Modern Foreign Languages
Head of Department: Mrs Thomas
In the increasingly globalised world of the 21st century, the ability to understand and communicate in other languages besides one’s own is invaluable. Therefore, studying a modern language at school is one of the best ways in which we can help our young people succeed, offering students the opportunity to engage with the spoken word, culture and sociology of other countries. All students at Barclay Academy will study Spanish from Year 7, a global language that is the official language in over 21 countries and one of the official languages of both the United Nations and the European Union. Spanish is then also offered to students for further study at GCSE and A-Level. It is worth adding that students’ Key Stage 3 study of Latin is a highly precious resource, improving as it does their grammar skills, vocabulary, and ability to make etymological links.
At Barclay Academy, all Key Stage 3 students study a modern foreign language. We have chosen Spanish because this is a language of high importance in the modern global climate given that it is the world's second-most spoken native language with over 500 million people that have Spanish as their mother tongue. Students study high-frequency vocabulary and grammatical structures, and develop their knowledge of the language through practice in the four main skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing. A strong emphasis is placed on the three pillars of language learning – phonics, grammar and vocabulary – pillars that underpin the MFL curriculum at Barclay Academy.
At Barclay, students have the further opportunity to build upon their Key Stage 3 language learning of Spanish by taking the subject at GCSE. We follow the AQA specification for Spanish. Throughout the course of their studies, students explore three key themes: ‘identity and culture’, ‘local, national, international and global areas of interest’, and ‘current & future study and employment’. Through a continued focus on spoken language, interaction and conversation, students continue to build upon their proficiency in listening, reading, speaking and writing, as well as exploring ideas related to culture, identity and questions of global importance.
Students who choose to study Spanish for A-Level at Barclay Academy follow the AQA specification. This course requires them to develop the language skills that they have been practising at Key Stages 3 and 4, with a continued focus on the improvement of their written and oral communication skills. The A-Level also gives students the further exciting opportunity to develop their understanding of the world nations and cultures that speak Spanish. They will explore the cultural, historical and sociological aspects of Spanish speaking countries exploring in detail context, communities and people. They will also study a text and film, as well as having the opportunity to carry out independent research in an area of their choice.