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The Modern Languages Department firmly believes that learning a language is a core life skill. High quality teaching and learning is enhanced with an international dimension that continuously contextualises students’ learning. All our students have the opportunity to experience other cultures and in this context fulfil their academic, social and personal potential. Pupils learn languages in a creative and stimulating environment in which they feel confident to take risks and succeed. Approximately 20 boys go on to study A-level Spanish each year. 

Co-Curricular Enrichment 

The Department runs an engaging programme of events including a Barcelona Exchange trip for year 10 students . The Department also has an evolving ‘Languages online’ package for students to practise their skills online at home.

Years 7 to 9

Spanish is taught as a compulsory subject in Year 7. In Years 8-9 students choose either Spanish or German to focus on (alongside French which is compulsory), at which point boys can opt to continue to GCSE and also choose French. In Year 7, the focus is on creating a love of learning languages, which includes sessions on study skills as well and lots of cultural input. In Years 8-9 lessons emphasise good grammar, vocabulary learning, and the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the language.  We concentrate on grammar, vocabulary and linguistic competence. Topics covered include: Personal information and family; school; hobbies; technology, and the international world. We also include the cultural element and cultural affairs wherever possible to enable students to get to know the people and countries connected to each language.


The five themes are:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local area, holiday and travel
  • School
  • Future aspirations, study and work
  • International and global dimension.

All themes and topics are studied in the context of both the students’ home country and that of countries and communities where the language is spoken. Skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, including translation will be tested.


Our language students develop greatly throughout each year, rising to the challenges of an ambitious and stimulating scheme of work. They become highly competent communicators and listeners, displaying an impressive ability to digest, analyse, discuss and develop points of view successfully and confidently. A-level Spanish students have the opportunity to study a wide range of topics throughout this course which focuses on aspects of the Hispanic society and culture as well as taking a look at the political landscape, focusing on young people and their political engagement. Students continue to build on the core skills learnt at GCSE (reading, writing, speaking, listening and translation) whilst becoming confident and successful communicators. Furthermore, their weekly lessons with the Spanish Language Assistant enable them to practise new vocabulary and share ideas in a more spontaneous setting.  

Throughout this course, students learn the relevance of being able to communicate at such a high level and thrive at the challenge of being able to access, understand and react to authentic material such as Spanish news items, interviews and the use of songs as a learning tool. All our students are encouraged to participate in the national essay writing and translation competitions such as Oxford University’s Stephen Spender Translation Prize.

Students are assessed through 3 papers:

  • Listening, Reading and Translation into English
  •  Written Translation into the language and response to a literary text/film
  • Speaking -discussion of a theme and presentation & discussion on independent research project.