Introduction

The Modern Foreign Language department offers students to opportunity to learn Spanish, the second most-spoken language in the world. Young people who have a second language are at a huge advantage in life. It opens doors to new friendships, gives them greater facility to learn extra languages and enables them to think both laterally and creatively.

Aims and Ethos

We aim to provide a fun and positive environment that engages students in developing their language learning skills. Our aim is to make learning enjoyable and to allow all of our students to experience other cultures through active learning, an engaging curriculum and research projects.

With skilled linguists in the department, we are committed to encourage pupils to use the target language with each other in pair or group work and to ensure that pupils are hearing authentic language each time they are in the MFL classroom. Within the MFL classroom we consistently emphasise that it is okay to make mistakes. We believe where pupils learn is in deciding how they move on from these errors. This open environment allows pupils to grow in confidence and not worry about speaking out in front of their peers, and to enjoy broadening their cultural references and in cultural understanding.

Expectations

The MFL department seeks to develop the following in all of our students:

Key Stage 3

  • To be culturally aware and know that life and language is different in other parts of the world. They develop effective memory skills. Pupils develop an awareness of time frames.
  • To see and apply patterns and think logically about new and previously acquired language in order to develop grammar knowledge and widen their vocabulary. Pupils practice the formation of past, present and future timeframes.
  • To solve problems and can think of another way of doing or phrasing something. They are literate, communicating clearly in another language as well as their own and are increasingly open to new experiences and cultures. Pupils become more secure with the formation of past, present and future timeframes.

Key Stage 4

  • Pupils are able to multi-task, often managing several skills at the same time. They are capable of performing well under pressure. Pupils master the formation of past, present and future timeframes including irregular verb forms.
  • Pupils have highly developed listening skills, hearing the detail in communication. They are skilful communicators who value the importance of precision and accuracy. They are aware that having learnt a foreign language, they are able to use those skills to learn more languages. Pupils are able to communicate in all 4 skills with a robust knowledge of the past, present and future timeframes.

At Key Stage 3, students study a variety of different topics. Students start by discussing things in the first person, whilst using simple opinions and reasons. Throughout Year 8 and 9, these skills are reinforced and developed, including the use of the present, past and future tenses, as well as laying the foundations for sitting their GCSE examinations.

Areas of study covered in Key Stage 3

Assessment

Throughout Key Stage 3, students will be continuously assessed during lesson time. The aim of the assessments is to provide students with the opportunities to acquire and develop the skills that will prepare them for sitting the GCSE examinations. The assessed pieces of work will include:

  • Translations (from English to Spanish and Spanish to English.
  • Reading and Listening exercises.
  • Short writing tasks (between 40 and 90 words)
  • Role-play and Photo card speaking exams.

These assessments will be marked in line with the GCSE marking criteria, adapted for each year group.

Homework

Students will receive one piece of homework every 3 weeks. The homework will aim to consolidate and extend the students’ learning. Homework must be recorded in their school planner, with the correct instructions and deadlines.

The tasks will range from reading exercises, translations, short writing tasks and research assignments. It may also involve some online learning, via www.quizlet.com, or www.senecalearning.com.

On top of this, it is highly recommended that students spend some time revising the vocabulary learnt after every lesson, in order to make better progress.

GCSE Spanish builds on the knowledge and skills acquired throughout Key Stage 3, with a range of topics which aim to expand students’ cultural knowledge.

Students will be tested in listening, reading, speaking and writing and will develop transferable skills, relevant to further study and the world of work. The range of topics aims to inspire students who are interested in Spanish culture and Spanish speaking countries.

 

Areas of study

During Key Stage 4, Spanish students will study the following themes and topics:

Theme 1: Identity and Culture

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3: Current and future studies and employment

 

Specification details

Please click here to view full information on the AQA GCSE Spanish specification.

Scheme of Assessment

The GCSE course is split into two tiers, Higher and Foundation. On the Higher tier, students can access grades from 3 to 9, and on the Foundation Tier, students can access grades from 1 to 5. Students must take all four question papers from the same tier.

All examinations will take place during the examination period towards the end of Year 11, starting with the speaking examination.

Paper 1: Listening
·         Written exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier)

·         40 marks (Foundation Tier), 50 marks (Higher Tier)

·         25% of GCSE

(Each exam includes 5 minutes’ reading time of the question paper before the listening stimulus is played.)

Questions

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

·         Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally

·         Section B – questions in Spanish, to be answered in Spanish or non-verbally

 

Paper 2: Speaking
·         Non-exam assessment

·         7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation time

·         10–12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time

·         60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)

·         25% of GCSE

Questions

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

·         Role-play – 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 2 minutes at Higher Tier)

·         Photo card – 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 3 minutes at Higher Tier)

·         General conversation – 30 marks (3–5 minutes at Foundation Tier; 5–7 minutes at Higher Tier)

 

Paper 3: Reading
·         Written exam: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier)

·         60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)

·         25% of GCSE

Questions

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

·         Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally

·         Section B – questions in Spanish, to be answered in Spanish or non-verbally

·         Section C – translation from Spanish into English (a minimum of 35 words at Foundation Tier and 50 words at Higher Tier)

 

Paper 4: Writing
·         Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier)

·         50 marks at Foundation Tier and 60 marks at Higher Tier

·         25% of GCSE

Questions

Foundation Tier

·         Question 1 – four short sentences describing a photo – 8 marks

·         Question 2 – 4 bullet points, 40 words  – 16 marks

·         Question 3 – translation from English into Spanish (minimum 35 words) – 10 marks

·         Question 4 – four bullet points, 90 words – 16 marks

Higher Tier

·         Question 1 – four bullet points, 90 words – 16 marks – 16 marks

·         Question 2 – open-ended writing task – two bullet points, 150 words – 32 marks

·         Question 3 – translation from English into Spanish (minimum 50 words) – 12 marks

 

Revision Guides

Recommended GCSE texts or revision guides:

GCSE Spanish AQA Revision Guide - for the Grade 9-1 Course (with Online Edition)

ISBN: 9781782945468

 

GCSE Spanish AQA Exam Practice Workbook - for the Grade 9-1 Course

ISBN: 9781782945475

 

New Grade 9-1 GCSE Spanish Translation Skills Workbook

ISBN: 9781789080513

 

Homework

Students will receive one piece of homework every 2 weeks. The tasks will range from reading exercises, exam-style translations, exam-style writing questions and research assignments. It may also involve some online learning, via www.quizlet.com, or www.senecalearning.com.

Homework must be recorded in their school planner, with the correct instructions and deadlines.

On top of this, it is highly recommended that students spend around 45 minutes per week, revising vocabulary covered in class, as well as from the GCSE Vocabulary list (found here).

Trips to Barcelona have successfully run in the department over the last 5 years. We intend to continue this in the new academic year.

Congratulations to the following students for being awarded the Student of the Week in Spanish!

Year 7:

Year 8:

Year 9:

Year 10:

Year 11: