Spanish

Why learn Spanish?

  • If you speak Spanish, you can communicate with almost 500 million people worldwide! Think how many more employment options that gives you! And if you want to take a trip to Spain or Latin America, a little knowledge of Spanish will go a long way.
  • Spanish is the third most widely spoken language in the world, after English and Mandarin.
  • Spanish is the official language in 21 countries (Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and most of South America).
  • Spanish is the second world language as a vehicle of international communication and third as an international language of politics, economics and culture.
  • In the USA, Spanish has become the unofficial second language
  • 29 million US residents above the age of 5 speak Spanish at home. That’s approximately 1 of every 10 US residents.

Key Stage 3 Spanish

The emphasis at Key Stage 3 is making language-learning fun while gradually preparing girls for GCSE.  Students follow the MIRA course and we aim to give students a flavour of Hispanic culture as well as the language.  For years 7 and 8, there is a biannual resident study trip to Murcia where students are immersed in a range of Spanish cultural activities.

Spanish GCSE (Edexcel)

Since September 2013 we have been teaching a new qualification called the Edexcel Certificate, which aligns with the trends towards linear courses and their final examinations. The topics are varied and we spend the entire course building structures little by little so that, by the end of Year 11, the girls are able to communicate spontaneously in Spanish.  This equips them to spend time in Spanish-speaking countries, but in particular it prepares them thoroughly for A-level study.  We offer a yearly exchange to Madrid. Students also have regular lessons in the ICT suite to enable them to prepare for their listening examination and they also have individual time with the Spanish assistant to develop their speaking skills spontaneously.  The first group achieved outstanding results in the summer of 2015, with 90% gaining A* or A grades.  In 2016, 93% achieved A or A* grades.

Spanish A-level

We follow the new EDEXCEL specification for A-level Spanish.  In Year 12, students study the culture, society, politics, world of work, tourism, festivals, music, media and of Spain and Spanish–speaking countries.  They also study a Spanish film in detail.  A firm understanding of grammar is essential in Year 12 and dedicated grammar lessons are an integral part of the course. This enables girls to use Spanish independently and creatively.  Increased contact with our foreign language assistant helps girls with their oral work and keeps them on top of current affairs.

In Year 13, students study immigration, integration and multiculturalism, both within Spain and the Spanish-speaking world. They also study the history of Spain, including the Civil War, Franco’s dictatorship, the transition to democracy, the role of the monarchy and a Spanish novel.  At the end of the course, students are assessed on their listening, speaking, reading, writing, translating and research abilities.  The skills developed during the course prepare students thoroughly for academic life at university. Indeed, many of our students go on to combine Spanish with another subject at university, such as English, economics, marketing, history, European studies, politics, French, German, law and medicine.

Extra-Curricular

  • We offer trips to Spain at all key stages.  At Key Stage 3 we run a 5-day trip for years 7 and 8 girls to Murcia in Spain
  • At Key Stage 4 we offer a Spanish Exchange to Madrid with our partner school, San Juan Bautista
  • At Key Stage 5 we offer an exchange jointly with King Edward VII and Birkdale Schools to Palma de Mallorca in December, staying with host families and reciprocating the experience for the Spaniards the following January
  • We can also help girls to arrange work experience in Spain to complement their Sixth Form studies
  • Our foreign language assistant helps to run clinics to support girls at all stages of their learning
  • We offer Year 9 girls a morning at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield to see a Spanish film
  • We enter Hispanic national and regional competitions such as the Herbert Hughes Memorial Prize
  • We can sometimes arrange individual exchanges or one-off visits to Spain for older students by providing details of host families in Spain via our contacts in Palma, Madrid and Murcia