The Spanish Department at New Hall offers a varied curriculum and activities and an increasing number of students choose to study this subject post-GCSE. There are two routes to take: A Level Spanish and the Spanish Diploma.
A Level Spanish
The A Level Spanish course is designed for students who wish to develop their subject knowledge and gain a wider understanding of the cultures and countries in which Spanish is spoken. The topics covered are rooted in Spanish and Hispanic countries and help provide a wider perspective, as well as developing students’ knowledge and use of language. Students always enjoy the study of our chosen film “Pan’s Labyrinth” and novel “Como Agua Para Chocolate” – this may seem like a real challenge but students really find it rewarding and can see the clear development of their language as they learn to analyse and explore themes.
The focus of the speaking examination is a discussion on a topic that the student can choose and research in advance, allowing them to take ownership of their subject knowledge. Topics that have been chosen by New Hall students previously are wide-ranging and include: Feminism in the work of Isabel Allende, the Impact of the Mexican Grand Prix, the Drug War in El Salvador, Yerma – is this work still relevant today?, the Catalan Independence Movement, and the Impact of Tourism in Barcelona. A Level students also receive a 30-minute individual speaking session each week, which is tailored to each student and is invaluable in building confidence when speaking and as a way of reinforcing the language they learn in class.
Spanish Diploma (DELE)
The Spanish Diploma is taught at New Hall and examined at the Instituto Cervantes (a Spanish government body) in London. Its aims are to develop confidence with everyday language. The topics covered are similar to those explored at GCSE and the four examinations mirror the GCSE examination. Students sit examinations at the level appropriate for them; at New Hall we offer the A2/B1 level, which is similar to a mid-way point between GCSE and A Level. The Diploma is a fourth subject to supplement a student’s three main A Level choices. For more details about this qualification, visit the DELE website.
Outside the curriculum, Sixth Form students can participate in a range of activities. For example, over the past year in Spanish Society, students have created their own language, given presentations on different Spanish-speaking countries, undertaken activities from the Linguistics Olympiad and supported the School-wide Hispanic week, in which there are special events for Sixth Form students, such as a film night, cookery sessions and debates. Students can also choose to support Year 5 and Year 6 Spanish lessons and Clubs in the Preparatory Divisions, if the timetable permits.
Trips and excursions
We offer a trip to Salamanca at Easter of Year 13, which is an excellent opportunity to prepare for the speaking examinations and gain some real-life experience of using Spanish with native speakers. Sixth Form Spanish students are encouraged to visit Spain as much as possible during their two years of advanced study, and there are many companies that offer homestays, intensive language courses and work experience in Spain.
Beyond Sixth Form
Previous students of Spanish have gone on to study at a range of Higher Education establishments, such as Cambridge, Bristol, Queen Mary’s, UCL and Hull. We are proud that our students have continued their love and study of language, either by working in industry, undertaking Post-Graduate qualifications and by returning to teach at New Hall.
“The teachers you will have really care about your learning and do everything they can to help you progress.” – Year 12 student
“Spanish is the subject I chose because I enjoyed it so much at GCSE and it’s so useful.” – Year 13 student
Head of Spanish: Mrs C. Wilson [email protected]