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At Bourne Grammar School we strongly believe in languages as a skill for life and something students should enjoy and find rewarding.  Our curriculum is devised to develop students' cultural knowledge whilst developing their language skills in the most spoken language in continental Europe. 

Spanish is compulsory from Year 7 to GCSE. The top 50% of linguists are provided with the opportunity to study French. This opportunity is offered on the basis of the Spanish end-of-year examinations in Year 8. 

Year 7

At the start of Year 7, it is assumed that students have little or no knowledge of Spanish. The year starts by looking at basic introductions and studying classroom-based vocabulary which familiarises students with the concept of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ nouns. In term 2, students learn how to conjugate verbs into the present tense to talk about activities they do in school and their opinions of the subjects that they study. Furthermore, they are introduced to the concept of adjectival agreement. The term ends by exploring Spanish Christmas traditions. In term 3, students learn how to talk about their family and pets and consolidate their understanding of the present tense and how to use adjectives correctly. In term 4, students work on descriptions of their home and local area and will study the difference between the verbs ‘ser’ and ‘estar’ which both mean ‘to be’. In term 5, the topic is free-time activities and students learn a variety of sport and pastime-based vocabulary and are introduced to ‘stem-changing verbs’ and the near future tense. In term 6, student expand their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar to talks about their local area, focussing on places in the town and city. Towards the end of the term, students engage in their cultural project linked to a Spanish-speaking country in South America.  


Year 8

Students start the year by consolidating some of the key grammar points looked at in Year 7 – the present tense and adjectival agreement – to talk about their free-time and friends. The main grammatical foci are reflexive verbs and forming comparative sentences. In term 2, students revisit the near future tense from Year 7 and use it to talk about future plans in their local area. They also learn about how to make plans with other people and to accept invitations/form excuses using conversational phrases. Term 3 introduces a key grammatical structure – the preterite (simple past) tense – in the context of past holidays and travelling. Students are exposes to new vocabulary on: countries; modes of transport; holiday-based activities; and opinions in the past. In term 3, the topic is ‘food’ and students will study food and drink-based nouns and verbs as well as weights and quantities and useful vocabulary and phrase to use when dining in a Spanish restaurant. Students will be involved in market and restaurant-based conversations and learn about cultural difference between eating habits in Spain and the UK. The key grammar points for this term are the difference between ‘tú’ and ‘usted’ (the informal and formal ways of saying ‘you’) and using past, present and future tenses together. In term 5, students study the topic of ‘clothes’ and look at specific nouns and adjectives to describe what they are wearing. The key grammar points are using comparative and superlative structures. At the start of term 6, the focus is on Barcelona and students will learn about famous monuments in the city as well as shop-based vocabulary. Later in the term, students are introduced to aspects of the GCSE Spanish exams and start to develop specific skills to help them with writing 40 word essays and describing a photograph.


Year 9

In this transitional year between KS3 and KS4, students begin their studies at GCSE foundation tier level. The following topics are covered: technology, free time, holidays and personal relationships. There is a big emphasis on developing our students’ grammatical knowledge of the three main time frames: present, past and future. Equally, students develop some of the key skills which are required for GCSE success such as: role play, photocards, dictation, reading aloud, translations and essay writing.


Years 10 and 11 (September 2024 onwards)

Students follow the Edexcel GCSE Spanish specification (1SP1), full details are available here.

The aim of the course is to develop students’ ability to communicate independently in speech and writing about subjects that are meaningful and interesting to them. Studying this course will build students’ confidence and broaden their horizons, enabling them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries, develop new ways of seeing the world, and better understand relationships between the foreign language and the English language. Students become familiar with aspects of the contexts and cultures of the countries and communities where the language is spoken. Throughout the course listening, reading, writing and speaking skills are developed.


Year 11 (2024 – 2025 only)

Students follow the AQA GCSE Spanish course, full details for which are available here

The specification covers three distinct themes which are:

  • Identity and culture;
  • Local, national, international, and global areas of interest;
  • Culture and future study and employment.

These themes apply to all four question papers.  Students are expected to understand and provide information and opinions about these themes relating to their own experiences and those of other people, including people in countries/communities where Spanish is spoken.


Years 12 and 13

Students follow AQA A-Level Spanish course, full details for which are available here.

The AQA A-level specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. The approach is a focus on how Spanish-speaking society has been shaped, socially and culturally, and how it continues to change.

In the first year, aspects of the social context are studied, together with aspects of the cultural and artistic life of Spanish-speaking countries. During this year, students watch a film and learn how to analyse and evaluate the characters and themes.

In the second year, further aspects of the social background are covered. Students also study aspects of the political landscape in in the Hispanic world, looking at immigration from the political perspective and at the way in which political power is expressed through action such as strikes and demonstrations. Teenagers and the extent to which they are politically engaged looks towards the future of political life in Spanish-speaking society. The literary text studied in the second year offers opportunities to link with the cultural themes and students develop further their ability to analyse and evaluate