Spanish

Rathmore prides itself on the strength and vibrancy of the Languages Departments. Each department has its own unique identity and vision which contribute to our school’s sterling reputation as a centre of excellence for language learning, both in the school and in the wider community. From the outset we emphasise the importance of the spoken language as a means of communication and expression. We strive to foster this in our pupils through our various extra-curricular activities, competitions, trips and exchanges.

Why Study Spanish?

“Linguists are trained to think structurally, they write essays which give them good practice in thinking clearly and in presenting focused arguments. Many language courses involve working cooperatively in groups and making formal presentations to an audience… just the sort of teamwork and presentational skills which employers tell us they are looking for.”

Skills acquired in language learning broaden horizons and create new opportunities. Our pupils are encouraged to use their language in real-life situations and to become aware of the culture associated with them, whilst also recognizing the transferable skills they are acquiring such as:

  • Critical & Analytical thinking

  • Ability to Research

  • Communication Skills

  • IT Proficiency

  • Independant Learning

  • Time Management

  • Organisation

  • Ability to Work as Part of a Team

  • Interpretation & Translation Skills

  • Self-Assessment & Self-Evaluation

  • Expression of Opinions & Ideas

  • Presentation Skills

  • Numerical Skills

  • Cultural Awareness

Our team of ten teachers and four assistants serve to foster a love of language learning as a means of communication and expression.

Assessment

In keeping with our French roots, all pupils study French from Years 8 to 10 plus either German, Irish or Spanish.

At GCSE, all pupils take at least one language, with many choosing to study two.

All four languages continue to be very popular at AS and A2 level, with some pupils again choosing to study two.

Languages at GCSE

Pupils may choose 1 or 2 of the languages studied at Key Stage Three. Below is a summary of GCSE language assessment:

Listening

Examination - 20%

Speaking 

Controlled Assessment - 30%

Reading

Examination - 20%

Writing

Controlled Assessment - 30%

 

For details of the GCSE course and Controlled Assessment visit:

http://www.rewardinglearning.org.uk/microsites/languages/

Languages at A Level

AS

Speaking

  • Presentation

  • Discussion

  • Conversation

Listening

  • Two Recorded Pieces

Reading

  • Reading Comprehension

  • Translation (Target Language to English)

Writing

  • Essay Based on a Stimulus

A2

Speaking

  • Discussion

  • Conversation

Listening

  • Two Recorded Pieces

Reading

  • Reading Comprehension

  • Translation (Target Language to English)

Writing

  • Essay Based on a Stimulus

For details of the AS and A2 courses visit:

www.ccea.co.uk/languages

Extracuricular

Spanish Club

Year 8 pupils have the opportunity to attend our Spanish Club which is led by our Spanish Assistant at lunch-time. In addition to consolidating work covered in class in the form of games and fun activities, pupils learn about and get to sample a flavour of Spanish culture when they taste the typical Spanish “Merienda”.

Madrid Exchange

Rathmore has a link with Colegio San José in Madrid. Every year a group of Year 11 students goes to Madrid for a week in June and they in turn host their Spanish exchange partner in Belfast for a week in September. Our students are totally immersed into the Spanish culture and way of life as they stay in the home of their Spanish exchange partner and attend lessons every day for a few hours. When they are not in class, they have the opportunity to visit some of the most interesting sites of Madrid: The Royal Palace, Reina Sofía Museum, Temple of Debod, The Royal Theatre not forgetting the zoo and the Madrid Theme Park. We have had very successful exchange visits and many students have kept in contact with their Spanish friends.

Work Experience

Year 13 students can apply to do their work experience in the Primary Sector of our link school Colegio San José in Madrid. They observe and participate in lessons and get to see for themselves the differences between the two education systems. Their linguistic skills also improve as they speak Spanish to their host family and to teachers and pupils of the school. We would like to further develop this project by sending students to do their work experience in other fields.

Barcelona Trip

Year 9 and 10 Spanish students have the opportunity to go on a five day trip to Barcelona in Holy Week. Students stay in groups of three or four with host families and meet up during the day to go on excursions to the main sites which include La Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas, Camp Nou, Parc Güell among many others. This is a very enjoyable trip as students participate in a wide range of activities from tapas tasting and Flamenco dancing to spending a fun day at Port Aventura. Pupils’ confidence in Spanish is increased through the immersion experience, including the opportunity to communicate with their host family.

A Level Summer Courses

Our A’Level students take summer courses in Spain during the summer. Popular destinations are Salamanca and Valencia. They spend one or two weeks attending class during the day and getting involved in cultural activities in the evening. All classes and activities are delivered in Spanish.

Spanish Department

Teaching Staff

Mrs Ann Marie Magee (HoD)

Miss Susan McCann

Miss Sonya McMullan

Miss Helene Vieussens

Ms Nuria Priego (Spanish Assistant)

© 2019 Rathmore Grammar School

  That they may have life, and have it to the full.
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