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Selby High School

Selby High School

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Contact details:

Name : Mrs K Lee
Position : Curriculum Area Leader
Email address :


Curriculum Intent:
In Spanish we aim to provide all pupils with the language skills they will need to communicate in the real world. This includes developing a deep understanding of how the Spanish language works in terms of its grammar and key vocabulary relating to wide range of topics. We also focus on a range of linguistic skills such as the ability to decipher unknown language, looking for patterns, and how to retain knowledge long-term. Another key aim is to ensure that pupils develop independence in their learning and can cope confidently with challenge. As well as language skills, a key aspect of our curriculum is to develop pupils’ understanding of the people, culture and cultural practices in Spanish-speaking countries across the world. This is achieved by relating topics to the lives of people in Hispanic countries through authentic texts, music and film.

During Year 7 and 8 pupils are introduced to language-learning skills, developing their ability to understand Spanish through reading and listening as well their ability to communicate in Spanish through speaking and writing. Basic, key grammatical structures are taught through a range of topics including:

  • Describing themselves, family and friends
  • Describing and giving opinions about where they live, using simple and more complex opinion phrases
  • Discussing environmental issues
  • Discussing free-time, sports and using technologies

As well as relating these topics to pupils’ own experience, we aim to relate them (where appropriate) to the experience of those living in Spanish–speaking countries.

At KS4 the knowledge and skills attained at KS3 are developed further, preparing pupils for the demands of the GCSE course. The AQA course is followed and covers a range of topics (see the table below). There are 4 externally assessed exams (each worth 25% of the final mark) assessing the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Theme 1: Identity and Culture Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

Topic 1: Me, my family and friends


  • Relationships with family and friends
  • Marriage / partnership
Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region Topic 1: My studies

Topic 2: Technology in everyday life


  • Social media
  • Mobile technology

Topic 2: Social issues


  • Charity / voluntary work
  • Healthy / unhealthy living
Topic 2: Life at school/college

Topic 3: Free-time activities


  • Music
  • Cinema and TV
  • Food and eating out
  • Sport

Topic 3: Global issues


  • The environment
  • Poverty / homelessness
Topic 3: Education Post-16
Topic 4: Customs and festivals in Spanish-speaking countries / communities Topic 4: Travel and tourism Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions

Personal Development, Values Curriculum and Cultural Capital
In the Spanish department we aim to develop language skills by choosing engaging topics, relevant to students’ personal experience. We focus on the relevance of languages to pupils’ future lives through links with work and the involvement of outside agencies.

We constantly aim to engage pupils in their learning through a wide variety of activities, with as strong a focus on communication as possible.

In terms of Personal Development, learning Spanish at Selby High School encourages the building of resilience, communication skills, interpersonal skills, independence and self-confidence. These skills are developed through the types of topics, activities and strategies engaged in regularly as part of languages lessons.

Spanish covers a wide range of areas relating to the Values curriculum. These include, but are not limited to the following examples:

Identity, equality and diversity are dealt with through topics relating to family, friends and personal relationships, work and marriage. Future aspirations and decision making are covered in our work topic. Active citizenship is dealt with through the teaching about Spanish-speaking cultures, including access to up-to-date news reports. We also discuss the environment and volunteer work.

Health and well-being are discussed through our health topics at KS3 and 4. These also involve looking at the dangers of using new technologies and social media.

In Spanish lessons we discuss how languages are used in different fields of work as well as looking at how successful people use languages to enhance their lives. Authentic literary texts are used where appropriate, as well as popular music in Spanish.

There are many opportunities for enrichment and extra-curricular activities:

  • Spanish lunchtime drop-in sessions take place every week:
  • Monday – listening and reading skills; Tuesday – speaking skills; Wednesday – writing and grammar skills
  • Friday session 6 GCSE intervention – skills / exam strategy support as required.
  • Monday -KS3 Spanish-culture club – researching festivals relevant to the time of year with the opportunity to take part in associated creative activities.
  • Y7 Spelling Bee
  • Y8 Euro fest
  • Y8 Leeds Loves Languages event (meeting students from Leeds university with the opportunity to discuss careers and courses involving languages)
  • Y9 Language-leaders (developing and delivering activities to Y5 students from local primaries).
  • Y8 and 9 trip to Madrid in July
  • Y11 trip to NEW college for A level Spanish taster day

In terms of Cultural Capital, many of the topics allow pupils to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Examples of this include developing knowledge of life and culture in Spanish-speaking countries across the world, learning about the places, people and important key figures from the political, literary and musical worlds. Pupils also learn what it might be like to travel to other countries, with the opportunity to experience first-hand Spain’s capital, Madrid, in Y8 and 9.

Context for Successful Curriculum Delivery
Classes are mixed in all year groups in terms ability and gender. From experience, mixed groups benefit all pupils and carefully differentiated work ensures that all pupils are appropriately challenged.

At GCSE, where there is more than one group in the same option band, we have the opportunity to split groups for ability into higher and foundation classes when it is beneficial to do so.

The AQA GCSE Spanish course has been chosen due to it being the more accessible of the specifications on offer in terms of how the speaking and writing components are assessed. There is very little difference between the alternative specifications in terms of the topics or grammar covered.

The sequencing of topics and grammar has been chosen with a spiralling curriculum in mind. Grammatical structures are built up gradually from Y7 through to the end of Y11, with the aim of interleaving and revisiting the key grammar and vocabulary from topic to topic.

All required elements of the National Curriculum are covered in the schemes of learning.

Spanish Curriculum Overview