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There are over 400 million Spanish speakers throughout the world and this is constantly on the increase. Consequently, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the World. Spanish is almost completely phonetic, which makes it much easier to learn. By learning Spanish fluently you open up a whole world of opportunities: linguistic, commercial and the possibility of making new friends throughout the Spanish speaking world!
Every Spanish teacher in Highworth is dedicated to the teaching and promotion of Spanish language and culture. In the Spanish Department, we have three Spanish teachers and a language assistant.
Head of Department
Mrs M O’Reilly
Miss S Ash
Mrs A Loft
Mrs S McCutcheon
Key Stage 3
During Year 7, a variety of topics will be covered in a fun and accessible way, to enable students to communicate basic information, and to lay the foundations for further study. The topics we aim to cover are: Personal Information; School life; Free time; and Family and Friends.
During Year 8, the language acquired during Year 7 will be built upon and a number of topics will be covered which will aim to boost oral confidence in the language and general grammatical awareness. The topics we aim to cover are: Holidays; Media and technology; Food; Arranging to go out; and Home and Local Area
We will be using the textbook Viva 1 in Year 7 and Viva 2 in Year 8 and a variety of other materials to support students through this curriculum and homework will be set regularly to reinforce the learning undertaken in the classroom. Students will have access to the electronic textbook www.pearsonactivelearn.com and a login and password will be provided.
Assessment and feedback
In KS3, students will largely complete class and homework in exercise books and produce display work on paper. Homework and written tasks will be accompanied by a comment as necessary. For each end of module test, a mark out of 16 will be awarded (10 marks for content and 6 marks for language). We will endeavour to return corrected work within two weeks and where work is not completed to our expectations, students will be given an opportunity to review their work to achieve a level which better reflects their potential. Vocabulary tests, Listening and Reading exercises completed in class will be given a raw mark, and we embrace a variety of assessment techniques, including teacher, peer and self-assessment.
Please click here for the Year 7 Spanish assessment grids
Please click here for the Year 8 Spanish assessment grids
Key Stage 4
You will learn to express yourself in a range of everyday situations, from holidays to health, with an emphasis on the practical use of Spanish. You will also learn about the culture and customs of the target language country and gain a valuable insight into life in an international context. In addition to the valuable communication skills you will gain, a modern foreign language will help your university application and prove extremely useful in your future career. It is a fact that in this country, speakers of a foreign language earn more! It is possible to study more than one language and if you are interested, please speak to your teachers to see whether they think you are a suitable candidate to do this.
During the course, you will study four topic areas, which will build upon the language you have studied in Key Stage 3:
Theme 1: Identity and culture
- Me, my family and friends
- Free time activities
Theme 2: Local, national and international and global areas of interest
- Home, town, neighbourhood and region
- Social issues
- Global issues
- Travel and tourism
Theme 3: Current and future study and employment
- My studies
- Life at school/ college
- Education Post-16
- Jobs, careers choices and ambitions
Assessment and feedback
In Key Stage 4, students will be assessed using the corresponding GCSE mark scheme, and all work will be corrected, with targets as appropriate. Oral feedback will also be given regularly, as we find these 1:1 discussions lead to a greater understanding of the demands at a higher level.
Please click here for the AQA GCSE Spanish specification
- Evolving society in Spain
Changing family structures; the world of work; impact of tourism in Spain
- Political and artistic culture in Spanish speaking world
Music; the media; role of festivals and traditions
- Immigration and the multi-cultural Spanish society
Integration and multiculturalism; economic and social effects of immigration
- Franco’s dictatorship and transition to Democracy
The Franco dictatorship; from dictatorship to democracy.
Alongside these themes, we will also be studying some works of Spanish literature and film.
Assessment and feedback
- Unit 1: 40% of A2; 1hr 50
Listening, reading and translation
Short tasks testing receptive skills
- Unit 2: 30% of A2; 2hrs 40minutes
Writing: Translation and essay writing skills, focussing on two works of Spanish literature and/or film
- Unit 3: 30% of A2; approx. 20 minutes (+ 7 minutes preparation)
Speaking: Responding to questions on the above themes and an independent research project.
In the Sixth Form, students will be assessed using the corresponding A Level mark scheme and all work will be corrected, with targets as appropriate. Oral feedback will also be given regularly, as we find these 1:1 discussions lead to a greater understanding of the demands at a higher level. Extended written work will be regularly set and returned within two weeks, and positive events will be awarded as appropriate.
Please click here for the Edexcel A Level Spanish specification
Student will be given a handbook with a course outline for A level and vocabulary for each topic.
GCSE students will be given booklets to prepare and improve their speaking skills and a list of vocabulary for each topic.
We offer specific support for the teaching of oral Spanish in A Level by a native professional who works with students in small groups or on a one-to-one basis.
GCSE: Please click here for AQA GCSE Spanish past papers
A Level: Please click here for Edexcel A Level Spanish past papers
Useful external links
Support sessions for Key Stage 4 at lunch time on Monday in K312
Trips and visits
Santander Trip on Term 6 Years 9 and 12
Our Spanish trip gives students the ideal opportunity to develop not just their Spanish skills, but also to become immersed in Spanish history, culture and traditions. We visit some wonderful sites and sights, which stimulate and encourage our students to further their interest in language and cultural studies.
Here are just some of the career areas that learning a language can help you access:
- International Business and Marketing
- Science and Engineering
- International Finance and Banking
- Event Management and Catering
- Charity Work
- International and European Law
- International Property Sales and Development
- Interpreting and Translating
- Film and Music/Media
Words of wisdom from our MFL alumni
I'm currently studying Computer Science with Study in Continental Europe at the University of Bristol. My course is challenging and engaging and Bristol is a fantastic city. I love that I can still carry on learning and using Spanish at University. It's a welcome rest from maths-based Computer Science and it's an extra skill I'll have over the many other Computer Science students. Next year I'm going to study abroad in Madrid and I can't wait! I'm going to learn Computer Science in Spanish for a whole year. It's a great opportunity that ultimately stemmed from choosing to take Spanish at A Level. The future looks bright too, my course currently has 100% of its graduates working or in further study six months after completing the course!
Joe Ambler, 2014