Spanish is the third most widely spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese and English, and is used by 500 million people. Twenty three different nations speak Spanish either as the official language or as a primary language, thus increasing the opportunity of any successful Spanish student to work or study abroad.

Spanish is one of the official languages of the European Community, the United Nations and international conferences. It is definitely an expanding language, with its popularity growing every year.

About the Curriculum

In the Lower Sixth, students will develop their understanding of themes relating to the society and culture of the countries where Spanish is spoken, and their language skills; they will do this by using authentic spoken and written sources in Spanish. The focus is on how Spanish-speaking society has been shaped, socially and culturally, and how it continues to change. Students study aspects of the social context together with aspects of the artistic life of Spanish-speaking countries. In the Upper Sixth, students will also study the following topics: social issues and trends of Spanish-speaking society, political and artistic culture in the Spanish-speaking world, and literature

Assessment is by three examined units:

Unit 1: Listening, Reading, Writing

A 2 hour 30 minute written exam in three parts

Unit 2:Writing

A 2 hour written paper with essays to be written on one book and one film or two books from the list provided in the specification.

Unit 3: Speaking

A 21–23 minute oral exam (including 5 minutes of preparation time). Students are assessed on the individual research project and one of four sub-themes:

  • Aspects of Spanish-speaking society
  • Artistic culture in the Spanish-speaking world
  • Multiculturalism in Spanish-speaking society
  • Aspects of political life in Spanish-speaking society.

Course Requirements

Most students who wish to take Spanish will be expected to have a grade 7/8 at GCSE, although students with a grade 6 are not necessarily excluded and can go on to gain very good grades

The course is suitable for you if you:

  • enjoy language learning, particularly the structure (grammar) of a language
  • enjoy learning about other cultures
  • want to communicate with speakers of a foreign language
  • want to study the language at university
  • want to work abroad or for international companies
  • want to broaden an otherwise narrow choice of subjects
  • want to develop opinions about current issues
  • have a good memory and a logical mind.


The Spanish Department offers annual exchange visits to our partner school in Oviedo, Asturias, which is supported by a student email tandem. Speaking skills are reinforced by individual sessions with a language assistant who is a native speaker.