Spain continues to be the most popular holiday destination amongst Brits, but being able to communicate whilst enjoying the sun, sea and sand that Spain has to offer isn’t the only reason to learn the second most spoken language in the world.
The Spanish language not only opens doors to Spain but to 21 other countries that use Spanish as their first language. The British Council has predicted that in the near future, Spanish will be the most important language in the world, so speaking Spanish will be a significant advantage to those considering an international career.
Spanish is a Latin language and therefore has similarities with French and Italian. Hispanic literature, film and music has a broad appeal and will be attractive to students who enjoy cultural pursuits.
We offer study of Spanish on entry to the school in Year 7, up to GCSE and throughout the sixth form. Depending on your capability and interests you may work towards GCSE, WJEC, A level or the International Baccalaureate (IB) at Higher, Standard or Ab Initio level. It is also possible to begin Spanish in sixth form either through the WJEC qualification of 2 terms or the IB Ab Initio 2 year course. Hence we are able to respond to the needs of all our students and equip each individual to maximize their personal potential.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 students are taught in mixed ability form groups and in Years 8 and 9 are set by ability. Setting is reviewed regularly following assessments and there is movement between sets as result. Native speakers are supported through extra activities and, with the agreement of parents, on extension work of a more advanced nature.
Course books used are Viva and Zoom, which are supplemented with additional material, including authentic resources which allow the teacher to differentiate target learning according to the needs of the class.
Year 7 Viva 1 ISBN 9781447935254
Year 8 Viva 2 ISBN 9781447935261 and Zoom 2 ISBN 9780199127627
Year 9 Zoom 2 ISBN 9780199127627
Topics covered include hobbies, holidays, home and health, plus many more.
Teachers provide regular written feedback on progress and more detailed feedback once every half term on achievement in relation to end of Key Stage target. Students are informed about what they need to do to move on in their learning and are expected to respond to marking.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 most students of Spanish follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabus. However weaker linguists pursue the WJEC Global Business qualification. Students pursuing GCSE are set by ability in Years 10 and 11. The GCSE/WJEC courses start in Year 10 and are taught over a two year period culminating in exams at the end of Year 11.
The course book for Spanish GCSE is given below:
Year 10 and Year 11 Viva Edexcel GCSE 9-1 Higher Level ISBN 9781292118987
We would also recommend the Grammar and Translation workbook ISBN 9781292133300
The syllabus comprises deeper study of topics covered at Key Stage 3 along with new topics including customs and traditions, Spanish film and global citizenship.
Students receive regular oral and written feedback on their progress against their target grades and are given opportunities to undertake self and peer assessment.
The range of options in the sixth form is especially distinctive as previous students of Spanish may opt for Spanish A level, Spanish IB Higher or Spanish IB Standard. Courses cover culture and history of the Spanish speaking world, literature, political and social issues and current affairs. Fuller information concerning advanced study of Spanish is given in the sixth form section of our website.
If you haven’t previously haven’t studied Spanish but would like to pick it up, we offer a WJEC level 1 qualification which is taught in two terms. This course covers the basics required to enable you to communicate effectively whilst on holiday. If you would like further challenge and a deeper understanding, we also over the IB Ab Initio qualification which is taught over 2 years which covers a variety of topics.
The Spanish department runs support clinics for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students after school on a Wednesday. We also offer specific sixth form clinics on the timetable, which sixth formers can attend as and when a need arises.
We support our sixth formers in preparation for their speaking exams through the help of native speaker parent volunteers. Each sixth former is given a slot on their timetable above the standard language lesson provision.
We also have a fantastic cinema room for sixth formers to watch a range of Spanish language films, an enjoyable way of enhancing proficiency in Spanish.
Overseas visits programme
Our overseas visits programme has been designed to complement the school curriculum, enabling students of Spanish to participate in an exchange visit to Spain in either year 9 or year 10 and the country of their other language studied in whichever alternative year is applicable. We have links with Spanish schools in Madrid, Girona and Blanes. In Lower Sixth, there is also the opportunity to complete a 2 week work experience placement in Madrid which is a brilliant way to stand out when applying to University. In sixth form there is also the opportunity to participate in a World Challenge expedition which in recent years has visited Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The visits programme enhances the language learning process enormously and we encourage as many students as possible to grasp these opportunities.
All students of French, German and Spanish should have an active learn log in. Teachers will endeavour to set emergency work from this resource for Key Stage 4 students.
All other work will be set using SMHW so students should log in to see what their teacher has set them.