“He who knows no foreign languages knows nothing of his own.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The study of a foreign language is a liberation from insularity. Not only is it about developing knowledge of the foreign language, but it enables students to develop cultural literacy and explore different ways of life in the Spanish-speaking world. It provides students with an increasingly important life skill, which is becoming ever more significant in our rapidly internationalising world. The study of Spanish opens doors and opportunities for students to travel abroad and communicate with some 559 million people worldwide, in countries as close as Spain but as far flung as numerous countries in South America. Our curriculum at Magnus is designed in such a way that students find the lessons enjoyable, challenging and relevant to the skills needed to flourish as a foreign language speaker in today’s world. Students will leave Magnus with an abundance of knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world, as well as a life skill that they will be able to use throughout their careers.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, students are introduced to key topics, from expressing opinions on their favourite school subject to navigating their way around a town in Spanish and describing what they did on their holiday. Students will also be introduced to more cultural topics, thus improving their cultural understanding of the Spanish-speaking world. Our curriculum is heavily influenced by the research of Gianfranco Conti, where the students’ written output is put into clear focus and students are quickly able to write short, extended pieces of writing, expressing opinions and narrating events across all three timeframes: past, present and future. Listening, reading and speaking is also put into clear focus and students quickly develop the confidence to say sentences they produce, using correct pronunciation. They will also be developing a grammatical understanding of the language, which in turn improves literacy in their own native English.
Key Stage (GCSE)
At Key Stage 4, students will take all of the knowledge that they have acquired at KS3 and apply this to a vast array of topical issues, from expressing opinions on the environment to the use of technology in everyday life. The knowledge learned at KS3 forms the foundation for students being able to incorporate more complex ideas into their spoken and written output, and students are able to debate certain social and global issues in the foreign language. The GCSE requires students are assessed across all four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. This gives the students the tools they need to flourish in a Spanish speaking world, as they are introduced to authentic reading and listening materials that makes language study relevant to the key life skills of speaking a foreign language.
Key Stage 5 (A Level)
At Key Stage 5, students are introduced to analysis of foreign film and literature. Spain is a country with a rich tradition of film and literature, thus exploration of this allows students to deepen their understanding of this amazing country that is right on our doorstep. Students will also be able to have debates around certain social issues, such as the changing state of marriage and the positive features of a diverse society. Students will also develop an understanding of the political landscape of the country, such as the motivation of young people to participate in politics and debates around immigration. Grammatically speaking, the A level curriculum is rigorous and challenging, which not only improves their knowledge and understanding of Spanish, but also makes them aware of the grammar of their own native English.