Studying a Modern Foreign Language is compulsory for all of our Key Stage 3 students. In year 7, our students are placed in either X band or Y band. X band study Spanish, and students may continue to study the language for GCSE. Students in Y band in year 7 have the option of studying Spanish after school. Studying a language at GCSE is compulsory for those students who are studying for the English Baccalaureate in Key Stage 4. Our Key Stage 4 students undertake a 3 year course, starting in year 9. They complete controlled assessments in speaking and writing, and exams at the end of year 11 in listening and reading.
Studying a language can be an enjoyable and rewarding subject for all of our students at The Heath. We encourage all students to participate in language studies as the skill can be developed in later life, and can complement many other curriculum subjects; English language and literature, the humanities subjects, the arts, and STEM subjects. With employers stating that language skills are highly sought after, we endeavour to provide our students with a life skill that will enable them to fulfil their full potential beyond their life at The Heath.
Key Stage 3
Year 7: the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are taught through the following topics:
¡Hola! – introducing myself and others
Me describo – describing myself, others, and the Spanish speaking world
Mi familia – talking about my friends and family
En el instituto – school life
La comida – food and drink
Grammar content in year 7 includes nouns and genders, the present tense, adjectives and agreement, connectives, basic word order, opinions.
Our year 7 course aims to encourage beginners to develop an interest in the Spanish language and culture. Much of our course develops transferrable skills. We encourage our students to develop communication skills, and place much emphasis on the skill of speaking.
Year 8: our current year 8 cohort study French as their main language. We do however offer a 10 week introduction to the Spanish language and culture, so that students have an awareness of the language in order to inform option choices at the end of year 8.
Key Stage 4
The Key Stage 4 course aims to build on language knowledge gained in Key Stage 3. The course is compulsory for approximately half of students who studied Spanish in KS3.
In Year 9 the students are following a course which will prepare them for the new GCSE. Students are assessed in each skill in the final year of the course and entered for foundation or higher tier.
In Years 10 and 11 the WJEC board is followed; students are entered for either higher or foundation tier at the end of year 11 in the 4 skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students may be entered for a combination of these skills, depending on where their strengths lie. The course is broken down as follows, with controlled assessments taking place in years 10 and 11.
Mi vida – personal information and family
Nuestra ciudad – describing where I live
En el colegio – school, careers and future plans
La salud – food, drink and keeping healthy
Las vacaciones – holidays
En mi insti – school, careers and future plans
Mis amigos : description of best friend and relationships
Extra topics – completion of remaining topic areas prior to listening and reading exams
Monday after school: MFL club – for year 7 and 8 (both languages)
Monday week 2 after school: Year 10/11 – after school support for controlled assessment speaking and writing
Tuesday after school: Year 7 – after school Spanish lessons for those students who are studying French as part of their regular timetable
Foreign language assistant supports all Key Stage 4 classes