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Learning Journey & Sequencing Rationale

Teaching and learning in Spanish and Italian focusses on language acquisition through developing a range of language learning strategies. The emphasis is on encouraging learners to learn, practise and apply key language and structures for a range of tasks and contexts. Languages is traditionally split into four skill areas (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and work centres on developing mastery in each skill area. Lesson activities are varied and may include exploiting a literary text for comprehension, extracting key details from listening texts, engaging in role-play or practising translation. Throughout their learning, learners are strongly encouraged to make links with other languages that they know and to share this information with the class. All languages are celebrated and valued within the culture of Language Learning at Harrow High School.

Rationale for the Sequencing in MFL at KS3

In Years 7, 8 and 9 we fully cover the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. We build on language learning experiences from Key Stage 2 and Home Languages. The knowledge and skills specified in the KS2 and KS3 Programmes of Study are used to cement the foundation for study at KS4 and beyond. The curriculum is taught by topics that are carefully sequenced to match age appropriate areas of interest and to reflect actual events such as festivals and holidays. It encourages learners to appreciate and celebrate cultural similarities and differences. The topics are chosen and sequenced to develop phonics, vocabulary and grammar in a planned and purposeful manner, allowing for progression from novice to expert learner. The choice of topics, content and assessments are arranged to allow for language -learning experiences that are successful and engaging. This enables us to promote motivation, self-efficacy and autonomy. 

High frequency words which act as anchor points are prioritised in our curriculum. Carefully chosen topic-based vocabulary as well as clusters of related words are also built explicitly into the Curriculum. These are revisited across different contexts, skills and themes to encourage long-term memory. The careful sequencing of topics allows for this to happen in a cohesive manner. Each topic also introduces and reinforces learners to language-learning strategies in the four skills and in memorising vocabulary and becoming an independent learner, which are vital for GCSE study.  

The sequencing also allows us to deliver grammar incrementally through a structured and scaffolded approach. With regular retrieval practice and interplay between grammar, phonics and vocabulary and Language Learning strategies, a strong foundation of knowledge is built ready for GCSE study. Detailed assessment and feedback lead demonstrably to learner's progress in knowledge, spontaneity, engagement and accuracy.

Rationale for the Sequencing in MFL at GCSE

The GCSE course continues to build on the foundations established at KS3. The three themes of identity and culture; local, national, international and global areas of interest, and current and future study and employment are sequenced to naturally reflect the Learners' journey, experiences and interests during these two years of school life. Each theme is split into four topics which interleave the learning between the topics and also between the themes. The topics link logically into each other and also include retrieval from key stage 3. The key skills of reading, learning vocabulary, writing, translation skills, building grammar knowledge, listening, dealing with authentic texts and speaking are practised in each topic. The complexity of language increases appropriately in the context of the topic. 

Grammar is carefully introduced and revisited frequently. The topics also expand learners' cultural knowledge whilst developing language skills. This approach enables learners of all abilities to develop their Spanish language skills to their full potential, equipping them with the knowledge to communicate in a variety of contexts with confidence. This is important as we strongly believe in languages as a skill for life and something learners should enjoy and find rewarding and useful. Each topic also interleaves key communication strategies and repair strategies which will greatly increase their ability to cope successfully with unknown words. These same strategies also support other curriculum areas. Full coverage of the themes ensures that our learners are fully prepared for the GCSE exams and to continue learning languages in the future. 



Unit overview - AUTUMN TERM 


Exam skills

  • Give opinions/create more complex sentences which include comparisons and expressions of time
  • Learning vocabulary
  • Adapting a model
  • Using y(and) and que(that, which, who) to form longer sentences
  • Giving opinions in different ways
  • Constructing a text 


Theme: 1.1 Me, my family and friends

Sub topics                                              

Relationships with family and friends and future plans

Key Language, vocabulary and Grammar Present tense and regular verbs

Tener,ser and estar present tense   Adjective agreement rules

Possessive adjectives

Reflexive verbs(present tense)         Using the immediate future tense

Subject pronouns                                 Direct and indirect object pronouns


Adverbs of frequency                          Time markers



This first GCSE unit enables learners to make the transition from Year 8 into Year 9 by being confident about previous key points of grammar and vocabulary. A whole new SOW based on principles of interleaving and building up has been put into place.  This represents an opportunity to revisit strategies for learning vocabulary and structures from both Year 7 and 8. In particular, the first two weeks will form part of the transition curriculum. 

