Subject Leader: Mrs C. Williamson

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What are we studying?

We begin with a beginners’ Spanish course, which covers pronunciation and basic essential vocabulary. There is also an element of online learning. Part way through the year students begin the GCSE course using the AQA Viva book. All students will have a username and password to access their personal online learning account.

Students develop skills in understanding written and spoken Spanish and in actively using the language to speak and write.  They develop a wide range of language learning techniques, which will aid them in learning across the curriculum and with any language they may choose or need to study in the future.

How are we assessed?

Students have regular vocabulary and spelling tests.

They complete at least two written tasks per topic, which are graded, in terms of expected progress towards target, as either +, = or -. These tasks are given a level (for example 4=) once students have responded to their teacher’s feedback and they have made the necessary improvements in green pen.

They complete one speaking or writing assessment and one reading or listening assessment at the end of each topic, this is usually four times a year.  These assessments are completed in class in test conditions. For each assessment students will be given a level and this will be compared to their target level to measure progress and performance.

How are we grouped?

Students are grouped, as far as possible, by language preference (Spanish or French). Using both Key Stage 2 data, CATs data and assessment results from Year 8, they are then set into two Spanish groups. Students in set 6 for English do not study a foreign language and receive additional literacy support. If it becomes clear that a student is in the wrong set for their ability during the year, this may be adjusted. 

What homework do we do?

  • Students need to learn vocabulary and spellings every day. Spelling and vocabulary tests give teachers a good indication of whether a student is completing their homework but it should be remembered that the purpose of these activities is to build students’ Spanish vocabulary. It is much more effective to learn spellings and vocabulary for five minutes every day, rather than 30 minutes the night before the test. Learning in regular intervals drastically improves the chance of the words being stored in the long-term memory. If spelling/vocabulary homework is not set they can choose ten words or an item of grammar that they found challenging to work on. They should also log into their online learning account at least once a week once they begin the GCSE course.
  • Students are also set homework activities consisting of reading, writing tasks and speaking practice. They do not normally receive more than one homework task per week, in addition to vocabulary learning. At the end of each topic, students need to learn and revise thoroughly for the end of topic assessments.


What can parents do to help?

Review exercise book regularly. Discuss your child’s progress with him/her.

Ensure that students learn vocabulary at home for at least 5 minutes every day. Support them with making flash cards and/or using the ‘look, cover, write and check’ method to learn spellings. If spelling/vocabulary homework is not set they can choose ten words or an item of grammar that they found challenging to work on.

Provide an “easy learning” bi-lingual dictionary and encourage your child to use it when completing written homework.

Direct students to vocabulary building and grammar practice websites such as and and of course the GCSE online learning platform for which they will have a username and password

Provide students with as much visual and audio stimulus as possible, for example, Spanish magazines, Spanish film, Spanish radio/TV and, if possible, a trip to Spain.


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