“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)

With a combined population of over 221 million people, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico have all been identified by the Confederation of British Industry as upcoming economies. Management consultancy PricewaterhouseCooper projects that the Mexican economy will overtake that of the UK by 2030. The government recognises that trade relations with the economies of Latin and Central America are currently under-developed. Already Spanish is being cited as the second most widely spoken language in the world.

Learning a foreign language 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, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries. 

Key Stage 3

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 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.

Key Stage 4

At KS4 we will continue the cumulative and progressive content and language. Building on the matters, 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.
  • Acquire knowledge and understanding of 1800 items of vocabulary (new cohort starting in 2024).
  • Further develop the understanding and use of grapheme-phoneme correlation in Spanish to read passages and transcribe words.
  • Use language for a variety of purposes and with a variety of different audiences, including for personal, transactional, 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.
  • In the current cohorts, understand contexts addressing relevant matters relating to:
    • Identity and culture
    • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
    • Current and future study and employment
  • For the cohorts beginning term 6 of 2024, understand contexts addressing relevant matters relating to:
    • My personal world  
    • Lifestyle and wellbeing  
    • My neighbourhood  
    • Media and technology  
    • Studying and my future  
    • Travel and tourism
  • 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.

Key Stage 5

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 in 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 fill the gaps in learning post Covid.
  • 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
  • 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.

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.

My personal world –  family, friends, relationships, equality.

Lifestyle and wellbeing – physical well-being, mental well-being, food and drink, sports.

My neighbourhood – places in town, shopping, transport, the natural world, environmental issues.

Media and technology – social media and gaming, music, TV and film.

Studying and my future – future opportunities (e.g. work, travel), school.

Travel and tourism – accommodation, tourist attractions.

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 Years 10 and 11 pupils are divided into groups according to their other GCSE options. All groups are studying GCSE Spanish Higher and are entered into the higher tier of exam entry. However the less able will be entered into the foundation tier entry.  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 normal 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 in the form of discussion or games, sentence building from chunks of language 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 in the SEN room. 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 acting as a writing scaffold.These examples and resources are shared digitally so that students can refer back to them independently.

We strongly believe that there should be 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, through the increased cognitive load that takes place 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 approach sentences analytically using and building upon previous knowledge. Pupils will see language as a construct and use items of language strategically to express themselves creatively. 

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.

In KS3 we take advantage of the phoneme to grapheme correlation of Spanish to engage in transcription activities of short phrases and writing short texts to describe themselves, actions in three timeframes and their surroundings whilst expressing and justifying opinions.

In KS4 we build upon this to also narrate events with an increased range of lexicon and grammatical manipulation to express more complex ideas about the world.

In KS5 students write text in the range of 300-350 words which analyse and evaluate sociological, cultural, political, historical, literary and cinematographic topics in a coherent discourse drawing on a wide array of specialist vocabulary and using structures, tenses and moods to express themselves.

Reading strategies are taught and implemented at each key stage in KS3 pupils read prepared texts with 90% known vocabulary and answer comprehension questions (true or false statements, cloze questions, gap fill sentences) that make use of information retrieval by skim reading, scanning for words. In year 9 students will read a poem in and make use of these strategies.

In KS4 we build upon this to include inference skills in texts where students may make use of their understanding of morphemes to deduce the meaning of new words in a text. A further skill of inference of information from text is taught for higher levels including with authentic texts.

In KS5 we take this further and almost exclusively use authentic texts such as news articles with which in addition to the prior skill students must summarise information. Students must also study a play (Lorca’s Bodas de sangre) and analyse themes, characters, symbolism and literary devices. Students must keep up to date in the subject and research their own information often in the form of Spanish language articles and in their Speaking exam they are tested on their ability to summarise information form two articles of their choosing.

Homework and class work are regularly scrutinised to ensure a pupil is progressing appropriately and acted upon accordingly. 

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. Tasks are differentiated by task rather than by outcome, which further enable pupils to  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.

The impact of the curriculum can be seen through a number of measures:

  • Pupils gain an extensive amount of knowledge and skills which enable them to access the next steps in their education and life.
  • The excellent results in internal and public examinations at all key stages.
  • The Spanish department is well subscribed and does not deter students from opting for GCSE despite the perceived difficulty of languages. 
  • In KS3, generally our groups exceed their target in formative and summative assessments.
  • The impact of the curriculum is also seen through the popularity of the subject at Key Stage 4. 
  • Our speaking and writing exam results we achieve higher than the national average for similar centres. 
  • Key concepts and knowledge to pupils’ are embedded in pupils’ long-term memory and apply them fluently through teaching cognitive techniques.
  • SEND and disadvantaged pupils attain near inline with their peers
  • Successful homestay trip to Granada
  • Students compare and contrast many aspects of fundamental British values with those of Hispanic countries, along with a well-developed SMSC awareness and knowledge

Schemes of Work

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