Welcome to the Modern Foreign Languages Department
Spanish CURRICULUM INTENT
Our curriculum covers a wide range of culturally engaging content, arranged into five themes; with elements of these covered each year from years 7 to 11:
Identity & cultural life
Local area, holiday & travel
Future aspirations, study and work
International and global affairs
Some examples of topics within these themes include school in Spain and Latin America, healthy eating, future plans, the media, trending topics and relationships. Within each topic, there is new vocabulary introduced alongside prior vocabulary consolidation, which is regularly recalled and tested in writing and orally; as well as key grammar points through lessons and knowledge organisers.
The grammar is chosen to marry well with each topic; for example, within the family and describing yourself topic, some key grammar covered is the verbs tener (to have) and ser (to be), which are essential to be able to describe oneself and family members.
Students learn memorisation skills from year 7 and are encouraged to practise and recall vocabulary and grammar daily, which is regularly re-visited and built upon to instil them with the confidence and the knowledge to speak and write spontaneously. The aim is to embed this vocabulary and grammar in their long term memories.
They are supported with this learning through a variety of strategies which we regularly encourage them to use and also through Quizlet, which is an online vocabulary learning website. We create our own Quizlets specific to the vocabulary and grammar that we are covering and this allows them to practise all skills including reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Students are regularly challenged about diversity and multiculturalism and a critical element of our curriculum is learning about other cultures and ways of life different to our own. For example, students learn about Spanish and Latin American festivals and meal times.
Students are consistently encouraged to present their work well, speak politely, use creative vocabulary and to extend their speaking and writing with connectives, opinions and complex language. Students will openly share mistakes and common misconceptions, communicate in different ways, work in pairs and groups, praise themselves and each other’s and work, set themselves targets and improve their work on a regular basis.
They build resilience to failure, are not afraid to take risks and are encouraged to challenge themselves; challenge what they do not understand and consistently recall prior learning to embed knowledge in the long term.
Each week, students will have a selection of words or key phrases to memorise and some knowledge organiser grammar learning to complete. They can use their booklets or go on Quizlet, which is an interactive way for them to practise and memorise the vocabulary.
Students will be given a new vocabulary booklet each year and are expected to look after the booklets and bring them to lessons for their whole time at NFS. The key to success is repetition; practising vocabulary and verbs from these booklets little and often several times a week, with the aim of being able to know all of the words and verbs from memory.
The weekly homework challenges in Spanish prepare students for successful futures, equipping them with numerous skills including: independent learning, memorisation strategies, problem solving, recall, self discipline, time management, setting targets and building resilience to failure.
We take pride in our work and our student's books in Spanish are exemplary. Students are encouraged to present their work well and respond to teacher feedback in order to improve the accuracy of their work and make rapid, sustained progress.
Mrs Barrett has set up a link with a Spanish school in Castellón called Ies Matilde Salvador and the students will be given the opportunity to set up pen pal email correspondence with some Spanish students from this school. We feel this is invaluable for them to experience real-life situations for conversation and interaction with young people from a different culture.
Trip to Spain
Each year, GCSE students are given the opportunity to travel to Valencia in Spain to put their Spanish into practice and to meet and interact with some Spanish young people, as well as visit a Spanish secondary school. The students absolutely love the experience and it enables them to step outside of their comfort zone, as well as build independence and confidence.
GCSE Examinations in Spanish
We follow the Edexcel Spanish GCSE course. There are two tiers of entry for the final Spanish exam: foundation, which covers grades 1-5 and higher, which covers grade 4-9.
To be successful at GCSE level, students will be expected to write and respond spontaneously to questions on the above topics in a variety of tenses. We cannot predict which topics will feature in the exams at the end of Year 11, therefore it is crucial that all students spend time practising every week, preferably most days for a short period of time, in order to build confidence and a wide breadth of knowledge of the Spanish language.
Students will also be provided with opportunities to enhance their entrepreneurial and informed employability skills through presenting in small groups, research projects and information about careers and pathways available with studying languages.
At the end of the course, pupils will sit 3 exam papers: reading (25%), writing (25%) and listening (25%). There will also be a 7-12 minute (depending on tier) speaking assessment (25%).
Students will sit weekly vocabulary and grammar quizzes in class. At various times throughout the course, students will also sit an internally-assessed exam in order to show current progress and what they need to do to improve further.
Final decisions about tiers of entry are not made until the later stage of the course.
A LEVEL SPANISH
If they wish to continue Spanish to A Level, students will study a range of topical global issues as well as current affairs and develop key skills such as debating, translating and interpreting, presenting and extended writing. Studying a language makes you an adept communicator, both orally and in writing.
Additional skills gained through learning a language include the ability to gather, assess and interpret information; lead and participate in discussions and groups; organise work and meet deadlines; develop opinions and propose ideas and read pages of text and pick out the essential points. Even for students who do not wish to pursue a career in languages, having a language GSCE on their Curriculum Vitae will make them more attractive and employable when applying for jobs or college and university places.
CAREERS IN LANGUAGES
Language skills are in demand and can be used in almost any career, particularly within businesses that trade internationally.
Jobs directly related to a language degree include:
Jobs where a language degree or joint with another discipline, would be useful include:
- Broadcast journalist
- Diplomatic Services operational officer
- English as a foreign language teacher
- International aid/development worker
- Logistics and distribution manager
- Marketing executive
- Patent examiner
- Sales executive
- Tour manager
WHAT ABOUT STudying other languages?
In line with government language learning and EBacc initiatives, a large number of students at NFS will study Spanish for 5 years, from year 7 to 11 and will gain a GCSE qualification. Some exceptions can be made on an individual need basis and some students may study a 2 year course instead.
We can run French as an extracurricular club, but at the moment, we do not have the timetable capacity to offer it as a GCSE option.
PARENTAL SUPPORT & Key tips for language learning
- Repetition is key - spend 20-30 minutes every day practising vocabulary
- Focus on the hardest words and phrases which are least like the English - spend more time on these
- Use highlighters to colour code the easy, medium and difficult words or phrases
- Test yourself or get someone to test you: cover up the words in English, uncover, then check.
- Translate the words out loud into Spanish to help with pronunciation
- Go back over previously learnt sections of vocabulary often
- Record a list of the words on your phone in Spanish, with enough time left in between each one to play it back and translate the words out loud
- Practise writing and speaking in different tenses often and try to memorise the structures for these
- Use flash cards to learn the most difficult phrases, as well as to prepare for written and spoken assessments as they break the text down into shorter chunks and can be colour coded for visual clues
- Go to www.kerboodle.com, login with your username and password and practise the listening activities on the topics of your choice
- Do extra listening practice on http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/spanish/
- Ask Miss Tervit for some extra work to challenge you (extra GCSE & AS level work available)
Modern Foreign Languages News
- Year 11 GCSE Spanish speaking exam
Start preparing now to fly through your Spanish GCSE speaking exam (29/01/2019)
- Students studying Spanish working hard on memorisation
Some top tips to help you memorise and retain Spanish (25/09/2018)
- Year 10 Spanish speaking exams
Year 10 Spanish students are busy preparing for their speaking assessments... (14/06/2018)
Some year 7 students enjoy learning vocabulary with a twist... (03/05/2018)
- Year 9 trip to Spain cancelled
Sadly, we are no longer able to travel to Spain tomorrow (21/03/2018)