Removal of NC levels – change in education: For worse or better?

By Sue

photo 3Come this September all NC levels at KS3 will go. Schools will be responsible for their own grading and thousands of KS3 students, who previously understood just what a level 5 or 6 looked like, will, like their teachers, become well and truly confused.

GCSE grades are going to change and apparently it is going to be harder to achieve the highest grade.

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La oruga hambrienta – la comida lesson idea

By Sue

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 09.40.27 Hola! Here are just some of the Hungry Caterpillar stories by my yr 7 students.

All yr 7 students have completed this work, all to differing standards, but the vast majority have produced some outstanding work.

Top set yr 7 have used the past tense, comió, dormió, se construyó but have still been totally engaged.

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Ropa Limpia Project – Take 2

By Sue

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 08.22.55 This has proved so popular with the GCSE group, that my first year GCSE group wanted to do it too. Here are some photographs of completed articles by my students. This has really affected my students’ attitude to the clothing industry as well as encouraging them to research factual information…making them independent learners, a great habit to acquire!

Options Evening

By Sue

Looking for colourful options to teach Spanish? Check out our magazines

Looking for colourful options to teach Spanish? Check out our magazines!

Our annual year 8 options evening approaches this Thursday and with it come anxieties and much apprehension from the students who, along with their parents, will choose the subjects that will, hopefully, provide them with good GCSE grades and will open the door to further education and eventually university.

The government has increased the Ebacc subjects that students can take, but rather than make this easier for them, it puts restrictions on their choices as many subjects clash on the timetable.

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Ropa Limpia-project – Yr 11/Level 3

By Sue

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 15.06.17

You can download the article and the accompanying teaching plan below the cut

This week I’m starting the Ropa Limpia project with one of my GCSE groups.

Last week we looked at Tattoos, and their social impact and stigmas, and this week it’s the fashion industry.

I’m going to follow the lesson plan as in the Teacher’s notes, including some YouTube videos of working conditions in foreign climes.

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Oona Chaplin article with Year 11 Spanish class

By Sue

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 13.24.34I have never watched Game of Thrones, but reading Facebook as I do and listening to the students, I thought it might be good to use the article. I read the learning outcomes in the teaching resources (download below the cut) and just tweaked them slightly for my group.

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Year 7 using The Hobbit article to describe people

By Britta

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 09.23.21Sue’s Yr 7 have been writing using The Hobbit article and thoroughly enjoying it too! The article is all about physical description, introducing body features and matching adjectives.

There is a reading  text and a gap fill activity where students complete model sentences of how to describe a person. They then answer questions on the reading material before building sentences with their personal information (download the article below the cut).

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First term with Spanish classroom magazines

By Sue

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 13.27.57 Year 9 were very excited to have their important visitor from Mary Glasgow working with them in their Spanish lesson. (Personal profiles by Spanish Year 7/Level 1 students) We had been using The Hunger Games (Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Level 2/Y9 lesson) as a frame for learning about reflexive verbs. Year 9 taught themselves the basics of these verbs, initially using an old PowerPoint of mine printed out onto handouts.  We used the article to become more accustomed to what these verbs looked like and also to fire their imagination.

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Personal profiles by Spanish Year 7/Level 1 students

by Britta

Picture 4Sue’s Y7 students have created PowerPoint Presentations to introduce themselves to Mary Glasgow.

‘Mary Glasgow’ visited them in the shape and form of our Education Design Manager Nicolle Thomas who is currently planning the look and feel and visual user-friendliness of our magazines for the new series 2014/2015.

Nicolle is already working on many new layouts and to road test her ideas with kids and teachers in the classroom she went to see Sue and her students.

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Year 7 looking for conjugations of “Vivir” in the article ¡Vivimos aquí!

by Britta

photo 3Sue’s Y7 students are doing detective work: They are looking for conjugations of “Vivir” in the article ¡Vivimos aquí!

I always thought this is a great starter to learning verbs: familarizing oneself with the way its conjugations look through discovering them in an authentic text.

Additionally, knowing the various ways a verb can look is a great tool for accessing written texts. It’s a fantastic reading tool. See how many conjugations your students can find in our article!

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Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Level 2/Yr9 lesson

By Sue

Sue used our magazine article Una Chica en llamas with her Year 9 students to teach daily routine via The Hunger Games. This is her account:

photo 3So, this week I was using the Hunger Games article in Ahora to look at reflexive verbs and daily routine.

I followed the recommended lesson plan from the magazine, and the starter went down a bomb!

