“A language is not just words. It’s a culture, a tradition, a unification of a community, a whole history that creates what a community is. It’s all embodied in a language.” – Noam Chomsky
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. We aim to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. We aim to enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We also endeavour to provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Our Spanish teaching provides the foundation for learning further languages and equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
KS3 Spanish teaching builds on the foundations of language learning laid at KS2, whether pupils have studied Spanish or another. We focus on developing the breadth and depth of pupils’ competence in listening, speaking, reading and writing, based on a sound foundation of core grammar and vocabulary. We enable pupils to understand and communicate personal and factual information that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, developing and justifying points of view in speech and writing, with increased spontaneity, independence and accuracy. In KS3 we strive to provide an excellent preparation for study at GCSE.
At KS3 we aim for pupils to:
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
- write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied
In order to achieve this, we focus on key areas of applied linguistics:
- Identify and use tenses with verb declensions or other structures which convey the present, past, and future.
- Use and manipulate a variety of key grammatical structures and patterns, including voices such as the active voice and the passive voice with “se” and mood such as the indicative and the imperative.
- Develop and use a wide-ranging and deepening vocabulary that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, allowing them to give and justify opinions and take part in discussion about wider issues such as the environment improvements to facilities where they live and social issues such as child poverty and child labour.
- Use accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation.
- Listen to a variety of forms of spoken language to obtain information and respond appropriately.
- Transcribe words and short sentences that they hear with increasing accuracy
- Initiate and develop conversations, coping with unfamiliar language and unexpected responses, making use of important social conventions such as formal modes of address with the “usted” form.
- Express and develop ideas clearly and with increasing accuracy, both orally and in writing.
- Speak coherently and confidently, with increasingly accurate pronunciation and intonation.
- Read and show comprehension of original and adapted materials from a range of different sources, understanding the purpose, important ideas and details, and provide an accurate English translation of short, suitable material.
- Read literary texts in the language such as stories, songs, poems and letters, to stimulate ideas, develop creative expression and expand understanding of the language and culture.
At KS4 we will continue the cumulative and progressive content and language, building on the skills and processes gleaned in KS3. We will also build on the foundation of core grammar and vocabulary from KS3, increasing the level of linguistic and cognitive demand.
The content, contexts and purposes of Spanish at KS4 will provide an appropriate foundation for A level study and a suitable preparation for higher education or employment.
At KS4 we aim for our students to be able to:
- Understand and use language across a range of contexts, appropriate to their age, interests and maturity levels.
- Use language for a variety of purposes and with a variety of different audiences, including for personal, academic and employment related use.
- Make use of appropriate social conventions, including informal and formal address and register, as relevant to the task in Spanish.
- Understand different types of spoken language, including recorded input from one or more speakers in public and social settings and recorded material from authentic sources and the media, appropriate to GCSE.
- Understand different types of written language, including relevant personal communication, public information, factual and literary texts, appropriate GCSE.
- Understand contexts addressing relevant matters relating to:
- Identity and culture
- Local, national, international and global areas of interest
- Current and future study and employment
- Understand literary texts which can include extracts and excerpts, adapted and abridged as appropriate, from poems, letters, short stories, essays, novels or plays from contemporary and historical sources, subject to copyright.
At KS5 the study of Spanish is understood to be an interdisciplinary subject offering the same cognitive and academic advantages as other disciplines within the humanities. In addition to high level practical language skills, the content of A level in Spanish provides depth of knowledge, understanding and intercultural competence and fosters a range of transferable skills such as communication skills, critical thinking, autonomy, resourcefulness, creativity, and linguistic, cultural and cognitive flexibility; all of which are of value to the individual, to wider society, to higher education and to employers. The content for A level in Spanish has been designed to be of relevance to students of all disciplines, whether they intend to progress to further study in the subject or not. It will provide a robust foundation for those wishing to study Spanish, and/or another modern language, to degree level or equivalent. Studying Spanish in KS5 builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills specified in the KS4 subject content.
In KS5 in Spanish we endeavour to enable students to:
- Enhance their linguistic skills and promote and develop their capacity for critical thinking on the basis of their knowledge and understanding of the language, culture and society of Spain and the Spanish speaking world.
- Develop control of the language system to convey meaning, using spoken and written skills, including an extended range of vocabulary, for both practical and intellectual purposes as increasingly confident, accurate and independent users of Spanish
- Develop their ability to interact effectively with Spanish speakers in speech and in writing, including through online media.
- Develop language learning skills and strategies, including communication strategies to sustain communication and build fluency and confidence.
- Engage critically with intellectually stimulating texts, films and other materials in Spanish, developing an appreciation of sophisticated and creative uses of Spanish and understanding them within their cultural and social context.
- Develop knowledge about matters central to the society and culture, past and present, of Spain and the Spanish speaking world.
- Mediate between cultures and between Spanish speakers and speakers of English
- Foster their ability to learn other languages.
- Equip themselves with transferable skills such as autonomy, resourcefulness, creativity, critical thinking, and linguistic, cultural and cognitive flexibility that will enable them to proceed to further study or to employment.
- Develop their capacity for critical and analytical thinking through Spanish.
- Develop as independent researchers through Spanish.