Saturday 3 April 2010


This year, we nearly didn't run our annual A Level Spanish Immersion Weekend, due to various factors, not least a lack of available accommodation and a move to our new school building. However, an unprecedented show of enthusiasm from my beloved Upper Sixth spurred me on, and last Monday and Tuesday saw a group of 24 pupils, 2 staff and 3 past pupils join together to speak Spanish for the 2 day event. Talking in English is punishable by singing in Spanish in front of the group.

As always, the itinerary was built around the series of workshops which the pupils moved around in small groups over the course of the 2 days. This year, we decided to take a different approach to our standard thematic workshops, and each workshop focused on a skill area (listening, speaking, reading, connectives and grammar) I found it much easier to deliver and felt that it allowed for greater differentiation within the groups.

As well as the workshops, pupils watched 2 Spanish DVDs, listened to Spanish songs with activities such as reordering and blank fill, played Spanish board games and competed in teams in a quiz. Their favourite was a Spanish clapping game called Presi Presi, and it was played time and again, to the great enjoyment of all involved.

Another activity which proved very successful was a mix between Dragon's Den and The Apprentice. Pupils worked in the same group as for their workshops, and were given a box each and told to imagine it was any product. They needed to style the box, create a TV advert and a slogan. Pupils worked with enthusisam and creativity for over two hours on this project, and then used the FLIP cameras to record their ads before returning together to view the ads on the data projector.

All in all, the residential seemed to be very successful from a pupil point of view, and all the staff involved left on a real high. A personal moment of pride for me is that the 3 past pupils delivering two of the workshops are only in their second year at uni, and are a constant source of help and support to our department. I thoroughly recommend this immersion experience- once again, it has proved to be one of the highlights of our academic year.


aliceayel said...

This is a brilliant idea Amanda and I think it's fantastic to be able to "use" past students, it motivates the present students even more! All your ideas look great, thank you for sharing them!

A Salt said...

Thanks, Alice, we are really so lucky with our past pupils, they have been giving a lot of time over the past few years on a weekly basis, and it is so nice for us as staff and brilliant for our current pupils who look up to them so much!

Andrea said...

Qué bien. Loved the idea of skills based workshops and the Flip cameras. Great!