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Department Staff

Miss. C. McAuley

Mrs A McSorley

Subject Information

The Spanish department aims to develop pupils who are able to communicate with people from around the world, to encourage pupils to have an understanding of different cultures and to foster an open mind for a global community. We strive to make languages accessible and engaging in order to develop pupils’ confidence in a range of transferrable skills such as communicating, listening, interpreting and understanding in order to provide them with skills that will help them be successful in any professional field.

Curriculum Information

Key Stage 3

All Key Stage 3 students enjoy two 50-minute Spanish lessons per week. We study functional and relevant topics, with a focus on Hispanic culture. Topics include, ‘Self, Family and Friends’, ‘My Hobbies’, ‘School Life’, ‘Holidays’ and ‘Hispanic Festivals’.  


All activities and assessments are differentiated to ensure that all students can achieve their full potential in Spanish. The department work hard to enhance and update our schemes of work to ensure that they are relevant and interesting to our students and we strive to develop our teaching and learning strategies for a more holistic educational experience. 


Students enjoy a personalised learning experience in the Spanish classroom through robust assessment and thorough evaluation and we aim to lay the foundations for GCSE Spanish from Year 8. Independent learning strategies are promoted through regular homework, assessment and target setting. Most importantly, the Spanish department aims to create a fun, comfortable and respectful learning environment.

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

Spanish is a GCSE option for students starting in Year 11. This is a two-year course and we study the CCEA GCSE Spanish specification. A GCSE in Spanish helps students to:

  • develop their knowledge of and enthusiasm for language learning skills by providing opportunities for practical use of Spanish;

  • develop the confidence to effectively communicate in Spanish; and

  • take their place as citizens in a multilingual, global society. 


Contexts for Learning 


Context 1:  

Identity, Lifestyle and Culture

Context 2:  

Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest.

Context 3: 

School Life, Studies and the World of Work.


Qualification Breakdown

Unit 1:


External written examination 


Approximately 35 minutes at Foundation Tier 

Approximately 45 minutes at Higher Tier 


Students answer twelve questions, in English and Spanish.

Worth 25%

Unit 2:


Teacher-conducted speaking examination


7–12 minutes (plus 10 minutes of preparation time)


Students complete two role-plays and a general conversation on two topics in Spanish.

Worth 25%

Unit 3:


External written examination


50 minutes at Foundation Tier 


1 hour at Higher Tier 


Students answer a variety of questions in English and in Spanish, as well as translating short sentences from Spanish into English.

Worth 25%

Unit 4:


External written examination 


1 hour at Foundation Tier 


1 hour 15 minutes at Higher Tier 


Students answer four questions including listing (at Foundation Tier), short phrase/sentence responses, translating short sentences, and one extended writing task (from a choice of three) in Spanish.

Worth 25%


The Spanish Department enjoys the ‘International Week’ celebrations each September, with a range of fun and interesting activities. In addition, GCSE students can avail of weekly after-school support sessions in the Spanish classroom. These lessons are more informal that our timetabled lessons where students can practise their language skills with a cup tea. In addition, Spanish-language and cultural films are shown in the department throughout the year. 


Language skills can be used in any career, and offer opportunities to work abroad in your chosen field. A variety of employment sectors where Spanish would be beneficial include: travel and tourism, translation, interpretation, law, advertising, marketing, politics, business, clerical, journalism, sports, education, Civil Service, accountancy, finance, fashion, telecommunications, medicine, scientific research and media.

Useful Links

CCEA GCSE Spanish microsite

BBC Bitesize

Word Reference

Spanish Twitter Link >

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