The ever-increasing importance of foreign-language study is now widely recognised and reasonable fluency in a modern foreign language is often very useful in various areas of the business world and in many careers.
By the time you have reached GCSE, your language skills are sufficiently developed for you to start tackling a much more advanced content. You will learn a host of new words, idioms and grammar rules which will enable you to develop genuine confidence in the manipulation of the language. You will study a variety of topics related to the culture and society of countries where Spanish is spoken, as well as understand aspects of the political life in a Spanish speaking country.
The study of literary texts and films will also offer great opportunities to link with themes, including the changing nature of family, the ‘cyber society’, the place of voluntary work and many more.
Students are supported by the Spanish Assistant who is a native speaker and, therefore, an expert in teaching the nuances of language. She will enable you to become more confident and fluent in speaking and will help you develop a high level of complexity by the end of the course.
Independent studying, reading newspapers and magazines and watching films in the target language would be essential to consolidate your language skills.
We follow the WJEC specification. There is no coursework. Like GCSE, you will be assessed in all four skills under the following format:
*Paper 1: Speaking (discussion on a stimulus card)
*Paper 2: Listening, Reading and Translation
*Paper 3: Writing (essay question based on the study of a film.)
*Paper 4: Speaking (independent research project).
*Paper 5: Listening, Reading and Translation
*Paper 6: Writing (essay question based on literature).
Main differences with GCSE:
-You will be controlling your own audio device for listening, therefore you can listen to the extracts as many times as you like.
- There will be two passages to be translated into Spanish and English
You should take this course if:
You are passionate about language learning, want to immerse yourself in the fascinating Spanish culture and gain insights into various contemporary social issues. A language degree will enable you to acquire a broad range of incredible knowledge and unique skills needed in our current multilingual society and it will open the door to a wide range of exciting career possibilities (in international business, tourism, marketing, sales, airline companies, teaching, translating) or simply complement other fantastic career destinations such as medicine, law, banking, journalism and Politics)
A successful story
Studying A Level Spanish has enabled me to develop a wider understanding of the culture, traditions and values of Spain and Latin America. The exciting and interactive lessons delivered by the teachers permitted me to fully engage in the lessons which contributed in enhancing my communication skills, which are vital in all aspects of life, especially in employment opportunities. The Spanish department has provided us with important talks on topics such as media, from the Spanish Embassy, which really helped me extend my knowledge about the issues caused by the pressure of the media. Furthermore, another helpful aspect which contributed to my learning in year 12 was the amount of help I received from the languages assistant, Ms Alvarez. As I came from an external school, the amount of help and teaching I received at Upton Court Grammar School is far more advanced and supportive which is why I achieved a grade higher than my predicted grade. Overall, I believe that Spanish A Level has allowed me to gain knowledge about my other subjects as well as fully preparing me to step into university life with confidence.
Rabya Raja, Year 13
Work experience at the Spanish embassy
From the 19th to 23rd of October, I did work experience at the Spanish Education Office in London. I had to perform various tasks, such as answering the phone, filling gift boxes for the Language Show and doing various other administration tasks. I was there from about 9am until 4pm each day. At first, the prospect of working in a Spanish environment seemed rather daunting, however I soon began to feel comfortable and was able to practice and improve my Spanish communication skills each day. It was a great opportunity for which I’m grateful. Big up Mrs. Alvarez (our Spanish Assistant) for organising it!
Edward Soane, Year 13
We also have fun at A Level!
The Spanish GCE students were fortunate enough to view a performance from an authentic Tuna group. La Tuna originally started performing in order to raise money for their university fees. Also, it contributed to forming romantic relationships, as they performed serenades outside of the houses of particular girls. Nowadays, La Tuna perform as a means of maintaining tradition, travelling around Spain with their musical instruments and captivating voices.
We had an immense amount of fun, as we were able to participate in the singing and had the opportunity to use the instruments- guitar and tambourine. A few lucky ones were able to wear the capes of La Tuna, which were decorated elaborately; they wear sashes with badges from all of the places they have visited. It was interesting to see an aspect of Spain that is not normally heard of in Britain. This, therefore, developed our cultural awareness of Spain in a relaxed and creative environment.
Callum Sandhu and Simranpreet Dhami, Year 13.
Presentations talk from the Spanish Embassy
Recently, the Spanish sixth form students were fortunate to receive a visit from the Spanish Embassy, on which a presentation was given on the methods of communication within Spain.
The presentation covered various topics, from popular Spanish social networks such as Tuenti to the different types of television networks. It was most useful to gain an insight on how communication is implemented in Spain, and to what extent Spanish communication differs to our own ways of communication here in England. Alongside this, we were also provided a direct view on Spanish communication through interview videos that included Spanish teenagers.
Some time was set aside for students to be able to ask questions on the presentation, which not only helped practise our own linguistic skills, but also allowed students to gain a deeper understanding on the topic as a whole.
It is safe to say that the presentations talk from the Spanish Embassy was an enjoyable experience, with the added benefit of freebies, such as stickers and stationary, and the Upton Court Grammar students look forward to the next annual visit by the Spanish Embassy; Thank you to Mrs Alvarez for organising the talk J
Mariana Pasquali year 13