Spanish is an important world language which has almost 500 million native speakers in over 20 countries worldwide. Pupils are taught the four main skills which are fundamental to learning any new language - reading, listening, speaking and writing. There is also a focus on understanding and using key aspects of Spanish grammar as well as exposing students to the rich culture of Spanish speaking countries. We encourage students to make use of their knowledge of previously learnt languages and also develop an awareness that the skills learnt in Spanish may be transferred to any future learning of other foreign languages.
In Years 7 and 8, there is a focus on rapidly expanding students’ knowledge of Spanish vocabulary so that they express themselves using as much detail as possible. Students learn how to construct and apply different verbs which allows them to write and speak in more than one timeframe. Strategies for effective listening and reading comprehension are introduced as early as possible in these two years.
In Year 9, students move on to writing and speaking in greater depth and with more complexity. They study a range of engaging topics such as holidays, health and school and we continue to develop their understanding of different time frames, particularly the past and future tenses. The annual trip to Valencia provides students with an excellent opportunity to enhance their language skills and experience a different culture to their own.
Students undertake the GCSE course during Years 10 and 11 and are expected to produce longer and more complex pieces of writing as demanded by the exam board. New vocabulary and phrases are introduced to enable students to express themselves confidently through written or spoken word. Students are exposed to authentic Spanish material which further develops their grasp of listening and reading skills.
The A-Level course allows students to develop the language skills acquired at GCSE through the study of a more advanced range of topics as well as an exposure to Spanish film and literature. An A-Level in a modern language is a highly respected academic qualification. It complements many areas of study but, in particular, Economics or business-related degrees. Students acquire a range of transferable skills which equip them for many different disciplines. People who can communicate in more than one language are highly sought after by employers in many different fields.