Spanish

¡Bienvenidos!

Welcome to the MFL department. Spanish is studied from Years 7-11 and is compulsory at KS3.

KS4 is offered as an option and with the introduction of the Ebacc certificate . A high number of pupils are actively encouraged to study the subject with the courses in Year 9 designed to reflect the language needs of students in terms of whether or not they are likely to continue to GCSE.

Extra Information

We would strongly recommend that students have their own English/Spanish dictionary. At KS4 it is also recommended that students have a verb tables book and/or grammar reference book.

Effort and achievement are recognised regularly.  A Student of the Month (Estudiante del Mes) award is given to one child in each language group across all year groups every month and students can also accumulate good work stickers in their exercise books.  When they achieve 10 of these they are awarded a certificate and rewards pack which are presented in assembly.

Who works in the MFL Department?

- Mrs Juliet Evans - Head of MFL

- Ms Anne Allison - Teacher of MFL

Teachers will often set homework online (Activelearn). The first part of your child’s homework should be to ensure that they have learnt the vocabulary we have covered in class, including accurate spellings and accents, and that they understand any language ‘rules’ (grammar) that we have covered.

You can help them to do this by:

  • Getting them to speak a bit of Spanish with you at home regularly (greetings, simple conversation etc)

  • Testing them – have a list of words/phrases in Spanish and ask them to tell you the English

  • Have a list of the words/phrases in English and ask them to tell you the Spanish (harder)

  • Ask them to write down the Spanish words for you from memory and check them from your list

  • Encourage them to use www.espanol-extra to practise the vocabulary through games and other activities

  • Get them to teach you the Spanish – the best way for students to learn new vocabulary and grammar is by teaching someone else!

Sometimes teachers may set a specific task if there is something in particular that they need your child to practise at home but most of the home learning your child should do outside the classroom should be enrichment. We encourage students to use their own initiative to find things of interest to themselves and to look for information about Spain and Spanish-speaking countries. They may, for example, try watching some children’s cartoons in Spanish or listen to some music, sports commentaries or interviews in Spanish. They will not understand a lot of the language at first but the more they do this the more their language skills will develop.

Other homework tasks may be in the form of projects or more creative tasks that students will work on and complete over a few weeks. These are quite ‘open ended’ and students are encouraged to use their creativity and initiative when producing these. Examples of possible projects are:

  • Their school

  • Their family tree (real or imaginary!)

  • A story or poem on the theme of animals and descriptions

  • Their ideal house

There are also rewards for students who use their own initiative to produce something about the culture of a Spanish-speaking country that is either linked to something that we are studying or that is simply something that interests them. This could be a poster, information sheet/leaflet, booklet, powerpoint, video or even resources that we could share with colleagues in our primary schools.

And again, a reminder that it would be very useful if your child had their own Spanish dictionary to use at home!

In Years 7-9 we follow the Viva Activeteach course. Students will also have access to the Activelearn programme in order to consolidate and revise work done in class.

Year 7

In Year 7 students begin to learn the skills necessary to communicate in Spanish. They are encouraged to speak, read, write and listen in the target language. Early on they will learn how to pronounce the letter sounds in Spanish to enable good pronunciation and reading skills from the start. It is a topic based course which covers: ‘My life,’ ‘My free time,’ ‘My school,’ ‘My family and friends’ and ‘My town/city’, and is underpinned by a clear, grammatical progression. There is a strong focus on understanding key grammatical concepts and developing skills such as memory skills and problem solving.

There is ongoing assessment and students are encouraged to check their own progress regularly.

Year 8

During Year 8, students cover the topics of: ‘My holidays,’ ‘All about my life,’ ‘Food and drink’, ‘Making arrangements to go out’ and Summer plans, and they build on their skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to write and speak using more complex vocabulary and to employ a wider range of vocabulary. To build confidence, they are encouraged to work in groups and participate in activities interactively.

Students are regularly assessed to monitor progress and are encouraged to work on any areas for development.

Year 9

This year students will be consolidating prior learning with a focus on building more complex sentences, understanding a greater range of vocabulary and developing spoken skills. There will be a focus on a deeper understanding of grammar in order to give them a strong start to the GCSE course. They are also encouraged to be more creative and imaginative in their use of language.  Students are encouraged to employ a range of tenses, opinions and connectives in written and spoken tasks with a significant focus on accuracy. Topics include: ‘Leisure,’ ‘Jobs and employment,’ ‘Healthy Lifestyles,’ ‘Children around the world’ and a final topic on Madrid.

Students are regularly assessed to monitor progress and are encouraged to work on any areas for development.

Students in KS4 will now be studying for the new GCSE. You can find the syllabus for this here:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/spanish-8698

Here you will find a list of GCSE vocabulary as well as the content and expectations of the course. There are also practice papers for students to gain exam practice. It is vital that students are regularly revising grammar and topics throughout the course and completing additional work on key areas such as verb formation. The links below will be very useful for GCSE students in consolidating the work covered in class:

www.espanol-extra.co.uk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/spanish/

https://conjuguemos.com/list.php?type=fillin&division=grammar&language=spanish

http://www.languagesonline.org.uk/Hotpotatoes/Index.htm

Prior to starting the course there are a number of things that parents and students can do Please see below the text of the letter sent to parents regarding how students can prepare between Year 9 and 10:

Our exam board is AQA and there are some useful resources and information on their website. The course we use is the Viva GCSE course, which gives students access to online practice and homework through the Activelearn service. All students will have their own login details for this site. There will often be tasks set for them to complete but they can access all tasks at any time in order to go over something again, practise some grammar or vocabulary, or even to learn vocabulary and grammar in advance of studying the topic in class.

Another very helpful website is www.espanol-extra.co.uk. This site covers Spanish topics and grammar from beginners through to A-level. As well as using it to consolidate what we do in class this is also a very good resource to revise work covered at KS3 that students may need to recap.

It would be useful if your child had a Spanish dictionary (there were some in The Works for £2!) and grammar guide at home and students should be learning/memorising vocabulary weekly. A key area in order to achieve higher grades at GCSE is knowledge of verbs in the different tenses. Your child will be starting in a strong position if he/she could use espanol-extra or another website, www.conjuguemos.com, to work on the present, preterite and future tenses before starting the course in September. One of the best ways to ensure that you know something is to teach it to someone else so you could get them to try to explain to you what they have been working on. When they have vocabulary to learn you could test them on it – you do not have to be able to speak any Spanish to be able to help with this as, on the whole, it is easy to link Spanish words in writing to what you hear.

Finally, one of the best ways to build vocabulary, improve pronunciation and accent, and develop listening and reading skills is to find authentic material on something you enjoy – encourage your child to find songs, adverts, sports commentaries, cartoons, films, news articles, blogs or anything else that sparks an interest and see how much they can understand. It may only be one or two words to begin with but the more they do the more they will increase their knowledge of Spanish and Spanish culture.

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