MFL – Spanish

Head of Department: Mrs J Lemée-Wright
Faculty Staff: Mrs E Savory, Miss E Hawthorne, Mrs S Hook, Miss D Sookwareea
Level of teaching: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5 at The New Sixth

With some 400 million speakers, Spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world. It is the official language in four continents and the mother tongue of 21 countries. Having the ability to speak another language is a lifelong skill that can broaden horizons and open doors to many new opportunities. Students with a GCSE or A Level in Spanish are also more desirable to universities and employers.

Learning a Modern Foreign Language helps students develop their interest in the similarities and differences between themselves and others. This includes broadening their understanding of other countries, communities, cultures and peoples. Learning the basics of a foreign language also helps students develop their language and communication skills and can enhance self-esteem.

In Year 7, students have the opportunity to study two languages from French, German, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Additionally, students can apply to join the Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) providing accelerated learning opportunities in this global language. A small number of students, identified by the school, will only do one language (Spanish) in order to support them with their English and Maths.

In Year 8, students continue to study their two languages alongside the MEP programme, where appropriate.

In Year 9, students continue to study their two languages. At Key Stage 4, MFL are provided as part of our broad and balanced curriculum offer with all four languages offered as part of the options process.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Students study a broad and varied language curriculum, which is assessed in the form of the end of module tests. Other tests may be undertaken as and when considered appropriate, for example to ensure students have a strong grasp of vocabulary. Assessment information is used by staff to monitor progress and to inform planning.  By the end of KS3, students will learn how to write and speak in at least three tenses.

We aim to nurture a love of languages by incorporating a variety of cultural aspects in our teaching, as well as creative lessons such as creating and practising songs, rhymes, raps and role plays. At the end of Year 9 an overall level is given for each student. This is based on performance in end of module assessments and on-going teacher assessment.

Year 7

Terms 1 & 2 – ¡Vamos!
Spanish Pronunciation and Alphabet
Numbers 1-31
Days of the Week
Months of the Year
Classroom Instructions
Schoolbag items

Terms 3 & 4 – En el instituto
School Subjects
Saying what you do in lessons
Talking about teachers
Giving opinions and reasons why
What you do at break and lunch
School food

Terms 5 & 6 – Mi Familia
Naming family members
Saying how old others are, giving their names
Numbers 1-100
Pets, and describing pets
Plurals and agreements with verbs, nouns and adjectives
Using verbs Tener and Ser
Describing yourself and others, with hair, eyes, height and personality

Year 8

Terms 1 & 2 – A La Casa
Using the verb, vivir, to name the countries and towns where you and others live
Naming particular locations within a country and different types of home
Naming the rooms of the house, making nouns plural
Saying what you do in different rooms of the house
Name items of furniture and using prepositions to say where these items are in relation to each other
La Semana Santa

Terms 3 & 4 – Mis Vacaciones
Saying where you went on holiday
Holiday activities
Giving more details on holidays
Giving opinions in the past tense

Terms 5 & 6 – La Comida
Talking about mealtimes
Comparing Spanish and British eating habits
Food likes and dislikes
Shopping for food
Spanish Markets
Ordering food in a restaurant
Talking about what you eat normally, what you ate yesterday, what you are going to eat tomorrow
Tapas Tasting Lesson

Year 9

Terms 1 & 2 – El tiempo libre
Saying what you do in your free time (recap from Year 8 activities in the house)
frequency and sequencing
Expressing opinions on what you like and don’t like to do in your free time
use of three tenses

Terms 3 & 4
Parts of the Body
Describing Symptoms
Healthy and Unhealthy Food
Healthy Living
Lifestyle changes
plans to improve health
use of imperfect

Terms 5 & 6 – ¡Fiesta!
Naming fiestas of the Spanish Speaking World
Researching and describing what is at particular fiestas
Understanding historical and religious traditions behind different fiestas
Describing costumes, traditional food and activities linked to different fiestas
Explaining how you celebrated, celebrate and are going to celebrate different events

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Course Code: GCSE Spanish AQA 8698
Exam Board Specification:

The GCSE specification is a linear course. The qualification is assessed by sitting four exam papers; listening, speaking, reading and writing. These take place at the end of Year 11 and are each worth 25% of the total grade.

The new AQA GCSE Spanish course is divided into three main subject areas called themes. Each theme is divided into four topics.  So the GCSE is made up of 12 topics altogether to be studied over Years 10 and 11.

Themes and Topics:

Identity and culture
Me, my family and friends
Technology in everyday life
Free-time activities
Customs and festivals

Local, national, international and global areas of interest
Home town, neighbourhood and region
Social issues
Global issues
Travel and tourism

Current and future study and employment
My studies
Life at school/college
Education post-16
Jobs, career choices and ambitions

Each skill (listening, speaking, reading and writing) is now worth 25%

Two tiers of examination are offered: Foundation and Higher. Candidates can only be entered for one tier.

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Course Code: A Level Spanish AQA 7692
Exam Board Specification:

Recommended Entry Requirements

  • Grade 6 GCSE Spanish
  • Interest in the culture and way of life in the countries where Spanish is spoken

Why Spanish?
A radical and exciting departure from the GCSE, you will undertake far higher levels of independent study and research and a more rigorous approach to grammar. Reading of Spanish newspapers and visiting Spanish speaking countries is encouraged so you can really master the language and learn to value the different Spanish speaking cultures.

The course has four main themes:

  1. Aspects of Spanish Society
  2. Artistic culture in the Spanish World
  3. Multiculturalism in the Spanish World
  4. Aspects of Political Life in the Spanish World.

You will also study and critically appreciate in writing two works, one of which must be literary and other may be a film.


50% – Paper 1 – Listening, Reading and Writing
20% – Paper 2 – Writing on a set text and film
30% – Paper 3 – Speaking: a photo card and presentation of your independent research project

Recommended Reading

AQA A Level Year 1 and AS Spanish Textbook, AQA Spanish Grammar and Translation Workbook
AQA A Level Year 2 Textbook, Spanish Revision and Practice Workbook Themes 1&2 plus 3&4 (2018)
Spanish Verb Drills by V Bay
“Palabra por Palabra” by P Turk

Enrichment and Links:

The Córdoba Exchange continues to strengthen and develop the long established partnership between Saint Gregory’s Bath and IES Grupo Cántico School in Córdoba.

Situated in Andalucía, Córdoba is a beautiful city recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.  It provides an ideal base for our trip, giving students the opportunity to learn about the culture of Andalucía. In addition to visiting the major historical sites in Córdoba, students take part in excursions to Seville’s spectacular cathedral and the stunning Alhambra Palace in Granada.

Highlights of the trip include the chance to see what life in a Spanish school is like and spending a day with a Spanish host family. These experiences give students a taste of authentic Spanish life, as well as improve their linguistic competence. Students always enjoy welcoming their Spanish partners to Bath in the Summer Term, so that they can return the same warm hospitality they received in Córdoba and meet up again with the friends they made.

The Córdoba Exchange brings with it many benefits. Not only does it give students the opportunity to form and maintain friendships on an international level, but it also opens their minds to different cultures and ways of life. In addition, we find that students who take part in the exchange programme develop a love for language learning and are often inspired to further their studies of Spanish.

Furthermore, in July groups of students from Years 9 and 10 spend a day at Bath University for a “Routes into Languages” taster day. They taste Spanish food, go on a treasure hunt as well as a range of other cultural activities that require them to put the language into use.

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