Spanish is the world’s second most-widely spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese. Over 572 million people in 21 countries across five continents speak Spanish either as first or second language. 477 million people are native speakers, according to a new report from the Spanish government's Cervantes Institute. This diversity, both in human and geographical terms, offers students of Spanish a wealth of opportunities for their future. In fact, the British Council ranks Spanish first in the list of “languages which will be of crucial importance for the UK’s prosperity, security and influence in the world” (Languages for the Future, 2017).
Spanish is a subject that combines well with virtually all other subjects. Today there is a global market for jobs. Knowing how to interact with people from other countries and cultures is a highly valued life skill and will give you the edge in the job market. It is not necessary to be completely fluent in a foreign language to be an asset to any potential employer. Pupils learning Spanish will not only learn to communicate with other people by using the spoken language, but will also learn about Spanish and Latin American culture and their way of life, consequently developing their own cultural awareness and adaptability.
Spanish lessons at Kimbolton School aim to combine the intellectual with the practical. We aim to enable our pupils to develop the language skills needed for confident communication in the target language as well as provide them with varied opportunities to explore the history, culture, evolution, current social trends and traditions of Hispanic societies. We will combine the study of film, making emphasis on Almodóvar, literature and translation alongside a strong interest in current affairs and global issues. Students are provided with the preparation to exploit the benefits of working, living and travelling abroad.
Above all, we aim for our pupils to learn in a dynamic and enthusiastic atmosphere, getting involved in debates, challenges and a variety of interactive classroom activities, enjoying the possibilities this beautiful language offers to us as much as we do. ¿A qué esperas a unirte a nosotros?
Head of Modern Foreign Languages
First to Third Forms – compulsory for all pupils
Students start to learn Spanish at the beginning of the First Form and they are introduced to Hispanic culture. The three-year course uses Viva 1, 2 and 3 (2nd Edition) and aims to cover progressively the main elements of the language, giving pupils a firm grasp of essential grammar and encouraging them to use the language communicatively in the classroom and beyond. We also aim to encourage accurate pronunciation through the teaching of high frequency words and regular speaking practice.
As a Department, we value the freedom to expose students to different authentic material from a variety of sources. As a continuation from the Schemes of Work in 1st and 2nd form where emphasis is placed on a general understanding of Hispanic countries, in the Third Form we also explore more specific aspects of the Hispanic world at a basic level: art, literature and geography. Our aim is that pupils have an understanding of cultural manifestations in the target language that develops their curiosity. At the end of the Third Form, when they decide on their GCSE choices, they can opt for Edexcel GCSE Spanish. It has been proven as a popular option as the number of students opting for Spanish to GCSE is high.
Fourth and Fifth Forms – optional GCSE subject
- Pearson Edexcel GCSE Spanish
- Assessed via four examinations (Listening/Reading/Writing/Speaking).
We believe languages should be accessible and enjoyable for pupils of all abilities. Our GCSE Spanish course will help you progress and develop a passion for languages, through culturally engaging content that covers both familiar and new topics.
The flexible programme of study offers manageable content structured across five themes: identity and culture; local area, holiday and travel; school; future aspirations, study and work; and international and global dimension. Content is presented through authentic situations and provides an engaging real-world focus that enables you to see language in context while honing your skills of speaking, reading, writing, and listening. We offer plenty of opportunities for interaction in speaking and test grammar through language-specific apps and websites.
All themes must be studied in the context of both your home country and that of countries and communities where Spanish is spoken, which enables you to establish comparisons and increases your appreciation for the rich cultural heritage and diversity within the Hispanic world.
Lower and Upper Sixth Forms – optional A Level subject
Knowledge of a foreign language is a concrete and demonstrable life skill. Learning how to interact with speakers of other languages teaches you communication skills, adaptability and cultural awareness. It is no surprise that languages give you the edge in the job market, and you do not need to be completely fluent in a foreign language to be an asset to potential employers
We aim to combine the intellectual with the practical. You will develop the language skills needed to communicate confidently in Spanish while exploring the history, culture, evolution, current social trends and traditions of Hispanic societies. We will combine the study of film and literature alongside an interest in current affairs and global issues.
Our small class sizes will be a real advantage, as will being taught by native speakers who will share their first-hand experiences with you. You will find that the individual attention, along with our relaxed, supportive environment, give you the confidence to speak out and test your skills in class. Spending some time during the course in a Spanish-speaking country will definitely be advantageous, as will developing interests online within any area connected with the Spanish speaking world. You will also be able to join the Spanish Society and explore a range of areas from film studies to creative writing, music and journalism, plus listen to visiting speakers.
Beyond the classroom: Extend your learning in Spanish by joining our extracurricular opportunities such as our weekly Spanish Club with our Spanish Assistant, get involved with our Prep School pupils during European Day of Languages, take part in our Declamation Competition in Spanish and in national competitions such as the ISMLA Writing Competition, UK Linguistics Olympiad or the Stephen Spender Prize. Do get involved in the organisation of Kimbolton Cultural Club as part of the committee and promote all things Hispanic. In addition, the Spanish Department gives the opportunity to focus on Spanish for business with our Spanish Assistant: learning how to create a CV and how to communicate during a job interview. You can learn basic business terminology, looking at professions, health and safety, and the workplace. You will have the opportunity to stay in Barcelona as part of a study trip
- View our Sixth Form Prospectus
Trips and Other Cultural Activities
The Spanish Department gives high priority to the development of trips and activities outside the classroom, to enhance and promote what is learned within the programme of study. We also value pupils’ involvement in organising the visit of external speakers and the participation on MFL national competitions.
Visits to Spain and Latin America
The Department organises an annual trip to Spain or Latin America which is open to all students. We believe that this trip provides students with key cultural enrichment. It widens their cultural horizons and encourages an appreciation and understanding of other visions of life and traditions. It also fosters the development of invaluable social skills and provides many opportunities for the students to take responsibility away from their parents. The Department uses this opportunity to promote understanding and tolerance to good effect and awareness about the conditions of life of people in these countries.
Previously, the Spanish Department and its students have travelled to Barcelona, Cuba, Andalucía and Ecuador/ the Galápagos Islands.
Other Cultural Activities
Apart from these trips abroad the Department offers a variety of cultural activities:
- The opportunity to take part in a Modern Languages society in the school.
- MFL Declamation Competition.
- UK Linguistics Olympiad.
- Creative Writing competition.
- Spanish cultural Day for First and Second Forms.
- Spanish conferences and shows for Sixth Form students.
- External speaker visits.
- Spanish plays performed by the Onatti Theatre Company for all students learning Spanish at the school.