Recently our Year 10 / C24 GCSE Spanish group has been preparing for the forthcoming mock exams in speaking and writing. As our students were routinely exposed to the format and content of the role play and photo card tasks in sessions throughout year 9, they are already accustomed to their rubrics and are aware of the need to respond spontaneously to unexpected and unpredictable elements. This year we have additionally practised the general conversation task, that requires students to develop and extend their answers to a series of questions based on a general theme.
In terms of the Foundation Tier writing exam, our students are required to describe a photo in Spanish, write a 40 word paragraph using 4 bullet point prompts, translate 5 short sentences into Spanish and respond in writing to one of two 90 word tasks, again to the four bullet points that are provided. Each week since September, one of these tasks has been the focus of a full session, so that students have become familiar with what is required, and practised with a rubric according to exam criteria.
Our students will undoubtedly find these mock exams challenging, as opportunities for meaningful spoken interaction with others have been limited by the confines of distance learning, whilst retention and spontaneous recall of key grammar and vocabulary used in written Spanish has not been practised with anything like the regularity of previous years. However, we are confident that our students will continue the revision and preparation started in school over the last three weeks at home, and be well prepared for the two Spanish exams.
It would be fantastic if parents and carers could support during this time, even if it’s something as simple as listening to your son / daughter saying their General Conversation (either on School or Holidays.) As we said in class, students are completely in control of this part of the speaking exam. Please encourage them to spend time on this, along with drilling of verbs in the three main tenses (preterite, present and near future). Again, as we said in class, revision should be “little and often”, to help embed this current learning into long term memory.
Finally, thank you for your support during this period; please do not hesitate to contact me at school should you wish to discuss any of the above further.