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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 the 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, 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.

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 1

Subject: CLARO 1 UNIT 1


  • Communicating in the target language
  • Grammar and how to apply it
  • Memorising
  • Listen for detail/gist
  • Adapt language for different contexts
  • Develop accurate spelling ,pronunciation and intonation
  • Initiate and develop conversations
  • Recognising sound patterns in Spanish
  • Making connections between languages


Theme: Me Presento                Key Language, vocabulary and Grammar El español global                           Key Introductory language

¿Qué tal?                                          Numbers 1-31  

Mi carnet de identidad                 Definite article, singular and plural

…y que cumplas muchos más   Saying and understanding dates

Toda@s a clase !                           Learning colours

íZona cultura! La Hispanidad      Learning about the Spanish-                                                                               speaking world                                                                            


Typically, learners will have arrived from KS2 with varied language learning experiences and may not have prior knowledge of Spanish or any other taught language. We want to build on any language learning experiences that they bring with them, including their home language and to establish connections with Spanish in order to promote confidence and enthusiasm in learning a new language.

This unit thus represents a prime opportunity for establishing the home languages of learners and languages learnt in Middle School. Learners will be able to share, compare and contrast languages and draw on prior knowledge and experiences. 

This allows us to acknowledge and celebrate the diverse backgrounds and languages of our learners and to validate their language learning experiences to date. It also allows the group to share relevant personal information and thereby form a cohesive group identity based on mutual respect. This is important as the learners transition from primary to secondary.

This unit is interesting for our learners as it develops a lot of base language learning skills and presents key foundational knowledge which aides study of later topics. Through the teaching of specific language learning strategies, learners will be able to develop independent language learning skills which will enable them to manipulate and create new  language in future units.

Unit overview - autumn 2

Subject: CLARO 1 UNIT 2


  • Grammar and how to apply it
  • Using the TL creatively and imaginatively
  • Using reference materials to support learning such as a dictionary, glossary, verb table
  • Communicating in the target language
  • Developing confidence by working independently
  • Learning to transfer knowledge across all skill areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Developing a range of vocabulary leaning strategies using Knowledge Organisers
  • Making connections between languages
  • Memorising


Theme: Mi burbuja            Key Language, vocabulary and Grammar    

                                                   Counting  up to 100            

İContamos hasta cien!        Saying if you have any brothers and sisters

Te presento a mi familia     Saying if you have any pets

Los animales y las mascotas  Describing hair and eyes as well as other

Espejito, espejito…                     facial features  

Las descripciones físicas,       Describing what you and others look like

Mi carácter y relaciones         Describing personality traits

İZona cultura !                           Learning about Christmas traditions in                                                              Spain 

La Navidad en España                                              


As this unit occurs in the lead up to Christmas, it provides the opportunity for learners to expand their knowledge of the wider world through respectfully sharing personal exchanges of key festivals that they celebrate in addition to Christmas. Learners will be able to share, compare and contrast different festivals and draw on their diverse backgrounds.

The variety of activities offered in this unit enables learners to broaden the range of reading and writing strategies that they use. They will begin to acquire and develop their vocabulary whilst making choices regarding the vocabulary they want to use in order to describe themselves and others.    

The key grammar points of this unit are fundamental to the development of more complex structures in future topics and will continue to be revisited in future units. Systematic analysis and application of grammar rules will provide insight into how the language is structured.

Unit overview - spring 1

Subject: CLARO 1 UNIT 3


  • Express opinions
  • Use knowledge of English
  • Compare cultures
  • Listen for gist, detail
  • Scan texts
  • Use and manipulate key structures and patterns as appropriate
  • Organising notes to help learning


Theme: Mis Pasatiempos     Key Language, vocabulary and Grammar                                                                          

Soy muy deportista             Talking about a range of hobbies

Mis gustos deportivos        Talking about different sports

İBrrr! İHace frío!                     Giving detailed opinions about sports           

Somos fanátic@s de la música   Discussing different types of weather

Su foto tiene muchos ‘me gusta ‘    Getting to know some famous

İZona cultural!                        Spanish speaking musicians                                                    

Los deportes estrellas    Comparing celebrity profiles on social media

                                             Top sports and sports stars 


This third unit is being taught early on in the course as it exposes learners to reading longer texts in Spanish. It provides an opportunity for learners to practise how to deconstruct such texts for understanding and to begin to practise how to work out unfamiliar language. The use of selected texts in this unit some of which are authentic, will reinforce the need to use a wide range of strategies to decode new languages. Learners will overtly practise, for example breaking down new words into parts that they recognise and then relate to context in order to deduce meaning. Knowledge and discussion of such strategies is integral to the understanding of how language is understood.

Exposure to current texts related to famous people will also serve to engage and interest the learners, as well as enhance their general knowledge.

This unit is an ideal opportunity in which to encourage research, note-taking and presentation skills around the topic of famous Spanish-speaking people. These are vital cross-curricular skills for our learners.

There is an opportunity also  to discuss fake news about celebrities and to formulate opinions on this issue.

