Modern Foreign Languages

Year 7

Students begin understanding sentences in Spanish straight away in their first week of Spanish lessons. We work on exposing students to lots of spoken Spanish in the classroom, to model pronunciation to raise their confidence when speaking. They will learn how to introduce themselves through speaking and writing, giving basic information about themselves and members of the family.  Later in the year, students will also discuss what they do in their free time depending on different weather conditions, as well as their TV viewing habits. In these topics, we also introduce forming the future tense.  As we progress through year 7 students will become accustomed to understanding and producing extended texts in Spanish. We finish the year by studying a cultural project, such as learning about the famous Spanish festival, La Tomatina.

Year 8

In Year 8 Spanish we begin to broaden students’ horizons and evaluative skills.  We start the year with understanding where different people live and detailed descriptions of houses, using the past and future tense. Students also get the opportunity to use their imagination by describing their dream house.  Later in the year, students are asked to evaluate their lifestyles in Spanish by considering their exercise and eating habits. As well as using previously learnt language and structures, they will develop other linguistic techniques, such as comparatives to make their evaluations more complex and varied. This prepares them for techniques encouraged at GCSE level. We finish the year with a film project, by studying the film Coco. We look in depth at how the film portrays Mexican culture, and compare it to our own, as well as gaining a deeper understanding about the famous Day of the Dead festival.

Year 9

If your child has selected to study Spanish GCSE then they can expect to cover some fantastic topics in year 9.  We revisit some topics covered in Year 7, but at a much deeper level, which increases confidence and ability to communicate effectively in Spanish. We cover topics such as describing relationships with family and friends, opinions on marriage and divorce, as well as discussing the use of modern technology in everyday life.  Later in the year we also cover the popular topic of food and drink, how to order in a restaurant and explain eating habits and preferences in detail. We also study several different Spanish festivals and compare Spanish customs and traditions with our own.

Years 10 and 11

In Years 10 and 11 we continue with our GCSE unit by looking at:

Theme 2: Local and national area, including tourism, social and global issues that we face today, including poverty, homelessness and threats to our environment.

Theme 3: life in education, post-16 choices and the world of work.

As well as elevating their Spanish skills and broadening their understanding, these themes prepare young people for life after GCSEs by teaching them about the world we live in today and helping them to become a global citizen.

There will be 4 exams at the end of Year 11, a listening exam, a reading exam and a writing exam as well as a speaking exam, conducted by your class teacher. Each paper is worth 25% of the final GCSE grade. At Plympton Academy we follow the AQA GCSE course.

Years 12 and 13

If your child has selected to study Spanish at A Level then they will notice that the topics deal with even more prevalent issues in society than what they have learnt in GCSE.  They will learn about how Spain’s history has impacted on society today, in regards to the changes in the family structure, women’s and gay rights as well as regional differences in the country. In the first year of the course, students have to watch a Spanish film and learn how to critically analyse it in the form of an essay in Spanish.  At Plympton Academy, students will study the famous film El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth).  In the second year of the course students will also read a piece of Spanish literature in order to again analyse it in an essay too.  Finally students will undertake an Individual Research Project where they choose an area of Hispanic culture or history to explore and conduct research in the target language in order to deliver a spoken presentation in Spanish.

Student Statements

‘I love being able to communicate in a foreign language’

‘My teacher makes sure that all the lessons are fun and engaging’

‘I am making a lot of progress and know what I need to do to achieve’

‘Languages are essential in the 21st century’

Primary Liaison

As part of our on-going work to support the teaching of primary languages, the MFL team visits local primary schools within Plympton to work with class teachers and to teach students Spanish or French. This has been a fantastic way to get to know students before they come to Plympton Academy.