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Head of Department 

Mr P.Loughran


Teaching staff

Mrs F.Simpson

Mrs A.McCambridge


¡Bienvenidos al Departamento de Español! 

Welcome to the Spanish department.


In the Spanish department we aim to:


  • develop the pupils’ ability to communicate effectively in Spanish. 

  • make language-learning an enjoyable, intellectually stimulating and successful experience. 

  • develop an awareness, understanding and appreciation of Spanish culture and civilisation.

  • develop an awareness of the nature of language and language-learning in general.  

  • develop transferable skills of a more general nature (e.g. analysis, aural discrimination, memorising, drawing of inferences).

  • encourage pupils to make informed decisions about career choices.

The Spanish department is well equipped with a range of modern audio resources including Interactive Whiteboards. ICT is a very important aspect in both the teaching and learning of Spanish at Loreto College.  Pupils are encouraged to use Apps and websites dedicated to Modern Languages to enhance their learning of Spanish and this helps them to become autonomous learners.  

Key Stage 3

In Year 8 students have 3 periods of Spanish per week. In Years 9 and 10 students will have 4 periods per week. In KS3 pupils focus on the four main key skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.  Students use the Listos series of textbooks and are provided with accompanying workbooks.


In Year 8 pupils study: greetings, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, classroom objects, family members, countries, nationalities, colours, adjectives and animals, school subjects, school facilities, telling the time.


The main topics taught in Year 9 are: Describing where you live, rooms in the house, prepositions, furniture, daily routine, places in the town, directions, weather, seasons, sports, hobbies, household chores.


In Year 10 pupils study: Food and Drink, clothes, school uniform, shops, holidays, hobbies, parts of the body, at the pharmacy.

Mr Loughran presents the El Premio de Espanol award 2023 to

Niamh McGowan year 10


Key Stage 4

The Spanish department follows CCEA’s GCSE Specification.

The 3 Contexts for Learning are:
1.  Identity, Lifestyle and Culture
2.  Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest 
3.  School life, Studies and the World of Work

Unit 1: Listening     25%                     End of Year 12

Unit 2: Speaking    25%                     End of Year 12

Unit 3: Reading      25%                     End of Year 12

Unit 4: Writing      25%                     End of Year 12


Skills developed at GCSE:
1. Aural skills.
2. Oral and written communication.
3. Understanding and responding to written and spoken language.
4. Information handling.

Key Stage 5

Students follow CCEA’s Specification for AS and A2 Spanish.

AS  topics

In Year 13 students will study the following Contexts for Learning:



2.Culture and Lifestyle


AS course

Unit 1 : Speaking. This unit is in two parts.

1. Presentation  

2. Conversation

Unit 2: Listening, Reading and Use of Language.

1. Listening – the candidate will listen to a series of recordings and answer one set of questions in Spanish and another set in English.


2. Reading – Students answer a set of questions in Spanish based on a text in the Target Language.


3.Pupils translate a passage from Spanish to English. 


4.Use of language –Students complete a series of short grammar exercises and translate short sentences from English into Spanish. 


Unit 3: Extended Writing

Pupils write one essay in Spanish in response to a set film.



Unit  1 30% (AS) & 12% (A2)
Approximately 11 minute exam with a visiting examiner.

Unit 2 40% (AS) & 16% (A2). 

Total time: 2 hours


Unit 3 30% (AS) & 12% (A2)

Total time: 1 hour


A2 topics

For Units 1 & 2 students will study the following Contexts for Learning: 

1.Young people in Society 

2.Our Place in a Changing World


A2 course

Unit 1: Speaking. This unit is in two parts

1. Discussion based on a cultural aspect/20th century historical period/a region of a Spanish speaking country. 

2. Conversation

Unit 2:  Listening and Reading

1.  Listening – the candidate will listen to a series of recordings in Spanish and answer one set of questions in Spanish and one set of questions in English.


2. Reading: Students answer two sets of questions and complete one summary exercise and one translation exercise from English to Spanish.


Total time: 2 hours 45 mins


Unit 3: Extended Writing

Pupils write one essay in Spanish in response to a set literary text.


