Spanish is taught as an optional subject from the Lower Shell (Year 10). The CAIE IGCSE Spanish syllabus aims to offer insights into the culture of countries where Spanish is spoken. The examination tests all four skills (listening comprehension, reading comprehension, speaking and writing), and they are weighted evenly, all being worth 25% of the total mark. The qualification is graded from 9 down to 1.
Spanish is a invaluable international language, with over 550 million native speakers in 20 countries, including over 50 million in the USA. Scientists have found that fluency in more than one language improves your memory, enhances your intelligence, delays the onset of Alzheimer’s, and makes you much more marketable. The Hispanic world, especially, has a dazzlingly diverse cultural heritage. Whether you choose to read García Márquez’s incomparable magic realism, or Lorca’s ground-breaking theatre, Borges’s short stories or Neruda’s poetry, there is a wealth of literature to explore. Hispanic painters – Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí, Miró, Kahlo, and filmmakers – Buñuel, Almodóvar, Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu among others – all add to the attraction of learning this largely phonetic, relatively straightforward and most useful of languages.
Lower SchoolSyllabus & CodeCAIE IGCSE 7160 Spanish
The Edexcel A Level syllabus covers the following main themes: the evolution of Spanish society; political and artistic culture in the Hispanic world; immigration through the ages; Franco’s dictatorship and the transition to democracy. The four language skills are tested in the traditional way, including translations into and out of the target language. The speaking exam involves the preparation of an independent research project. There is also the opportunity to study texts and films and write about them in Spanish.Syllabus & CodeEdexcel A Level 9SP0 Spanish
Opportunities to use Spanish in London abound. The department organises regular trips to see plays, films, art exhibitions, and to dine in Spanish restaurants. All pupils are invited on cultural and linguistic sojourns to Cuba and Spain during their two A Level years. These are optional, but highly recommended.
* denotes Head of DepartmentMrs Catalina Ángel Madrid (CAM) — Spanish Assistant
† denotes Housemaster
Dr Sander Berg (SJB)
Ms Gema Franco (GFC) — Head of International Pupils
Mr Nick Hulme (NCH) — Head of Upper Shell; Head of Spanish *
Ms Clare Leech (CML) — Deputy Head (Academic)
Mr Jorge Morollón de Andrés (JMA) — Spanish Assistant
Dr John Witney (JCW)
Spanish can be studied to a BA qualification, either single honours or joint honours, at virtually all the Russell Group universities in the UK. Most pupils combine it with either another language, another humanities subject (Classics, English or history, for example), Law or Business Studies. It can also form the basis of a course in Hispanic or Latin American Studies. Furthermore, if planning to study a Liberal Arts degree in the USA, Spanish is naturally the most useful and relevant language to choose.
"I have never had so much fun in lessons. I love the language and Spanish culture, and I look forward to our trips to Cuba and Salamanca!"
— Year 12 pupil