From there, I introduced the idea of the diary/blog. They worked cooperatively in groups translating the first part of the text to give them confidence for working with the diary on the following page.  There was lots of Pose, Pause, Pounce, and Bounce to constantly consolidate the language they were using and to reaffirm the patterns in reflexive verbs in their minds.

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What Spanish students say about classroom magazines

By Britta
Main pic 10.47.14

As part of our case study with Ormiston Horizon Academy we sent out a student survey (download under the cut). We asked the kids 24 questions about themselves and their Spanish learning:  15% said that Spanish was their favourite subject,  26% said Spanish was their least favourite subject, 66% enjoy learning Spanish and 38% say Spanish lessons are more fun than other lessons

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Latin teen celebrities – Yr7/Level 1 lesson plan

by Britta, with a video from Sue

Latino teen celebrities

Download the full article after the cut

What have Adam Irigoyen, Jake T, Austin, Jasmine Villegas and Victoria Justice in common? Answer: They are all young famous Hollywood celebrities and they all have Latin American roots. From Cuba over to Argentina and from Mexico to Puerto Rico, they all bring some Hispanic culture to Tinsel Town, and they all feature in Mary Glasgow’s ¿Qué Tal? magazine too.

Sue’s Year 7s have been working with the article ¡Uau! ¿Son Latinos?. As groups, they had to work out the meaning of the different paragraphs – as you can see and hear in the video.

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Our case study update

By Sue and Britta

These kids are good...

These kids are good…

Since the beginning of this school year, Sue has been integrating Mary Glasgow’s Spanish Magazines into her teaching programme. Now, that the first term is over and our second magazines are due to come out we thought it’s a good time to catch up with Sue to see how it’s going and to ask whether Mary Glasgow resources have helped her to improve engagement and boost learning outcomes – as we hoped they would. This is what she said:

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‘¡Vivimos aquí!’ – a 5 minute Spanish lesson plan

By Britta and Sue

Any closer and he might be literally absorbed...

Any closer and he might be literally absorbed…

On Tuesday, Sue used the article ‘¡Vivimos aquí!’ with her top set year 7H. The format she used was the 5 minute lesson plan from Teacher Tool kit and the CREAM & B rule is from a book she bought a few weeks ago, The Perfect Assessment For Learning by Claire Gadsby.

You’ll find the article and Sue’s 5 minute Spanish lesson plan downloads under the cut.

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Year 8 reading for comprehension

By Britta and Sue

Different reading techniques, same goal.

Different reading techniques, same goal.

Sue’s Y8 students have been doing independent reading. Some of the students here work on the shorter, caption-like texts on the news pages of ¿Qué Tal?. Other explore the longer article about young American actors with Latin-American roots. You’ll find downloads under the cut, as usual.

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Year 7 working on “Mi cumpleaños”

By Britta and Sue


“Nevermind the exercises, I’d rather just read…”

This week, Sue’s Y7 students have been introduced to vocabulary and structures on the topic of ‘my birthday’ with the help of an infographic in ¿Qué tal? 1 (free download below the cut!).

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Mentoring Evening

By Sue

Mentoring evening is an important part of the school year when we meet our mentee’s parents and discuss what we will be aiming to achieve.  I have 2 mentees, both from my Spanish group.  We explain and discuss how we will be supporting their children so as to achieve their full potential.  I always explain to parents that I am there to push their child, to be their child’s support worker, their liaison between other tutors and subjects and to help them with any, literally, any problems they have.

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Why I Chose to Teach Spanish

By Sue

© Rodrigo Pizarro/Wikimedia

© Rodrigo Pizarro/Wikimedia

I was never a ‘straight A’ student at school, in fact, I was pretty dire at most things, especially maths, and yet at 18, after 2 A levels and a few O levels,
I ended up working in a bank!

Many years later I became a fitness instructor and adored being in front of a class having fun while exercising.
My classes were really popular and finally I found something that I was good at.  One summer I went to Tenerife and
my young children made friends with some Spanish children; mine couldn’t speak Spanish, the Spanish kids couldn’t speak English. And so it began…

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Preparation for the new academic year

By Sue

It's essential to have enough tissues!

It’s essential to have enough tissues!

By the end of the summer term I will have ‘tweaked’ my schemes of work ready for the start in September.  However, during the 6 weeks holiday, I research new ideas and sites for resources for inclusion into my teaching.  I re-examine my MG magazines to see if there is something that I haven’t included in prior lessons and mark them ready for future use.

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