Unit  1  18% (A2)
Approximately 15 minute exam with a visiting examiner.


Unit 2 24% (A2). 

Total time: 2 hours 45 mins


Unit 3 18% A2

Total time: 1 hour


Skills developed at AS/A2

1.Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

2.Understanding the contemporary society and culture of Spain.

3.Understanding and applying grammar.

4.Transferring meaning from Spanish to English and vice versa.

Why study Spanish?

Being able to speak another language apart from English can have many advantages.  In the world of work, language skills are becoming increasingly important in organisations and businesses who want to remain competitive on an international level.  But economics and employability are not the only factors at play.  By speaking a language other than English, the world opens up to you.  You have an asset for life!  Languages help us build friendships with people across the globe and help us to understand and experience different cultures in a way that enriches our own lives too.  They open up travel opportunities, the chance to study or live abroad and help us to appreciate different cultures.


With tourism in Spain thriving and the economic importance of Spanish growing in both Latin America and the United States, there has never been a better time to learn Spanish.  Businesses operating in global markets in the future will rely more and more on Spanish language skills.  Three messages remain clear:


-       O basta con el inglés (speaking English is not enough)

-       Con un poco de español puedes conseguir mucho (With a little Spanish you can achieve a lot)

-       El español mejora tu calidad de vida (Spanish improves your quality of life)


The following statistics were published in 2010 in a report on the Spanish Language by the Instituto de Cervantes.


  • Over 450 million people speak Spanish worldwide.

  • Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world in terms of native speakers.  With English and Spanish you would be able to speak two languages which are the most important for international communication.

  • Spanish is the official language of over twenty countries worldwide.

  • By 2030, 7.5% of the world population (535 million people) will speak Spanish.

  • By 2050, the United States will have the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world.

Career Note – Employers value language skills

As it becomes increasingly important for firms to compete on a global scale, employers are placing more and more value on those who can offer an additional language.  Employers are increasingly forced to recruit overseas to meet the need for language skills.


  • 36% of employers recruit people with languages (CBI)

  • 72% of businesses value foreign language skills among their employees (CBI,)

  • Alost 300 of Britain’s Top Employers including Boots, HSBC & Arsenal FC believe an additional language boosts employability (CILT)

  • Employers rank Foreign Language Skills second only to IT skills (CILT)


Languages skills are needed at all levels.


  • It is not high fliers in international business who need language skills

  • There is increasing demand for language skills in jobs involving all kinds of customer service

  • The UK has a shortage of people who can combine language skills with other specialisms

  • There is also a shortage of specialist linguists with English as a first language.


Giving up on languages too soon is a regret that many people have when they enter the world of work, and find their ambitions curtailed by the fact they can only communicate in English.  In our increasingly competitive global marketplace, the demand for language skills is increasing and employers are recognising the value of multi-lingual employees who have the skills and flexibility to operate in international environments.  Spanish, whether spoken fluently or conversationally, can give access to a much wider range of jobs in the UK and overseas.  

For example, a marketing professional in a global firm is likely to be much more successful if they are able to communicate with foreign companies in their own language.


A qualification in Spanish is particularly useful if you would like to pursue a career in:


International Organisations, including the UN and the EU, International Business, Computing and IT, Public Sector Management, Education, Journalism, Business and Finance, Sales and Marketing, Law, Food and Drink, Transport, Tourism and Leisure, Teaching, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Translating, Interpreting and Secretarial work.


Spanish is particularly useful when studied in combination with other languages, Economics, Business Studies and ICT.

European Languages Day

Every year we celebrate the European International Day of Languages in the school by organising various competitions, displays and events to highlight cultural aspects of the target language countries as well as teaching pupils key phrases in a variety of European languages.


Spanish Assistant

One of the key aims of the Spanish department is to develop the communication skills of our students. The Spanish assistant plays a fundamental role in developing pupils’ oral skills. Our Spanish assistant visits Key Stage 3 and 4 classes and works closely with the A Level students. Pupils studying Spanish at AS/A2 are timetabled with the assistant for 2 individual classes per week. 

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