Unit overview - spring 2

Subject: CLARO 1 UNIT 4


  • Using the TL creatively and imaginatively
  • Initiate and develop conversations
  • Working with authentic materials
  • Grammar and how to apply it
  • Translate simple English sentences on a familiar topic into the TL without using a dictionary
  • Use and manipulate a variety of key grammatical structures to talk about routines
  • Express opinions


Theme:              Key Language, vocabulary and Grammar

  Mi Casa                                                                                                                

Donde vivo yo                     Talking about the area where you live

Mi casa es tu casa            Describing types of house

İPasa ,pasa a mi casa!    Describing rooms in the house

Mi habitación es mi reino  Describing your bedroom in detail future

Mi casa de sueño   Describing your dream house

Ayudo en casa        Describing household tasks

İZona cultura! Las Islas Canarias   Getting to know Canary Islands



The teaching of this unit enables learners to use their imaginations and practise creative writing, as well as to apply key grammar points and linguistic structures from previous units.

It introduces learners to key structural devices such as the use of exclamation phrases and punctuation in order to create interest in the reader.

 Learners will also develop the key skill of proofreading and assessing their work against given criteria. This enables learners to think analytically and to create improved texts based on evaluations. The systematic approach to self assessment introduced in this unit will lead to improved outcomes and, when repeated in future units, will lead to sustained progress.

Extension writing tasks will enable learners to develop an authentic narrative which is logically sequenced. This need for applying logical structure and developing detailed content is vital for future GCSE style responses. The concept of word count will be introduced and strategies for elongating sentences discussed and practised.

Learners will develop general knowledge of the wider world through the cultural unit on the Canary Islands.

Unit overview - summer 1

Subject: CLARO 1 UNIT 5


  • High frequency words
  • Typical word order
  • Reading using cues
  • Improving written work
  • Gist and detail
  • Report main points
  • Develop and use a deepening vocabulary, allowing learners to understand, give and justify opinions


Theme: En mi ciudad     Key Language, vocabulary and  Grammar                                         

De paseo por mi ciudad    Talking about places in town

Por eso voy allí    Describing where you go in town      

İSiga todo recto !   Giving and understanding directions

Planes para el fin de semana   Discussing plans for the weekend

En la ciudad o en el campo  Comparing rural and urban environments

Mi barrio con nostalgia    Describing how areas have changed over İZona cultura Bilbao!        Getting to know Canary Islands                                                                                                 


Through this fifth unit, learners are introduced to the key concept of using repair strategies, particularly when speaking. Learners acquire the knowledge and skill with which to approach what can seem like intimidating spontaneous talk tasks. This is vital in promoting fluency and communication of key messages. These strategies are fundamental to effective communication and will transfer to all future units.

Through the set tasks, learners will learn the importance of using synonyms and paraphrasing in order to get across their message. These are vital communication strategies for future units and will enhance levels of confidence by demonstrating to learners that even if they do not know a word, there are ways around it.

The learners will also be able to respond effectively to written language, including more complex and extended texts, identifying opinions and inferring meaning.

They will develop thinking skills in working through how to achieve a judgement using implied reading cues. This is vital preparation for Higher Level work and will recur more frequently in future units.

Learners will enhance their general knowledge of the wider world through the study of regional differences in Spain with a particular focus on Bilbao. Learners will revisit their knowledge of key subject terminology from previous units. The concept of social change will be touched on as learners consider how and why Bilbao has changed.

Unit overview - summer 2

Subject: CLARO 1 UNIT 6


  • Stories and songs
  • Working in a variety of contexts
  • Using the target language for real purposes
  • Working with authentic materials
  • Respond to different types of language
  • Able to transcribe familiar spoken words with some unfamiliar language
  • Apply knowledge of grammar and vocabulary to develop creative expression


Theme:   Mi Insti        Key Language, vocabulary and  Grammar                                                                    

 Todo lo que estudio     Talking about school subjects       

 İUff! Qué rollazo!  Giving more detailed opinions about school subjects                              

 Mi horario escolar                                            

 Lo que hay en mi insti    Describing a timetable in Spanish

Y después de las clases Describing your school environment

Mis planes   Talking about extracurricular activities in school

İZona cultura! Unas clases en el instituto    Discussing future plans

Studying History, Spanish and Geography                                                      



Through this sixth unit, learners are able to develop an even wider range of reading skills and experience a range of texts. The learners will consider how to approach a literary text which may date back a century or more. This forms a key part of the GCSE reading exam and requires a different approach to decoding text. The inclusion of  such texts at an early stage will allow learners to practise breaking down compound and unfamiliar words into parts that they can recognise in order to deduce a possible meaning. This is a cross-curricular skill that will be applicable in other subjects and languages .

The oral tasks in this unit build on Unit 5 in particular, by requiring the need to use repair strategies. They provide learners with the practice needed to develop fuller and more developed answers. The tasks will also develop the fluency, accuracy, intonation, pronunciation and range of vocabulary needed to access higher marks in this and future units.

Learners will be trained to conduct oral peer assessments in order to fully understand the marking criteria and to apply this knowledge in future units. This will build on Unit 4 in which the concept of using criteria to assess written work was introduced. The concept of timings for oral tasks will be introduced and practised.

Learners will extend their knowledge of the wider world by studying the different education system in Spain. They will be able to offer personal viewpoints and experiences drawing on their diverse backgrounds.

knowledge OrganiserS

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.