The Spanish department at The Laurels is a vibrant, dynamic community. Pupils begin Spanish in Year 7 and follow a curriculum which allows them to explore the language and culture of over 20 million people in the world.
“El conocimiento de idiomas es la puerta a la sabiduría.” Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom. Robert Bacon
From Year 9, pupils are given the opportunity to go on a pupil exchange to our partner school in Madrid, Colegio Orvalle, where they have the opportunity to live with a Spanish host family and experience life in a school with the same ethos as ours.
Everyone is invited to join our Spanish Club, run by native speakers who introduce them to song, drama and games in Spanish.
We are very fortunate to have a great team of teachers and language assistants, who have a wide experience and a passion for Spain and Latin America. We take advantage of every opportunity to ensure that our pupils not only learn to love the language but also learn to love the culture. We take them to see flamenco dancing at Sadlers Wells, they go to see Spanish drama at the Instituto Cervantes and they have guest speakers who show them different aspects of Spanish and Latin American culture.
Years 7 to 9
Pupils study Spanish for two fifty-five minute periods a week and from the very start begin to work on the different skills required to become fluent in the language: listening, speaking, writing and reading.
In the first year of language learning, the focus is on gaining a thorough grounding in grammar and vocabulary and building pupils’ self-confidence (a key ingredient to successful language learning). Classes are designed to be fun, active with a lot of emphasis on correct pronunciation and intonation. Pupils learn to speak Spanish in a short space of time which reinforces their enjoyment and motivation.
As pupils gain fluency and understanding of the language, they begin to focus more on specific areas of language learning such as translation and listening skills. By Year 9, pupils are ready to take on the challenges of the GCSE syllabus and are encouraged to use every opportunity to enhance their language skills by taking part in the Spanish club, applying for the Spanish exchange to our partner school in Madrid, Colegio Orvalle and taking advantage of extra reinforcement with our native Spanish language assistants.
Years 10 and 11
Pupils who choose to study Spanish will sit the following exam, which is comprised of a Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing Paper.
Spanish AQA GCSE
Specification code: 8698
At GCSE level, the course focuses on attaining fluency in speaking Spanish and Spanish grammar is explored in depth. Discussion is encouraged in order to promote an understanding of the principles underlying all languages. The girls are encouraged to make creative use of the language, taking intellectual risks and learning from mistakes in the same way that first languages are learned. Our aim is also for our pupils to gain an understanding of the history, traditions and culture of Spain and Latin America.
Spanish Exchange with partner school in Madrid, Spain: Year 9 upwards
Work Experience in Spanish school in Marbella, Spain: Year 12 upwards
Visiting Speakers and Performers