“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:

Grammar and vocabulary
  • 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.

At Key Stage 3 schemes of work are based upon the new Key Stage Curriculum for Modern languages.  The Spanish department has implemented the new changes to the National Curriculum and has a large number of resources in addition to the published text books to enrich students’ learning of Spanish. As a result, the department decided to:

  • Invest on new quality textbooks and other electronic resources for all students in all Key stages. Each student has a textbook in class and has access to electronic homework. Quizlet.com and other commercial packages are very well used by most teachers and students.
  • To change the termly assessments in Years 7 to 9 in order to meet the new changes.
  • Use the new GCSE grading system from Year 7 to Year 11 from 2016.
  • Encourage the students to be more independent and more resilient.
  • Focus on depth of understanding, particularly in relation to grammar, rather than working through content.
  • Teach pupils how to connect new knowledge with existing knowledge, developing their reference skills, in order to develop their understanding further. To ensure that pupils develop fluency and unconsciously apply their knowledge. To nurture confidence and raise achievement we constantly focus on the linguistic skills: Vocabulary, Grammar, Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing

The department puts a great emphasis on KS3, and its importance for students to be successful in Spanish later. The assessments and grading system used make the transition from KS3 to KS4 ensure a smooth transition Year 7, 8 and 9 classes have four periods and the length of a period is 1 hour. Our curriculum time had been reduced from 5 periods to 4 at KS4 prior to the start of the new GCSE in September 2015 for Mathematics and English. This decrease and change of curriculum for the new GCSE prompted a focus on teaching language content via exam type tasks allowing learning to be structured and paced most appropriately.

Current topics taught are:

My life, my free time, my school life, my family and friends, my town, where I live, my house, the present tense of regular, radical changing and common irregular verbs, the near future tense, adjectival agreement and syntax, indefinite and definite articles, noun gender, negative phrases, the infinitive, quantitative adjectives, pronunciation, interrogatives, structures of opinion using the infinitive, dative/impersonal verbs, giving and justifying opinions, non-literal translations, recognising cognates and near-cognates, possessive adjectives connectives, qualifiers and sequencers and the verbs for “to be” (“ser” and “estar”).

Past holidays, My music and TV interests, mobile phone activities and hobbies, Food, restaurants, parties and shopping, going out to the cinema, making proposals and giving excuses, daily routine, clothes, sporting events, fancy dress party, summer holidays, holiday homes, holiday activities, directions, summer camps, holiday destinations, the preterite of regular and common irregular verbs, demonstrative adjectives, modal verbs that use the infinitive, the comparative, the superlative, irregular comparative adjectives, negatives, the formal and informal address, the conditional of “gustar” with the infinitive, reflexive verbs in the present tense, the imperative in the informal 2nd person singular, and the passive voice with “se puede(n)”.

Interests hobbies films and birthdays, work, jobs, future professional plans and the working day, healthy living, diet, active lifestyle, getting fit, ailments, Spanish idioms, Global and societal issues, children’s rights and problems, Fair trade, poverty and child labour, recycling, the environment and ecological living, how a town has changed, travelling in Spain, host families, treasure hunts, souvenirs, planning an itinerary, making yourself understood, the simple future of regular and common irregular verbs, the imperfect tense, direct object pronouns, reflexive verbs, modal verb expressions of obligation that use the infinitive, the dative verb “doler”, the superlative and the comparative.

Identity and culture – Relationships with family and friends, marriage and partnership, Social media and mobile technology, Music, cinema and TV, food and eating out, sport, Spain and customs and festivals in Spain and Hispanic countries.

Local, national, international and global areas of interest – Home, where I live, Charity and voluntary work, healthy and unhealthy living, environment, poverty and homelessness, holidays and travel and regions of Spain.

Current and future study and employment – School and subjects, life at school, university or work and choice of career.

KS3 grammar revision, use of indirect and direct object pronouns together, the conditional tense, the present subjunctive, the imperfect subjunctive, further differences between “ser” and “estar”, structures that require the infinitive, the present continuous, the perfect tense, the pluperfect tense and the imperative, narration using the preterite and the imperfect tenses.

Theme 1: The evolution of Spanish society

The change in the family structure: The evolution of attitudes toward marriage, relationships and families.

The world of work: Work life in Spain and attitudes towards work; job opportunities for young; Gender equality.

The tourist impact in Spain: The economic impact; the opportunities offered by tourism; the socio-environmental impact.

Theme 2: The political and artistic culture in the Spanish-speaking world

Music: Changes and trends; the impact of music on contemporary culture.

The media: Television and soap operas: written and internet media; the impact on society and politics.

Festivals and traditions: Festivals, festivals, customs and traditions.