Low stakes retrieval activities has been specifically created to assess and fill in gaps in knowledge in the first 2 weeks. These include the Como es tu familia PowerPoint and individual/pair question and answer thinking skills activities. These have been designed to stimulate, decode and apply prior learning as well as to practice structured grammar drills. Certain non-negotiable concepts, knowledge and skills related to phonics, vocabulary and grammar have already been identified as being vital before embarking on adding further complex language. These will be practised in a specifically created booklet and reinforced in a series of specific lessons over the 2-week transition period with learners. Homework will be used to encourage application and manipulation of new and prior learning. A booklet has been created which, through scaffolding and challenge, will encourage confidence and independent learning.  Learners will then be equipped to start the new main topic which will continue to, interleave prior and new learning. 

We want learners to understand and practice aspects of the GCSE exam fully so that they can make an informed choice at the end of the year. As the unit progresses, learners are expected to understand, request and provide information about the themes specified above relating to their own experiences and those of other people, including people in countries and communities where Spanish is spoken.  They are expected to acquire knowledge as specified in the SOW for this unit and apply it progressively throughout the course across the topics and the skills, in order to understand the importance and relevance of transferring skills and knowledge. This will fully prepare learners  for GCSE Year 1. 


Unit overview - spring term 

Subject: Year 9 partly based on AQA GCSE 8698 Theme 1 Identity and culture


Specific exam skills

  • Picking out keywords when reading
  • Offering extra information when speaking
  • Checking your pronunciation
  • Working out the meaning of unfamiliar words from context


Theme: 1.2 Technology in everyday life

Sub topics                            Key Language, vocabulary and Grammar

Social Media                      Making comparisons using mas que and menos que

Mobile Technology           Question words                     

                                              Using the perfect tense of regular verbs

                                              Habia and era

                                              Using por and para

                                             Statements of possibility eg. Permitir/es possible                                                               +infinitive  

                                             Using estar and the present continuous tense

                                             Formulating questions                                                         


This unit is vital in demonstrating the speed and range of language learners can expect as the year progresses. It allows for the early introduction to role-play and photo cards that form an integral part of the GCSE should learners continue to GCSE. It introduces them to transactional as well as descriptive settings.

They will be encouraged to reuse key phrases from prior learning in their interactions with each other and with the teacher in order to develop accurate pronunciation, intonation and to work actively on expanding their answers, as this is a key part of adding depth and detail to their communication.

There is an opportunity to engage learners further through the use of songs, tongue twisters, audiovisual and phonetics in order to develop fluency as well as transcribe texts.

In order to be familiar with a variety of accents and idioms, learners will be exposed to Spanish from different Hispanic countries and be expected to transfer the skills they have learnt above to extract key meaning and confidently translate new words.

They are also expected to use increasingly accurate sentences in two tenses in order to fully prepare for the Speaking and Writing assessments later on in Year 9 thereby building on the key grammar points learnt in year 8.

They are expected to acquire knowledge as specified in the SOW for this unit and to apply it progressively throughout the course across the topics and across the skills, in order to understand the importance and relevance of transferring skills and knowledge.

Key principles of interleaving and building up language will continue to be reflected throughout this and preceding and following units.

Unit overview - summer term

Subject: Year 9 partly based on GCSE 8698 Theme 1 Identity and culture 


Specific exam skills

  • Expanding your statements
  • Listening for positive and negative opinions
  • Using time words to express order
  • Using listening techniques
  • Extending sentences when speaking
  • Using future time phrases


Theme: 1.3 Free Time Activities           

Sub  topics                                  Key Language, vocabulary and Grammar

Music                                       Using gustar and encantar                                                Cinema and TV                     Gustar + plural nouns                     

Food and Eating out            Revising the regular present tense

                                                  Some common irregular verbs in the present tense

Sport                                        Learning about radical changing verbs(e-ie) ie)                                                              Pronouns after con

                                                  Forming regular adverbs

                                                  Using pronouns after para

                                                  Using hacer and jugar in the present

                                                  Further uses of gustar

                                                  Using the future tense

                                                 Hacer, haber, salir and tener in the future


This third unit enables learners to practise the important skill of sequencing their responses into a logical coherent structure and to extend sentences as overtly practised in the previous unit. This is to ensure learners are getting into the habit of systematically expanding their responses to fully convey what they want to communicate. This unit is designed around themes that learners can easily relate to and engage with, allowing for learners to draw on familiar contexts as a starting base.

Learners are expected to create content providing detailed information about the sub topics specified above and relating to their own experiences and those of other people, including people in countries /communities where Spanish is spoken.

The introduction of irregular verbs in a variety of tenses, will help them to acquire knowledge as specified in the SOW for this unit and to apply it progressively throughout the course and in GCSE across any topic.

They are expected to acquire knowledge as specified in the SOW for this unit and to apply it progressively throughout the course across the topics and across the skills, in order to understand the importance and relevance of transferring skills and knowledge.

Key principles of interleaving and building up language will continue to be reflected throughout this, preceding and following units.

Knowledge Organiser

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments and calculations.

We encourage all learners to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practise spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.