At Bluecoat Wollaton Academy our aim is to inspire a love of languages and an appreciation and respect for different cultures. Not only can learning another language help students to improve their understanding of English but also knowledge of another language can be a valuable asset when seeking employment and other opportunities later in life. To help promote the passion for learning languages we run a range of extra-curricular activities which provide a relaxed and fun environment for students to develop their linguistic skills. Furthermore, we have regular trips abroad which offer students opportunities to practise their language skills in a real life setting and to experience the culture of the country first hand. Previous trips have allowed students to explore a variety of Spanish cities, including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.
Students will study Spanish and start by learning the basics of the language including numbers, colours, pets and free time activities. They will move quickly from word to sentence level and develop the ability to express and explain opinions in the present, past and future tenses. As the year progresses they will be able to talk about a variety of foods and mealtimes, as well as learn phrases to arrange future outings and reflect on previous events. They will end the year learning language to talk about different places in the world as well as the traditions, foods and festivals that originate from Hispanic countries. Assessments will examine the four essential language skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing.
In Year 8, our aim is to build upon the foundations made throughout Year 7. Students will start the year talking about their summer holidays, revising and developing their skills in the past tense. They will then extend their vocabulary knowledge from Year 7 to be able to discuss how technology influences their lives and to reflect upon whether they have a healthy lifestyle. This will involve practising writing and speaking in the different tenses as well as learning how to use comparatives and superlatives in Spanish. Later in the year, students will further develop their grammatical skills by learning how to form questions, to use modal verbs and learn phrases in the conditional tense through talking about travelling and student’ daily routines. Assessments will examine the four essential language skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing.
Year 9 allows students to further develop their grammatical skills by refining skills they have previously learnt as well as learning how to form and use reflexive verbs, stem-changing verbs, the conditional tense and the imperfect tense. They will learn these skills through a variety of exciting topics, such as careers, healthy living, children’s rights and the environment. These topics will require students to reflect on how their life has changed as they have grown up and to consider their future plans. Throughout Year 9 they will read more challenging texts and as a result will be able to write more fluently and with a greater level of complexity. Assessments will examine the four essential language skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing.
Throughout Year 10, students will acquire a greater grammatical understanding of the Spanish language, including developing an understanding of two new tenses, the present continuous and perfect tense. Students will learn to build upon their existing knowledge to be able to talk with a greater level of sophistication about a range of topics. First of all, students will follow a unit about holidays, where they will expand on vocabulary learnt in previous years to be able to talk about holiday disasters, as well as their ideal holidays and they will look at how to book accommodation. Secondly students will learn about the cultural differences between the UK and Hispanic countries with regards to their education system and students will be able to discuss their own school life including school rules, problems and achievements. Students will then spend time reflecting upon the people in their lives, describing family and friends and their relationships with them as well as discussing making plans to go out and technological preferences. Towards the end of the year students will spend time talking about their interests and influences as well as their region and will be able to talk in detail about their free time activities, role models they follow, places in a town and the area where they live. Assessments will examine the four essential language skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing.
Year 11 sees the final preparations before students will sit their GCSE exams at the end of the year. Further details of how these work in languages can be seen below. Students will gain some more sophisticated grammatical skills this year, for example they will understand how to use the passive voice, they will further develop their skills to be able to narrate stories in Spanish, and they will learn to use the present subjunctive, the pluperfect and the imperfect continuous tenses. Firstly, students will learn to discuss traditional Hispanic festivals, traditions and foods and they will be able to make comparisons to festivals celebrated here in the UK. Students will then look to discuss their future employment plans, including talking about work experience, gap years and ambitions they have for the future. Finally, students will learn about social and global problems, which include a wide variety of contentious problems such as obesity, the environment, homelessness, natural disasters, additions and unemployment. GCSE assessments will examine the four essential language skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing and further details of this breakdown can be seen in the section below.
Spanish GCSE Information
The GCSE content in Languages is split into three themes covering a wide variety of aspects of life in Hispanic countries. Students will use a variety of authentic texts, as well as written and audio resources with an emphasis on grammar, communication and spontaneity. The three themes that make up the GCSE content and their subtopics are:
- Identity and culture – Me, my friends and family, Technology in everyday life, Free-time activities and Customs and Festivals.
- Local, national, international and global areas of interest – Home, town, neighbourhood and region, Social issues, Global issues and Travel and tourism.
- Current and future study and employment – My studies, Education post 16 and Jobs, career choices and employment.
Students are assessed through an exam in each of the 4 skill areas: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing each of which is worth 25% of their overall GCSE grade.
- Memrise – https://www.memrise.com/
- Quizlet GCSE – https://www.quizlet.com/bwa-mfl/folders/year-11-spanish/sets
- Duolingo – https://www.duolingo.com/
- AQA Spanish – https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/spanish-8698
- BBC Bitesize – https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/z4yyjhv
Studying Foreign Languages can provide excellent pathways into a variety of jobs both in the UK and worldwide. They also provide numerous transferable skills that can be applied to a vast range of different career paths. Click here for examples of some of the employability skills studying foreign languages can provide.