The legal framework for this English Teaching Syllabus is the new Organic Law on the Improvement of the Quality of Education 8/2013, hereafter referred to as LOMCE, which regulates the current Educational System in the Spanish schools.
LOMCE has been made more specific in both the Royal Decree 1105/2014, 26th December, which establishes the basic curriculum of Compulsory Secondary Education and Senior High School, and in the Decree 48/2015, 14th May of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, which describes the relationship between competence, contents and evaluation criteria. The aim of Compulsory Secondary Education is to give students both the cultural knowledge and the study skills necessary to undertake further studies or to find a job at the end of the educational stage. Compulsory Secondary Education also tries to meet the needs of diversity.
Therefore, it will adopt alternative measures so that all individual students are capable of reaching the objectives of their school level. These measures will not discriminate any students or prevent them from acquiring the necessary competences to pass their grade level.The students’ ages covered within Compulsory Secondary Education are from twelve to sixteen. They start with a three year cycle and finish with the last cycle, which only lasts one year.
Although this syllabus has a fixed structure and contents, it is also a flexible tool and is adaptable to the students’ needs in their real environment. The teacher’s reflections on the lessons’ outcomes will make the necessary changes possible for a successful learning. The current syllabus includes key competences, objectives, contents, methodology, assessment procedures and grading criteria.
Additionally, it contains cross curricular topics, plans for students who are falling behind, and for students with special needs, classroom resources, materials and after-school activities. It will also develop the two basic tasks that the Ministry of Education demands in the classroom planning, which are the sequencing and timing of the contents and objectives as well as the planning and timing of the activities and the evaluation. The current syllabus was thought to give English instruction to 2nd grade students of Compulsory Secondary Education. This grade level is sometimes a challenge for teachers, in the sense that students are going through a difficult age, trying to find their own identity. Therefore, a good classroom management is a must. However, it is also a good age to gear them in the direction of good values that will make them responsible citizens.
It was designed to teach at a Middle School located in the southwest of Madrid, in the Puente de Vallecas district. It has 206,790 inhabitants, which makes it one of the most populated in the Autonomous Community of Madrid. The district has an aging demographic structure, typical of developed regions, where the percentage of children under 14 (13.
30%) is lower than that of those over 65 (18.62%). Another characteristic of the population here is the high percentage of immigrants (13.
77%), with a predominance of Latin Americans, followed, in order of importance, by those coming from other countries of the European Community and those of African origin (INE, 2018, DGE, 2014).Although there are small, medium and large companies in the district, Puente de Vallecas is a predominantly working class community. Families have medium / low incomes (INE, 2018). This low income profile was a consequence of the economic crisis of 2007, which largely explains the high number of unemployed people here, calculated in March of this year in 19,475, the highest unemployment rate in all districts of Madrid (Madrid City Council, 2018).The district was created in 1987, and in recent years has undergone an important urban renovation due to the construction of the Madrid-South road network with wide avenues and new green, sports, commercial and residential areas. Its location on the outskirts of Madrid offers its residents good access to the cultural infrastructure of the city centre.
The public school Vallecas Magerit was founded in 1982, and has around 850 students, a total of 40 groups divided into Middle School, Senior High School and Vocational Training courses. The profile of the students is diverse. 40% are foreign and around 10% are gypsy students. 1st graders are taught in classrooms located at 2 Puerto del Milagro street.
The school and students’ characteristics are outlined and developed in the School Educational Project and School Curricular Project. The syllabus is the last part of the curriculum in terms of specification. As the bottom level of the curriculum, it provides lesson plans for each group of students in a sequenced way.