Key Stage 3 : Years 7 – 9
In Year 7 students have the chance to start Spanish as their second language option. Students are placed in one of two parallel (mixed ability) groups.
Pupils may begin in Spanish in Year 7. During this year they will learn the basics for communication in Spanish through studying the language’s phonics, vocabulary and grammar. Additionally, we examine cultural aspects of the language, such as Christmas and New Year traditions, Semana Santa, and the depiction of southern Spain in the Disney film Ferdinand.
In Years 8 and 9 students continue to build on what they have learned in Year 7, still based on the pillars of phonics, vocabulary and grammar, and broadening cultural knowledge by researching a variety of festivals from the Spanish-speaking world. Grammar is introduced in a logical order with regular recycling of structures to embed knowledge. Vocabulary focuses on high-frequency, transferable and inclusive words that students really need. During our weekly phonics sessions, Year 7, 8 and 9 students learn the most frequent Spanish sounds to enable them to recognise and pronounce all the words encountered during the year.
Year 7 students also take part in the Spanish Spelling Bee House Competition, with the opportunity to continue on to represent Presdales at regional and national competition level. The Lingofest competition allows students to ‘read great literature in the original language’, as per the aims of the National Curriculum – but in a supported and well-scaffolded way, appropriate to the age and level of learners. Year 7 students study and practise reading aloud Antonio Garcia Teijero’s beautiful yet simple poem En un trozo de papel, while students in Year 8 extend their study of Spanish-language poetry through working on Mariposa, by Federico García Lorca, one of Spain’s most renowned and beloved poets. Also during Lingofest, Year 9 students look at and dramatise El viento en la isla by Chilean poet, politician, and political activist Pablo Neruda. In September the school celebrates Global Week of Languages and Culture (formerly European Week of Languages), and students at KS3 have the opportunity to extend their cultural knowledge by learning about hispanic musicians, traditional food from the Spanish-speaking world, and tourist sites and places of interest in the Spanish-speaking world.
Year 9 frequently revisit grammatical points learnt in Year 7 and 8 and build on prior knowledge to develop an understanding and use of the immediate future tense, preterite tense, differences in use of the two verbs for ‘to be’ (‘ser’ and ‘estar’), and other irregular present tense verbs. Students learn to manipulate the language to produce more and more complex language, providing an excellent base to support Spanish GCSE study.
For details on the Spanish GCSE and to aid pupils’ independent learning with additional study materials, the Spanish Department has created a Google Site, accessible via pupils’ RM Unify logins. Please click here for the KS4 Google Site.