Study of languages gives students a degree of academic rigour and a better understanding of a wide range of current topics and cultures. It widens horizons and imbues a greater tolerance towards different perspectives and ways of life. Competence in a foreign language can greatly enhance career possibilities, whether in its own right, for example in teaching and interpreting or in combination with other skills such as law and the business world. Skilled linguists are particularly appreciated in many fields of employment. 

A level

As at GCSE, the emphasis of the course is on acquiring excellent communication skills. Speaking and listening are as important as reading and writing and the main difference lies in the depth of knowledge expected and the flexibility with which this knowledge can be used.  The course also requires independent thinking and research.  Each student has an individual lesson with the language assistant every week in addition to general conversation in class.

A level content course:

Year 12:

  • Aspects of Hispanic society.This covers topics such as family, cyber society, marriage, Catholic church and gender equality.
  • Artistic Culture in the Hispanic world such as cultural heritage, music, TV and cinema, regional identity of Spain.
  • Grammar and Translation
  • Film studied: “Ocho apellidos vascos” by Emilio Martinez-Lázaro

Year 13:

  • Multiculturalism in Hispanic society.This covers topics such as immigration, integration and racism.
  • Aspects of political life in the Hispanic world such as politics, unemployment and political engagement in young people, monarchy and dictatorship, social protests.
  • Grammar and Translation
  • Literature studied: “Crónica de una muerte anunciada” by Garcia Marquez
  • Individual Research Project.

Co-Curricular

The Spanish department organises cultural visits to the target language country for Years 12 and 13 in Barcelona or Valencia. The students are encouraged to undertake a week of work experience abroad through the company Halsbury during October or February half terms, or at Easter.  The students regularly go to the BFI and the Cervantes Institute for their theatre productions.  They are also encouraged to run film clubs, language societies and organise assemblies.