Spanish is the world’s second most widely spoken language in the world with over 500 million native speakers. It is also a major language in the United States of America with over 30 million speakers.
Latin America is developing economically at a fast pace and the need to have more Spanish speakers in the UK for business purposes is more pertinent than ever. It is the language of Goya, Picasso, Dali, Velazquez to name but a few of the great artists that Spain has produced. It is the language of writers poets such as Garcia Márquez, Isabel Allende and Pablo Neruda who have had a massive influence on literature in the 20th Century. It is the language of some of the greatest sports teams that have existed – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Boca Juniors to name but a few. Spain is a culture that has been influenced by more different groups than any other society in Europe – from the Carthaginians to the Visgoths to the Arabic rule the country experienced for over 700 years. Learning the language brings you closer to this incredibly diverse and fascinating society both in Spain and the majority of Latin America.
At Kingswood we are fortunate to have a Spanish Assistant who conducts one to one lessons with Sixth Form pupils and also takes part in KS4 and KS3 lessons. This allows pupils to practise their speaking skills and improve their confidence and fluency.
Key Stage 3
Learning Spanish at KS3 makes a unique contribution to the curriculum by allowing pupils to explore the lifestyle and culture of countries in which it is spoken. By the end of KS3, pupils will be able to speak in complex sentences and speak using at least three tenses. Prior to 2020, pupils also had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Seville and we are hoping to start this biannual trip again next year.
GCSE pupils follow the AQA specification. Students will acquire the ability to read and respond to texts in the target language, as well as to listen to native speakers. They will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a variety of ways, such as in role-play, film, literature and ICT work.
Examples of some of the events and trips that have taken place in the Spanish department in recent years include Spanish plays produced by the Onatti Theatre Group for GCSE pupils and an exchange trip to Madrid.
Pupils follow the AQA specification. Examples of some of the events and trips that have taken place in the Spanish department in recent years include:
- A-Level cinema evenings at the Little Theatre, Bath
- Exchange trip to Madrid
- Sixth Form virtual languages day provided by Southampton University
- Jason Webster presentation on the Arabic influence in Spain
For several concurrent years the Spanish department has welcomed Professor Stephen Hart, the Head of Latin American Film, Literature and Culture at University College, London. Professor Hart gives a seminar on the work of Gabriel García Márquez, an author that Year 13 students are studying for their A-Level examination. Professor Hart has spent significant time in Colombia producing a documentary on García Márquez that gives a real insight into the author, his life and the experiences that influenced his novels. Our Sixth Form Spanish students benefit from having such an expert speak to them about the intricacies of García Márquez’s writing. We look forward to hopefully welcoming Professor Hart again this academic year.
The Department also enjoys organising tapas and film evenings with Sixth Form Spanish pupils and our Spanish Language Assistant.