Theme 3: Immigration and the Spanish multicultural society

The positive impact of immigration on Spanish society: The contributions of immigrants in the economy and culture.

Facing the challenges of immigration and integration in Spain: The measures adopted by local communities; marginalisation and isolation from the point of view of immigrants.

The social and public reaction towards immigration in Spain: The political approach to immigration; Public opinion.

Theme 4: The Francoist dictatorship and the transition to democracy

The Civil War and the rise of Franco (1936-1939): The Civil War and the rise of Franco, the Republicans against the Nationalists; the divisions in society.

The Franco dictatorship: Everyday life under the Franco dictatorship: political oppression, censorship, divisions in society.

The transition from dictatorship to democracy: The role of King Juan Carlos in the transition; the Government of Suarez; the coup d’état of 1981.

Cinema and literature – literary and cinematic language, social, cultural and historic context, analysis and evaluation of key themes, imagery, plot and characters.

Independent research project – presentation of possible areas of interest throughout the Hispanic world.

In years 7 to 9 pupils are taught Spanish as a form. In year 8 we identify low attaining SEND students and encourage them to reinforce their learning via interactive software overseen by learning support assistants.  In Years 10 and 11 pupils are divided into groups according to their other GCSE options. All groups are studying GCSE Spanish and are entered into the higher tier of exam entry unless there is evidence that they would not exceed a grade 5 whereupon foundation level is recommended.  The entries into which pupils are placed are dependent upon their work throughout the year and their performance in the end of year examinations.  No setting takes place in Years 12 and 13.

SEND provision is varied and integrated as part of noraml teaching and learning; due to the nature of the subject previously embedded language is retrieved in each lesson. Lesson activities are designed with an element of pair work which supports ASD students, sentence building in earlier stages supports students with processing difficulties and interactive software supports students with processing difficulties to reinforce language sometimes with the support of LSAs. The use of chromebooks in lessons and assessments supports students with any degree of mobility coordination difficulties. To further support language production in lessons students evaluate and adapt model pieces of writing which contain the familiar sentence building structures.These examples and resources are shared digitally so that students can refer back to them independently.

Whilst there is no prescribed model of teaching, teachers explain clearly, support independence through worked examples and assess regularly, providing feedback on how to improve through a variety of mechanisms. Knowledge and Skills are transferred to pupils’ long term memories, through the activities undertaken and through the structures and sequencing of learning over time, including regular homework. Linguistic terminology from English language study in KS2 is used and added upon in explanations and grammatical analysis during lesson activities. Students are expected to use this when explaining their use of grammar in a sentence. This will allow pupils to become better at thinking logically and using and building upon previous knowledge. Through tasks focussing on the linguistic skills, pupils develop resilience and are able to think creatively and strategically. The writing of structured texts, opinions and justifications help them to formulate coherent and fluent language. The pupils will have as a result excellent literacy skills and the ability to process and interpret language. Homework and class work is regularly scrutinised to ensure a pupil is progressing appropriately and acted upon accordingly. Peer assessed work is used too to assess individual and group work and improves the students’ ability to present themes and ideas in Spanish.

There are termly assessments for all year groups from Year 7 to Year 13 which are taken under examination conditions. This is to ensure that pupils regularly retrieve the information learned. Thorough feedback is given to pupils to check understanding effectively, and identify and correct any misconceptions. Extension tasks are available to all, and is regularly undertaken by the more able students to ensure that pupils embed key vocabulary and grammar in their long-term memory and apply them fluently. There are also end of year examinations for all year groups. The results of these assessments are used to help pupils embed knowledge and use it fluently and assist teachers in producing clear next steps for all pupils.

Our students are given the opportunity to interact with Spanish students through trips, visits to our school and exchanges. We are currently partnered to a secondary school in Granada and our students have become pen pals and will host them for a language visit. Our department is also involved in the Erasmus+ project further allowing our students to expand their cultural horizons.

The impact of the curriculum will be seen through pupils gaining an extensive amount of knowledge and skills which enable them to access the next steps in their education and life. This is evidenced through the excellent results in internal and public examinations. Currently the Spanish department is a very heavily subscribed language. In KS3 our groups typically exceed their target. The impact of the curriculum is also seen through the popularity of the subject at Key Stage 4. We currently have 10 GCSE groups, more than ever before.
At GCSE we celebrate a good percentage of 7-9 grades.  At KS5,  around 25% typically go on to study Spanish in further education. We love hearing back from former students and it is exciting that they want to come back to share new successes with us.
All this is clear evidence about the successful teaching strategies used by the department to embed key concepts and knowledge to pupils’ long-term memory and apply them fluently including SEND and disadvantaged pupils.

Schemes of Work

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 Year 13