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A Level Spanish at Newquay Tretherras School

Course description

A Level languages build upon your existing knowledge gained at GCSE, giving you a sound understanding of using your language in a variety of different situations – at home, abroad, with friends or in the workplace. Taking an A Level language course gives you the opportunity to focus on improving communication in the foreign language and developing your key skills.

This is achieved through the study of interesting contemporary issues in a cultural context. Spanish is a facilitating A Level that is highly regarded by Universities and employers. Languages are the key to the new, exciting multinational world we live in- don’t miss out!

Course content

At AS there are four key themes studied which are broken down into three sub-topics as follows: Media; TV, Advertising and Communication Technologies;  Popular Culture; Cinema, Music and Fashion.  Healthy Living and Lifestyle: Health and Wellbeing, Sports and Holidays.  Family and Relationships: Relationships within the family,marriage and friendships.

At A2 three key topic areas are studied: Environment: Pollution, Energy and Protecting the Planet. Multicultural society: Immigration, Integration and Racism. Contemporary Social Issues: Wealth and Poverty, Law and Order and the impact of science and technology. In addition, there is a cultural element to the course in which students study the work of a director (Amelie: Jean-Pierre Jeunet) and a French speaking region. 

Both courses give students the opportunity to build on the key skills they have begun to develop at GCSE with a strong emphasis on the ability to use the language more independently.

In both AS and A2 there are 2 units, the first testing reading, listening and writing skills, and the second testing the speaking element of the subject.

Entry requirements

Students are required to achieve a grade B at GCSE to be able to study languages at A level.



Unit 1; 70% of A S / 35% of the overall A2 mark
A 2 hour paper which tests Listening, Reading and writing skills
Listening: Students have individual control of materials.
Questions involve English comprehension , short answers in Spanish, multiple choice and True/False questions.
Reading and writing: Similar question styles to listening, but also vocabulary linked exercises and grammar questions.
Writing section: Answer 1 question from a choice of 3 titles linked to 3 of the 4 themes. Essay question responses need to be a minimum of 200 words.

Unit 2 Speaking: 30% of \A S  / 15% of A2
A 15 minute exam broken down into 3 parts with 20 minutes preparation time before the exam.
Discussion of a stimulus card, conversation on a chosen theme from the course and then general conversation on the remaining themes.

Unit 3 35% of the overall A2 mark
A two and a half hour paper which tests Listening, Reading and writing skills.
Questions are of a similar style to AS however grammar exercises are replaced by translation from Spanish to English and from English into Spanish.
Writing section:
Answer 1 question from a choice of 2 titles per theme linked to the culture aspect of the course. Response to the essay question 250 words minimum.

Unit 4 15% of A2 :Speaking
15 minutes (with 20 minutes preparation time prior to the exam).
The first part of the exam sees students choosing a topic stimulus card to debate a key theme studied and the remaining ten minutes are general conversation based on the 2 different cultural themes.

Future opportunities

The subject is very highly thought of by employers and universities alike, learning a language gives you amazing opportunities in life. Some of our previous students are living proof of this!

“For me, A-Level Spanish was challenging but very rewarding at the same time. At the moment I am in my second year at Marjons doing my Primary Teaching degree. I found that by having an A-Level in Spanish, it allowed me to go on to do MFL as my specialist subject and since then the opportunities have been endless.”  Hannah Jenkin

“I believe that with Spanish A level you get out of it what you put in and so your efforts really do pay off. For example, after studying at 6th form I went on to use the language skills gained throughout my gap year which enriched my experiences. I was lucky enough to volunteer in El Salvador for a 10 week placement with the International Citizen Service (ICS) and I also went to Spain for 5 weeks during the summer to au pair where I lived with a family and taught English. I believe Spanish A Level is one of the few subjects that can leave you with reallyvaluable skills at the end of the course and not just a qualification.”  Carla Sharrock

Further information

In addition, to set tasks, students will be required to complete regular independent study throughout the course to boost vocabulary and key skills required for the subject.  This could include independent reading and listening practice and certainly regular learning of vocabulary and grammar practice.

Outside of the Classroom
As well as taught lessons, students attend supplementary conversation classes to boost their proficiency in this skill area.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newquay Tretherras School directly.

Last updated date: 27 April 2015

Key information


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    • I believe that Newquay Tretherras has a unique family identity, offering something special to its students. Our aim at Post 16 is to continue to provide you with an excellent education, combined with a wide range of opportunities to develop the qualities and personal social skills you need to make a successful transition to the next stage in your lives. We have an extremely positive Sixth Form ethos, and all students enjoy being part of a community in which they come first.

      We are proud of the contribution our Sixth Form makes to the life of NT. Not only do we achieve great results, we aim to make your time in the Sixth Form an enriching, worthwhile experience. Our Tutor team is highly experienced and dedicated: we pride ourselves on the level of care and guidance we offer, and the team will constantly monitor individual progress to ensure that no one falls behind.

      Our key guarantees to you are:

      • High quality academic teaching, with a friendly and adult approach
      • Excellent relationships with staff who know you well
      • Outstanding individual personal support to motivate and inspire you to succeed
      • Involvement in leadership and elite programmes
      • Involvement in our unique “Future Pathways” schemes to ensure successful transfer to the next stage
      • Opportunities to participate in innovative “Internship” programmes
      • Dedicated Sixth Form facilities, including a fully staffed and well equipped private study room
      • Bursaries and financial support for transport for those in need
      • Forging a strong bond between students, Newquay Tretherras and our Parents who remain a major part of our partnership

      I look forward to welcoming you into NT6.