What does the Japanese art of Kintsugi have to do with Languages at Alderbrook?
Just like the Kintsugi art form where you take pieces of pottery and join them with gold to make the pot more beautiful, our joint philosophy in French and Spanish is to carefully piece together a diverse curriculum and range of experiences in order to inspire our students to become open-minded, confident and resilient language learners. We expand the Cultural capital of our students by embedding their linguistic acquisition within a wide range of knowledge which goes beyond their own cultural experience We do this by using authentic resources to offer immediacy and relevance to the Hispanic learning experience.
Our knowledge-rich curriculum underpins and enables the application of skills. As a department, we carefully plan progression through our curriculum with regular retrieval of content and skills to build on existing knowledge. Grammar is taught from the outset, using the correct terminology and making explicit links to English and Spanish grammatical structures and cognates.
Teaching and learning focuses on the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and activities are aimed at challenging, engaging and motivating learners of all abilities.
Students who are allocated Spanish will continue to study this language throughout years 7, 8 and 9 and are taught in mixed ability groups. This becomes an option subject at KS4 and KS5.
Within the Spanish Department we have recently reviewed our Programme of Study and will be adopting the Dr Gianfranco Conti approach based upon his Extensive Processing Instruction (EPI) method starting with Year 7 in September 2022. This innovative and exciting programme of study will be rolled out across both KS3 and KS4 accordingly.
Here is an overview of the EPI approach which we strongly believe will improve students’ access, retention and engagement in language learning as well as potentially increase the uptake at GCSE.
Students who chose to study a language at KS4 and KS5 follow the AQA. We produce a workbook for each unit which contains materials covering all 4 language skills with appropriate support. We supplement this with a wide range of resources including Exampro and Quizlet. Alongside these resources, we have introduced knowledge organisers which enable us to share the core knowledge that we want our learners to master.
In year 11 and year 13 we offer individual/small group mentoring sessions tailored to the personal needs of each student.
As a result of our shared intent and the curriculum implementation to which all department members contribute, our data shows that there is progression in our learners’ knowledge and skills from term to term, year to year. Intervention processes are in place to help those who are not on track. Our learners achieve well compared to similar schools and most importantly, our learners express their enjoyment of the lessons, mentioning the support and the opportunities from which they have benefitted.
Our Department is committed to promoting languages both in school and beyond as an invaluable skill for young people in an increasingly small world. Therefore, we are constantly seeking opportunities for our students to explore the Hispanic world and get creative with the language.
We hope to foster respect appreciation for tradition, history, religion, and the liberal arts across all year groups in line with the school values.
Naturally, we understand the importance of signposting career links and employability skills in our programme of study. We have incorporated independent research projects at both KS3 and KS4 to raise the profile of languages and ensure that students are aware of the many benefits of learning a language in the job market.
Please contact the Head of Spanish, Mrs Raluca Szabo