Head of Department
Mrs D.Moore (Vice Principal)
Mrs C.Mc Lernon
Bienvenidos al departamento de español!
Welcome to the Spanish department.
In the Spanish department we aim to:
- develop the pupils’ ability to communicate effectively in Spanish.
- make language-learning an enjoyable, intellectually stimulating and successful experience.
- develop an awareness, understanding and appreciation of Spanish culture and civilisation.
- develop an awareness of the nature of language and language-learning in general.
- develop transferable skills of a more general nature (e.g. analysis, aural discrimin ation, memorising, drawing of inferences).
- encourage pupils to make informed decisions about career choices.
The Spanish department is well equipped with a range of modern audio resources. ICT is a very important aspect in both the teaching and learning of Spanish at St.Catherine’s College. The ICT suite is used to enhance pupil learning of Spanish and helps to encourage pupils to become autonomous learners.
Key Stage 3
In Years 8, 9 & 10 students have 2 periods of Spanish per week. In KS3 pupils focus on the four main key skills : Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Students use the Aventura Nueva textbook and are provided with the accompanying workbook.
In Year 8 pupils study : greetings, the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, classroom objects, school subjects, school facilities, family members, countries, nationalities, colours, adjectives and animals.
The main topics taught in Year 9 are : time, food & drink, likes & dislikes, Present Tense activities, opinions, sports, sports equipment, film genres, shops, camping equipment, clothes and presents.
In Year 10 pupils study : holidays, places in the town, adjectives, directions, rooms in the house, prepositions, furniture, daily routine, weather, seasons and parts of the body.
Key Stage 4
The Spanish department follows CCEA’s GCSE Specification.
The Contexts for Learning are:
- The Individual
In Year 11 pupils do a Controlled Assessment Speaking Task (15%) in December and a Controlled Assessment Writing Task (15%) in March. Preparation for these tasks is ongoing throughout Terms 1 and 2 respectively.
In Year 12 pupils do a Controlled Assessment Speaking Task (15%) in December and a Controlled Assessment Writing Task (15%) in March. Preparation for these tasks is ongoing throughout Terms 1 and 2 respectively.
At the end of Year 12 students sit a Listening exam (20%) and a Reading exam (20%). Each skill area is offered at two tiers, Foundation and Higher. A mixed tier of entry is possible i.e. one paper may be taken at Foundation level and the other at Higher level.
Skills developed at GCSE:
- Aural skills.
- Oral and written communication.
- Understanding and responding to written and spoken language.
- Information handling.
Key Stage 5
Students follow CCEA’s Specification for AS and A2 Spanish.
In Year 13 students will study the following Contexts for Learning :
• Family life and relationships
• Personal and interpersonal relationships
2. Health and Lifestyle
• Physical well-being
• Mental well-being
3. Young People in Society
• Influences on young people
• Education and career planning
Unit 1 : Speaking. This unit is in two parts.
Unit 2: Listening, Reading and Writing. This unit is in three parts
1. Listening – The candidate will have an individual CD and can play it back as many times as they wish. Questions will vary from year to year and will be a mixture of objective type tasks and questions and answers in the target language.
2. Reading – Two reading comprehension questions based on one text and a translation into English.
3.Writing - Essay response to stimulus text (200-250 words).
Unit 1 35% (AS) & 17.5% (A2)
Approximately 13 minute exam with a visiting examiner.
Unit 2 65% (AS) & 32.5% (A2).
Listening – 40 minutes + Reading/Translation/Writing – 2hours and 5 mins.
For Units 1 & 2 students will study the following Contexts for Learning :
4. Local and Global Citizenship
• Multicultural society
• Democracy and Conflict
5. Environmental Awareness
• Climate change
Students are expected to revisit their AS topics.
Unit 1 : Speaking. This unit is in two parts
1. Discussion based on a societal theme
Unit 2 : Listening, Reading and Writing. This unit has three parts.
1. Listening – individual CD. 2 questions based on two passages. Questions will vary from year to year and will be a mixture of objective type tasks, questions and answers in the target language and questions and answers in English.
2. Reading: 3 questions based on two texts. Questions will vary from year to year and will be a mixture of objective type tasks and questions and answers in the target language. Pupils will also do a translation from English into Spanish.
3. Writing : Students answer one essay response based on a literary text (300-350 words).
Unit 1 17.5% (A2)
Approximately 15 minute exam with a visiting examiner.
Unit 2 32.5% (A2).
Listening – 40 minutes + Reading/Translation/Writing – 2hours and 20 mins.
Skills developed at AS/A2
1.Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
2.Understanding the contemporary society and culture of Spain.
3.Understanding and applying grammar.
4.Transferring meaning from Spanish to English and vice versa.
A level Spanish is particularly useful for the following careers: Law, European Law, Business Studies, Translation, Interpreting, Teaching and any career in which the person wishes to work in Europe. The general conversation aspect of the A level provides useful practice in interpersonal skills which are essential for any career involving personal relations.
European Languages Day
Every year we celebrate the European International Day of Languages in the school by organising various competitions, displays and events to highlight cultural aspects of the target language countries as well as teaching pupils key phrases in a variety of European languages.
Pictured here are some of the lucky winners of the 2012’s European Languages Day quiz with teachers Ms M.Grimley and Mr G.Mc Naney.
Year 9 and 10 students have the chance of winning a bursary to attend Rockport summer scheme. The lucky winner spends a week at Rockport, developing his/her linguistic skills.
Rockport provides a stimulating and fun environment for young learners.
They see the language come to life and have the opportunity to communicate with native speakers. Learning alongside Spanish students at the summer scheme enriches the pupils’ language-learning experience, it encourages them to continue to expand their knowledge of the language and culture and it helps them to view languages as a life skill.
The language classes are designed to take into account the syllabus covered at school. Classes are given by a team of experienced, professional teachers, who have been specifically trained to teach Spanish to younger students and focus on developing the students’ communicative skills. In order to develop their confidence, students are encouraged to speak Spanish right from the
Classes are small (12 students max.) and are organised on the basis of age and competence, so as to enable the students to enjoy maximum participation in the lesson and a high level of individual attention from the teacher. The lessons cover different language skills appropriate to the class level and relevant to the school year ahead.
Year 11 and 13 students have the wonderful opportunity of participating in a ten day exchange to the beautiful city of Granada in Spain, an annual programme formerly organised by the SELB, which St.Catherine’s has taken part in for a number of years.
Granada is a city in the region of Andalucía in Southern Spain, situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and approximately 65 miles inland from the Mediterranean coast. It is one of Spain’s most beautiful and colourful cities, containing a wealth of historical monuments and buildings, including the Alhambra Palace, which is the country’s most famous attraction.
Students from Saint Catherine’s who have taken part in the past have described the experience as invaluable, not only from a linguistic point of view, but also from a social perspective, establishing life-long friendships and forging a permanent link in Spain.
The outgoing visit is usually scheduled in the run up to Easter. Our pupils stay with the families of pupils from Granada, and the Spanish pupils return the visit spending 10 days with their Irish partners, normally in early September.