Exam Board

Additional Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE Spanish and English language, and grade 5 in mathematics

Course Content

Why Spanish?
Spanish is the third most widely spoken language in the world, meaning a good command of the basics will be helpful for more than just your holidays in the sun. Speaking another language makes you more marketable.
You’ll develop skills and knowledge highly valued by employers, such as a deep understanding of other cultures, attention to detail and problem-solving skills. We will give you the tools to master the grammar and vocabulary needed to express yourself in a sophisticated way orally and in writing, as well as to understand complex text and the spoken language.
You’ll have many opportunities to engage with the language, including an exchange trip to Valencia as well as theatre and cinema trips to London.
A level Spanish will make you stand out from the crowd and is considered a facilitating subject by Russell Group and other prestigious universities.
Course content
In the first year, aspects of the social context are studied, including the changing nature of the family, ‘cyber-society’ and gender equality, together with highlights of Spanish-speaking artistic culture, including Hispanic music and cinema.
Second year topics include life for the marginalised, positive features of a diverse society, and measures against racism, as well as aspects of political life in the Hispanic-speaking world. You’ll discuss issues such as the political commitment of teenagers, the purpose of strikes and demonstrations, and the politics of immigration. You’ll also study in depth a literary text and a film.
Finally, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake an individual research project and explore a key question of personal interest.
Mark scheme
Exam - 2 hours 30 mins - 50%
Listening, reading and writing - 100 marks
  • Listening and reading tasks
  • 2 translations, one into English, and one into Spanish
Exam - 2 hours - 20%
Writing - 80 marks
  • 2 essays, one on the set literary text, and one on the set film
Oral Exam - 21–23 mins - 30%
Speaking - 60 marks
  • A discussion based on a stimulus card, and a presentation and discussion of the individual research project

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the headings below.

Do you offer languages at GCSE?

No. But we have a languages club which you can attend, where there is an opportunity to learn about different languages.

Do you organise trips and/or exchanges?

We organise regular trips to courses, conferences, plays or films in London. We also can recommend work experience programmes.
We have trips to Barcelona or Valencia, some of which include language lessons.

What kind of things do you do in class?

Lessons include a variety of activities, for example listening to material in the laboratory, watching T.V., preparing presentations, setting up e-mail links with schools abroad, reading foreign language newspapers.

Do you do any literature?

We study a little bit of literature in year 1 (short extracts).
In the second year we study a text: ‘Las bicicletas son para el verano’ by Fernando Fernan-Gomez.

How big are the classes?

Average size is about 20

Do you have an assistant?

Yes, we have an assistant for each language. All students see the assistant once a week for 30 minutes in small groups.

Are the teachers native-speakers?

Yes, we have a native speaker for each language

Is A level difficult?

It is more difficult than GCSE, because there is more vocabulary, topic specific content, and a greater emphasis on accuracy. But everyone will find the transition challenging and we will help you to settle into the course as quickly as possible.

Do you have a language laboratory?

Yes, we have a dedicated language laboratory which can accommodate 24 students. We use it particularly for speaking and listening practice.

How much homework do you set?

We set homework in most lessons. The tasks vary but can include reading comprehension exercises, film/literature essays, learning vocabulary and grammar. This work may take about 2 hours each week.
We also expect you to do further independent work in order to make more rapid progress.

How often do you have assessments?

You will be given a timetable of assessment for the year. We have assessment every half term, involving different skills. You will also be given weekly vocabulary tests.

How do you support/stretch students in languages?

Your language teacher will get to know your level well as the course progresses.
We offer weekly subject tutorials to provide any help that is required.We recommend resources that can be used for reinforcement and revision, and as part of the weekly independent work.
We are available on Teams to answer any questions.
We also offer Oxbridge support at the end of year 12 and the start of year 13.
We have a mentoring system whereby year 13 students are paired with Year 12 students, and these pairs meet on a weekly basis.
We are always happy to see students on a one to one basis.
The Archer Academy
“Nelson Mandela said ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart’ – and I think that is so true. I’m learning Spanish because I think it’s important to learn about and understand other cultures.
We learn in a different way to GCSE. We speak Spanish with our teachers all of the time and our lessons are more interesting because we discuss real-life topics like immigration and cyberbullying.
We are quite independent here but we get help and everybody is very supportive. It’s just essential in building those skills that are crucial for later life.”

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