to name but a few. The Spanish GCSE is completely examination based and involves four separate examinations: a speaking exam (conducted by their teacher), a listening examination, a reading examination and a written examination.
Key Stage 5
A Level Spanish
Throughout the two year A Level Spanish course, pupils continue to develop their language skills, becoming more fluent speakers and they deepen their intercultural understanding. In year 12 they will learn about a wide range of aspects of Hispanic society, including modern and traditional values, cyberspace and equality. In addition to this, students will learn about artistic and political culture in the Hispanic world through topics such as regional identity, the influence of idols and cultural heritage. The literature focus in year 12 is on the play ‘La casa de Bernarda Alba’ by Federico Garcia Lorca. In year 13, pupils build on their linguistic and cultural knowledge and understanding through learning about social and political aspects of society immigration, integration and racism. They develop their understanding of political culture through learning about Spanish governments, the Spanish monarchy and by learning about democracies and dictatorships in the Hispanic world. They also read and learn to analyse and write extended analytical essays on the novel ‘El otro árbol de Guernica’ by Luis de Castresana.
The Spanish A level is completely examination based and involves three separate examinations: a speaking exam (including a personal research project and conducted by their teacher), a listening, reading and written examination and a written examination on the literature works studied.
Spanish GCSE - AQA
A Level Spanish - AQA
Spanish: Useful Websites
- BBC Bitesize – Useful overviews of different topic areas, grammar and key vocabulary and entertaining videos to practise language comprehension. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z9mtsbk
- Seneca Learning – Useful overviews of grammatical structures and vocabulary with quizzes to test your learning. https://app.senecalearning.com
- Online Dictionary – Easy to use bi-lingual dictionary English to Spanish and Spanish to English https://www.colinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-spanish
- AQA Spanish – Examination board website where you will find the specification and overview of the entire course. https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/GCSE/Spanish-8698
- Revision World – Revision materials of all key topic areas covered and you will find past higher and foundation level papers in all skill areas (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) on this site. https://revisionworld.com/gcse-revision/spanish
- BBC Bitesize – Useful overviews of different topic areas, grammar and key vocabulary and as well as examination practice in all four skill areas. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/z4yyjhv
- Seneca Learning – Useful overviews of grammatical structures and topic related vocabulary with quizzes to test your learning. https://app.senecalearning.com/classroom/course/eefdd6b0-11e8-9e60-31064e3f9a21
- AQA Spanish – Examination board website where you will find the specification and overview of the entire course. https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/as-and-a-level/spanish-7692
- News in Slow Spanish – Keep up to date with current affairs, culture and science and technology in Spain whilst practising listening skills and broadening vocabulary. https://newsinslowspanish.com
- Spanish Listening – Native Spanish speakers from different Spanish speaking countries speak about a range of topics and ask questions. Great listening comprehension practice of all accents. https://spanishlistening.org
- Quizlet – Revision of key vocabulary, structures and literary quotations in Spanish with quizzes to test your learning. https://quizlet.com and search the topic area or the work.