The A level specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE, but with a fundamental shift. Whilst at GCSE students are encouraged to speak about their own experience, at A level students really deepen their knowledge of Spain and the Hispanic world and how these have changed over the 20th and 21st centuries. We follow the AQA course as this allows for an in-depth study of all countries in which Spanish is spoken.
Teaching is by two members of staff for eight periods each week. At least one of these lessons will be scheduled in the Language Learning Centre. In addition, our Spanish Assistant will see you once per week in small groups to work on your spoken skills. We develop listening, reading, writing and speaking skills to a high standard of fluency and accuracy. Lessons are interactive, discursive and analytical focussing on accessible and familiar themes. The exploration of cultural elements forms a significant part of the course and the regular use of all the School’s IT resources adds another dimension to the learning experience.
In Lower Sixth:
- Aspects of Hispanic society – changes in family and modern society, cyberspace and developments in technology, gender equality in the Spanish-speaking world
- Artistic culture in the Hispanic world – the influence of cultural idols and models, the regional identity of Spain (gastronomy, regional languages, festivals) and cultural heritage (art, architecture, music) across the Spanish-speaking world
In Upper Sixth:
- Multiculturalism in Hispanic society – immigration, racism in sport, discrimination against gypsies and travellers and indigenous peoples, the challenges of living together
- Aspects of political life in Hispanic society – monarchies and dictatorships (including the Spanish Civil War), popular movements and young people
You will also study one novel and one film over the A level course. The choice of these change to reflect the interests of students and the expertise of teachers. In previous years we have taught El laberinto del fauno (Guillermo del Toro), Volver (Pedro Almodóvar), Como Agua para Chocolate (Laura Esquivel) and La casa de Bernarda Alba (Federico García Lorca).
A* in A level Spanish in 2023
A*–A in A level Spanish in 2023
A*–B in A level Spanish in 2023
"The teachers are just so inspiring and knowledgeable. They convey their enthusiasm for Spanish unreservedly. There’s a real energy and warmth in the languages department."
"The range of skills I have acquired is amazing really; I can apply them to so many areas of my life. I know that I’m going to get a much more authentic experience when I travel now."
You will be invited to participate in a study trip to Valencia in which you will have the opportunity to improve your speaking and writing skills ahead of the summer examinations through an experience of complete immersion in the Spanish language and culture. Each year we also offer a variety of ‘Going Beyond’ events including lectures, debates, visits, films and theatre trips. All students are warmly invited to apply for roles in the Sixth Form MFL Society and to attend its events. These include a joint tapas evening, the joint MFL Society Dinner and the Love Languages partnership event in February.
Apart from the obvious careers of translator, interpreter and teacher, a foreign language is recognised as an enormous advantage in the fields of politics, diplomacy, business, journalism, public service, scientific research, law, publishing and medicine to name a few. Languages at advanced level are greatly esteemed by the UK’s leading universities and many of our students have applied to read Spanish at university, including at Oxbridge. Specialised interview and grammar practice is offered to students applying to Oxford or Cambridge.