Spanish: Statement of Intent

At Christ the King, Spanish is offered in all year groups. Our GCSE results are outstanding with students consistently achieving amongst the top 10 of schools in the Lancashire Value Added Project every year. In 2019, 100% students achieved Grade 4-9 with 82% achieving or exceeding their minimum target grade.

In Year 7, students receive between one and three 50 minute lessons per week based upon aptitude and linguistic ability. In Year 8 and Year 9 students receive three 50 minute lessons each, as do Key Stage 4. The students who do not access Spanish access additional Functional Skills lessons to improve their English and Mathematics. However, there is opportunity for students to access MFL when they are able to cope with the demands of the course, e.g. students who are new to the country may require a few weeks to improve English to a functional level but then can access Spanish.

The Spanish curriculum offers students the opportunity to study the wider world around them, and learn about new cultures which may be very different to their own, allowing them to develop empathy for other people and lifestyles.

At Key Stage 3 and 4 we follow the Viva (Pearson) course which allows for progression in vocabulary and grammar as well as cultural input. The Pearson sequence is mainly followed except for the topic of Work Experience (Module 7) at Key Stage 4, which we study in the Spring term of Year 10 prior to and immediately after their Work Experience placement in order to relate to real-life experiences. Homework for all year groups supports learning through the Activelearn Programme either to consolidate the learning of the current topic or address gaps in skill and knowledge, or used as a flipped learning tool to afford students the opportunity to become familiar with the topic vocabulary before studying the module.

Spanish is an optional subject at GCSE and is a two year course underwritten by the Edexcel Examination Board. Students are required to sit examinations in each of the four skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Each examination is worth 25% of the overall mark. After school Study Support sessions are provided to give students the opportunity to improve and enhance their skills and knowledge in the subject.

In lessons, students are provided with many opportunities to work independently, to work together in groups and teams with the element of competition in the form of table points being high on the agenda. This, along with our whole school Merit system and departmental half-termly rewards postcards, creates a positive culture for learning.

Every year on 26th September European Day of Languages is celebrated in schools all over Europe and at Christ the King it is no different. It was created in order to promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity we have across the world. Students and staff alike get involved in a variety of activities in lessons, at break and at lunch time. Staff dress up in traditional dress from countries around the world, students taste foods from around Europe through a special themed menu in the canteen, and other subject areas make links to countries and cultures from all over the world in their lessons. This is of particular importance at Christ the King where students come from a wide variety of cultures and where over 18 different languages are spoken. Due to this fact, students understand the importance of celebrating differences and welcome the opportunity to formally do so.

Furthermore, Year 9 students have the opportunity to visit the University of Central Lancashire on a “Worldwise” visit to demonstrate how languages are used in the real world. Students take part in activities such as Chinese calligraphy, translation and interpreting. At option time we address languages at University and beyond in the workplace.

Urdu and Polish languages are also available as optional subjects, at GCSE level.

Students can choose to study Spanish at A-level and if they do so, are also given the opportunity to learn another language at College. Spanish can be continued at Degree level and many students combine the language with another discipline e.g. Spanish and Law, Spanish and Business Studies. The third year of the degree is spent in the country of the language studied, or 6 months in each country if two languages are studied.

It was once quoted that if you speak one language, you are as useful as one person to an employer. If you speak two languages, you are as useful as two people. Languages can be used in many different ways for a variety of career pathways and range from the more obvious careers like teaching, translating, interpreting and GCHQ to the less obvious like computer programming, pharmaceutical work, the Civil Service and banking. With almost every major local company having an international dimension and offices worldwide e.g. BAE, KPMG, employers always want to recruit speakers of other languages to help them to grow new and maintain current relationships.