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MFL

Spanish is the modern language taught to students at Newfield.  As modern linguists, we think that learning foreign languages is important and we hope to convey our enjoyment of languages to our students.

Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. We aim to foster students’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Through engaging, purposeful lessons, we aim to inspire our students to become confident communicators in Spanish.  

Students of all abilities are encouraged to develop their linguistic competence in all four skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Our teaching is based on a communicative approach underpinned by a clear grammatical structure.  The skills students will develop range from being able to communicate on holiday in Spain to having a sound base from which to study Spanish at a higher level.  We also hope to give students an insight into the culture of Spain and other Hispanic countries. Through learning Spanish, students acquire study skills which support other subjects.  

Teachers’ assessments are based on careful consideration of work across the four skill areas and we use regular tests to help us track the progress of each student.

We work closely with local universities to broaden students’ perspectives on the importance of studying a language. 

Lower school curriculum

In Year 7, students have 2 Spanish lessons per week.  We use the Mira textbooks supplemented by a wealth of other departmental resources.  Topics studied include self and family, school, where I live and hobbies.  As part of these topics, students will also learn about Spanish phonics, adjective agreement and the present and near future tenses.

In Year 8, students have 2 Spanish lessons per week.  Topics studied include food, holidays and clothing.  Students will consolidate their knowledge of different tenses and will study how to make comparisons and use superlatives. 

Upper school curriculum

Students opting to continue their foreign language study are entered for the AQA GCSE in Spanish.  Students complete examinations in each of the four skills (reading, listening, speaking and writing) at the end of Year 11.  Each exam contributes 25% towards the final grade.  The course content is broken into 3 main themes.

Theme one: Identity and Culture

Me, my family and friends

Technology in everyday life

Free-time activities

Customs and festivals in Spanish speaking countries

Theme two: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Social issues

Travel and tourism

Your home and local area

Global issues

Theme three: Current and future study and employment

Life at school

Jobs, career choices and ambitions

The course covers expressing and justifying your opinions in Spanish and discussing past and future events.  The course offers all candidates the opportunity to show what they understand, know and can do. 

More detailed information on the specification can be found at http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/spanish-8698

Helpful revision

Students will accelerate their progress if they put extra time into learning vocabulary.  Students are given vocabulary/grammar guides at the start of each academic year which cover the topics taught.  In addition, any Spanish study guides, such as those produced by Letts and CGP, provide an excellent way to consolidate or extend learning.

Extracurricular opportunities

A French language group for years 7, 8 and 9 runs after school on Thursdays.

A languages club led by undergraduate students from Sheffield Hallam University takes place on Friday lunchtimes.