Spanish has the second highest number of native speakers of any language in the world. Outside Spain, it is widely spoken across South America.
By studying Spanish, pupils will develop an ability to converse in a language with more than 400 million speakers in over 20 countries.
Learning Spanish has many transferable language learning skills and instils an ability to communicate
effectively in the target language and understand a wide range of vocabulary and complex grammar structures. It also builds a greater sense of cultural awareness and an ability to understand local traditions and ways of living.
Year 7 and Year 8 | core subject
In the first two years, pupils build a solid foundation for understanding and using key language. They learn a wide range of new vocabulary and grammar needed to write and speak about topics such as school, home and pastimes. Pupils also develop their comprehension skills through completing a number of listening and reading activities.
Year 9 | option subject
By the third year Spanish becomes an option subject, giving pupils a further year of studying Spanish language and culture before making a decision about GCSE choices. In this year pupils will already embark on the GCSE course and cover the first two units of the syllabus. This gives all pupils an excellent knowledge base to build on if they opt for Spanish as a GCSE language choice.
Year 10 and 11, GCSE | option subject
For GCSE although Spanish is an option subject, all pupils are strongly encouraged to continue their study of on language.
The GCSE course continues pupils’ learning from the curriculum studied in Year 9 and focuses on the vocabulary and grammar necessary to write and speak about topics such as school, holidays, free time and global issues. Pupils also build an awareness and understanding of countries and communities where Spanish is spoken as well as understanding the language in a variety of contexts.
Examination of the course is divided equally across the four key skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing.
– Pupils who have only begun studying Spanish in Year 9 will need to discuss their suitability for the GCSE course with the Head of Spanish.
– Edexcel GCSE 1SP1 Spanish
Sixth Form, A-Level | option subject
This course allows students to develop the language skills acquired at (I)GCSE through the study of a more advanced range of topics such as aspects of Hispanic society, artistic culture in the Hispanic world, multiculturalism in Hispanic society and aspects of political life in Hispanic society. Students study a film as well as a book that are related to a Spanish-speaking country, furthering their appreciation of aspects of Hispanic culture. The four main skills developed at GCSE are further enhanced with a view to enable greater fluency when writing and speaking. All students have a dedicated one-to-one lesson with the language assistant every week, giving them the opportunity to hone their speaking skills.
– Grade 7 at (I)GCSE Spanish.
– AQA A-Level 7192T Spanish
John Lyon Success
– 100% of A-Level students achieved A*-B grades.
– 48% of GCSE pupils were awarded a 9 or 8 grade.
– Rahul Sindwani (2018) left John Lyon to read Politics & Spanish at Bristol University, having achieved an A* grade in Spanish.
Outside the Classroom
The Spanish department runs a biennial language and culture trip to Valencia in Spain where pupils attend lessons at a language school and take part in a variety of activities and excursions. John Lyon’s extensive list of extra-curricular activities includes many options for pupils who enjoy foreign language and culture, including Book and Film Club and Model United Nations and International Relations.
An A-Level in a modern language is a highly respected academic qualification. It complements many areas of study, and Economics or business-related degrees in particular. Students will acquire a range of transferable skills that will equip them for many different disciplines. Progressing further with the study of Spanish will afford access to a variety of interesting career paths including international journalism, diplomatic services, foreign aid work or translation and interpreting.
Teachers and Staff
Head of Spanish – Mr Phillip Berry, BA (Bristol) [Head of Lower Sixth]
Teacher of Spanish – Ms Fiona Easton, BA (Exeter)
Teacher of Spanish – Mr Alexander Ferguson, BA (Reading) (OL)
Spanish Language Assistant – Ms Carmen Catalan