The MFL Department encourages all students to value the ability to communicate in a second language and promotes understanding and tolerance of other cultures and traditions.
All pupils at St. Bede’s study Spanish from Year 7. We use the ¡Viva ! course published by Pearson. We concentrate on building communication in the foreign language and expanding pupils’ range of tenses, structures and vocabulary. Pupils are regularly assessed in the four skills areas – listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Key Stage 3
All pupils have three hours of Spanish in Year 7. We follow the Viva 1 course. The following topics are covered:
– Mi vida (my life – greetings, name, age, birthday, siblings, pets)
– Mi tiempo libre (my free time)
– Mi insti (my school)
– Mi familia y mis amigos (my family and friends)
All pupils have two hours of Spanish in Year 8. We follow the Viva 2 course. The following topics are covered:
– Mi cuidad y mi casa (my town and home)
– Mis vacaciones (my holidays)
– Todo sobre mi vida (all about my life)
– ¡A comer! (food and drink)
All pupils have two hours of Spanish in Year 9. We follow the Viva 3 course. The following topics are covered:
– Somos así (leisure and routine)
– Oriéntate (jobs and future plans)
– La vida (healthy living)
– Jóvenes en acción (young people’s rights and responsibilities)
Key Stage 4
Most pupils study GCSE Spanish. From September 2016, we are following the new AQA GCSE Spanish Specification (grades 1-9). We follow the ¡Viva ! course for GCSE. Pupils study the following topics:
– Desconéctate (holidays)
– Mi instituto (my school)
– Mi gente (my people – free time and family/ friends)
– Mis intereses e influencias (free time and role models)
– Cuidades (where I live)
– De costumbre (festivals, food and drink)
– ¡A currar! (work and future plans)
– Hacia un mundo mejor (global issues and health)
At the end of Year 11 (May 2018 for the current Year 10 cohort), pupils will sit four exams, in each of the skill areas (listening, reading, speaking and writing). There are translations from English into Spanish and vice versa in these news exams. There will also be a comprehension activity based on literary text on the reading paper. Each exam is worth 25% of the final grade. To achieve a high grade in the new GCSE, in addition to being able to communicate clearly, pupils must be able to use a range of tenses, structures and vocabulary. There is no coursework and dictionaries are not allowed in the exams.
The pupils in Year 11 are currently studying the Edexcel GCSE Spanish specification (2009); this is the final year of this exam. Four controlled assessments (two spoken and two written) constitute 60% of the final grade. There are two exams which pupil will sit in May 2017 – a listening and a reading exam, each worth 20% of the final grade. Pupils can sit either the foundation or the higher papers, as directed by their class teachers. No dictionaries are allowed in the exams. To prepare for the final exams, pupils should revise vocabulary on the following topic areas:
1) General vocabulary – numbers, months, days of the week, weather, time expressions, common adjectives, negatives, question words, false friends
2) Verbs – you need to be able to recognise verbs in different tenses (e.g. past, present, future)
3) Holidays – countries, transport, accommodation, complaints, activities, festivals
4) School – subjects, teachers, facilities, uniform, rules
5) Family and friends – characteristics, relationships, daily routine
6) Work– jobs, duties, work experience, future plans
7) Free time – TV and cinema, sports, going out, technology, pocket money
8) Where I live – type of house/ rooms, places in town, shopping, complaints
9) Health – parts of the body, illnesses/ conditions, lifestyle (diet, smoking, drugs, alcohol)
10) Global issues – the environment (problems and possible solutions), social problems, volunteering
Key Stage 5
Students in Year 13 are currently following the AQA Spanish specification; this is the final year of this exam. From September 2017, we will be teaching the new AQA A-level Spanish specification. Please see the AQA website or talk to a member of the department for more information about this course.
In recent years, students have gone onto study Spanish at universities such as Liverpool and Sheffield.
Pupils in Year 7 enter the Routes into Languages Foreign Language Spelling Bee. Two pupils have made it to the national finals in previous years.
In previous years, pupils have exchanged letters with a school in the North of Spain, where Miss Duggan worked. Miss Hume is currently setting up a letter-writing scheme with a school where she worked in Mexico.
Festivals from Spanish-speaking countries, such as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), are celebrated by staff and pupils. In November, Miss Hume and 7A1 built an altar to honour the dead in the MFL breakout area.
Pupils at KS4 and KS5 have taken part in visits to the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle, to watch Spanish and Latin American films. Last year, Year 12 went to watch the hit Argentinian film Relatos Salvajes (Wild Tales).
There have been many successful residential trips to Spain in the past. We hope to run another trip in the near future.