Year 7 students learn how to greet each other and to say the date of their birthday, to count to 100, to say the alphabet and how to pronounce words, using the Spanish rule of stress. Students also follow classroom commands and learn the present tense of regular ar, er and ir verbs, as well as the uses of the two verbs ‘to be’, ser and estar. Students study adjectival agreements, give opinions, list and describe teachers and family members, talk about family pets and learn the names of countries and nationalities in Europe. They learn how to tell the time, talk about school subjects, describe their bedroom and talk about free-time activities at home. Students learn how to use reflexive verbs to describe daily routine, sports and hobbies outside the home, places in the town, the weather and how to say I like (me gusta / me gustan). The grammar topics covered include adjectival agreements, negatives, uses of the verb to have (tener), stem-changing verbs and some irregular verbs in the first person singular. Students are expected to use ACOIN in speaking and writing. This refers to adjectives, connectives, opinions, intensifiers and negatives.
From the first term students are encouraged to engage in short conversations and to use Spanish spontaneously in class. Creativity is encouraged. By constantly recycling and revisiting language, understanding Spanish language patterns and acquiring grammatical concepts, learners are soon able to speak and write with confidence and originality. Students constantly compare Spanish language patterns with English ones, thus improving understanding of the syntax of the foreign language.
Work covered enables students to work at level 5 of the National Curriculum by the end of Year 7.
In Year 8 topics adjectives, nationalities and places in the town are revisited. Students learn to talk about television programmes, use comparatives, and how to make arrangements with friends for going out and how to make excuses for not being able to do so. The present tense of the verbs poder (to be able to) and querer ( to want) are taught. Students are expected to progress from saying their likes and dislikes to talking about what others like/dislike. Phrases that link with infinitives are acquired and students learn the preterite tense. This enables them to describe a past holiday. Students learn about Spanish speaking countries, time expressions, high numbers, comparative adjectives, superlative adjectives, complex sentences and the near future tense. Students learn how to shop for food and order food in a restaurant, how to describe clothes and name a range of different shops. Students are taught how to say when they are unwell and to describe their symptoms to a doctor or pharmacist and to explain routines that should be followed to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
Topics covered in Year 8 are a good stepping stone for GCSE work in Year 9. Students work with three tenses and so can reach level 7 of the National Curriculum. Students have a good understanding of Spanish syntax and are able to work confidently in a range of tenses, manipulating and recycling language to speak and write with confidence.
Why study this subject?
First and foremost studying a language is fun. It will also improve all communication skills, which are the foundations of future career success as well as broaden your knowledge of other cultures. Colleges, universities and employers all value a language qualification due to the expansion of the European Union and many universities now offer joint degrees, such as Spanish with Physics or Spanish with History. By studying a modern foreign language you will have a greater choice of career pathways both in Britain and abroad. In this global world, if you can communicate in other languages, the more valuable you are as an employee.
What will I learn?
You will learn to speak, read, write and understand what people are saying to you in Spanish. It is great fun to go to Spain and practise what you have learnt in school. Learning a language requires hard work and commitment. You will be fully supported in lessons to achieve your best in this subject.
How will I be assessed?
Your class work and homework will be regularly marked and feedback given will ensure you know how to improve your progress and attainment. You will be assessed in the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
What qualification shall I obtain at the end of the course?
At the end of the course you will gain a GCSE in Spanish at a grade that reflects your work ethic and commitment.
What can this qualification lead to afterwards?
The skills learnt at either GCSE or beyond, will enable you to take your place within a competitive workforce and display good communication skills. A qualification in any modern foreign language opens doors and commands respect, leading to higher salaries and opportunities for promotion.
Spanish A-Level is open to candidates with a good GCSE grade and leads to many degree routes, including further study of language. Spanish graduates find employment in business, UK and European government, engineering, financial services, media, technology, travel and tourism, the charitable sector and as teachers, interpreters and translators. However, there are many roles where languages are a complementary rather than a key skill, so young people who study Spanish to A-Level have the skills for work in business, marketing, sales, Customer Support or Consulting, Events Management, Media and Government. There are, in fact, many careers in which Spanish would be a valuable acquisition.
How much extended learning shall I have to do?
You will be expected to complete homework at least once a week. Grammar and vocabulary learning will be on-going.
Where can I find out more about this qualification?
You can speak to Miss Brownhill or Miss Jiménez. They will answer any questions and explain in detail about the content of the course.
Some year 9 and sixth form students have been lucky enough to be involved with language orientated trips this term at Warwick University and University of Birmingham. The year 9's took part in an apprentice day where they were asked to ‘sell’ Birmingham and the sixth form students spent a day brushing up their translations skills ready for their summer examinations.