Years 7 and 8
In their first year at Cobham Hall, students follow a carousel programme, which introduces them to the three core languages: French, Spanish and German. In each language, they learn basic communication and vocabulary, with the emphasis on speaking skills and the common principles of language acquisition. At the end of Year 7, students may then choose between Spanish and German as their second language for Year 8.
In Years 7 and 8, students cover the foundations of Spanish, including learning how to introduce themselves and other people, how to talk about their families and pets, about food and things they like and dislike. By the end of Year 8, they should also be able to tell the time, talk about their house, daily routine, sport and hobbies and give directions. They will begin to learn present, past and future tenses.
Girls learn vocabulary and grammar constructions, which enable them to read, write, listen and speak about everyday contexts. They do activities across all of the four major language skill areas – reading, writing, listening and speaking. Throughout their language acquisition, girls are encouraged to be independent learners.
Role-plays frequently liven up lessons and simulate real-life situations to be handled in Spanish. At the end of Year 8, girls also hold their own version of Spanish X-Factor.
Girls continue to build on the foundations laid in Years 7 and 8. They explore topics such as healthy living, family and relationships, future plans and social issues. The grammar and vocabulary taught in Year 9 prepare students for their GCSE in Spanish. Writing and reading texts become longer and more complex. Role-plays and other interactive activities continue to be used to strengthen the four language skills.
Year 9 Beginners
The Year 9 Spanish Beginners class is aimed at students who have had no prior experience of learning the language. Students have the opportunity to develop their linguistic and cultural awareness of the country and the language. They gain an insight into the Spanish language, following a tailored course to accommodate their different abilities.
Students are taught the basics of the language in order to enable them to have short conversations, such as introducing themselves and talking about their interests. Vocabulary is taught via a topic-based programme, which enables them to understand simple every-day phrases. Students learn how to use the grammar and vocabulary they have learnt in written and spoken tasks which refer to simple everyday contexts. There is also a focus on communicative and transactional language, along with language-learning skills and techniques. Students learn by using a variety of activities which cover the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. To enhance their classroom learning, students are also able to make use of additional online resources, such as Linguascope and Memrise. Topics covered include: introducing yourself, family and home, school life, hobbies and holidays and food.
Years 10 and 11: GCSE
At GCSE level, pupils are encouraged to consolidate and build on the language acquired in previous years. Topic-specific vocabulary and grammar are reviewed and revised, and activities continue to be based around the four key skill areas of listening, reading, speaking and writing. Further use of available online and digital resources is promoted, in order to support the development of independent linguistic awareness and progress. Communicative independence is reinforced by students giving presentations, working in groups, planning activities to support learning and making choices about activities which will develop their own linguistic competence. Continued use is made of ICT, online resources, puzzles and activities to support language acquisition. Time is also spent thinking about effective revision strategies and designing tools to support these.
Assessments include regular class tests across all four skills in Years 10 and 11, unit tests, internal examinations at the end of Year 10 and GCSE examination papers at the end of Year 11.
Sixth Form: A Level
Choosing to study a Modern Language at A Level is the smart route to a great future in today’s global, multilingual and interconnected world. This two-year programme builds on the skills acquired at GCSE to boost communicative fluency and to immerse students in the culture and heritage of the country where the language is spoken. The course is linear, with final examinations at the end of the two years. Key topics cover contemporary political and social issues relevant to teenagers and to their future careers. Students also study works of literature and film as a means of cementing and contextualising the linguistic and cultural content of the course. More than one language can be studied.
All Year Groups
Language Assistants – The Languages Faculty at Cobham Hall benefits from the support of native speaker language assistants who support students in the development of their communication skills at all levels throughout the school. Students receive both whole class and one-to-one support.