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Spanish A Level at Dame Alice Owen's School

Course description

The A-level specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. The content is suitable for students who wish to progress to employment or to further study, including a modern languages degree.

The course focusses on how Spanish-speaking society has been shaped socially and culturally and how it continues to change. In the first year, aspects of the social context are studied, together with aspects of the artistic life of Spanish-speaking countries. In the second year further aspects of the social background are covered, this time focusing on matters associated with multiculturalism. Students also study aspects of the political landscape including the future of political life in the Hispanic world by focusing on young people and their political engagement.

Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of themes relating to the culture and society of countries where Spanish is spoken, and their language skills. They will do this by using authentic spoken and written sources in Spanish.

Students will have 5 lessons per week, and will become proficient in the use of the language lab. In addition to standard lessons, there will also be a compulsory weekly lesson with the Spanish Assistant to provide additional opportunity for students to become more proficient in their speaking. The Department will also organise a study trip to take place in Year 13.

Course content

  • Social issues and trends
  • Political and artistic culture:
  • Modern day idols
  • Spanish regional identity
  • Cultural heritage
  • Today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens
  • Monarchies and dictatorships
  • Popular movements
  • Grammar

Entry requirements

A grade 6 in GCSE Spanish. Spanish national or part Spanish national students who do not have Spanish GCSE but can speak the language well will be considered.


Examination Board - AQA

Paper 1: Listening Reading and Writing

2 hours 30 – 100 marks – 50% of A-Level

  • Resources in Spanish taken from authentic sources
  • Translation to English (100 words) – 10 marks
  • Translation to Spanish (100) words – 10 marks

Paper 2: Writing

One text and one film – 80 marks – 20% - 2 hours

  • Answer 2 questions – 300 words each (no word limit)
  • The film to be studied will be El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labrynth) by Guillermo del Toro.
  • The chosen text is Rimas by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (subject to change)

Paper 3: Speaking

Total exam 21-23 minutes (including 5 minutes of preparation time) – 60 marks – 30%

  • Individual research project – 2 minute presentation and further discussion (9-10 minutes) – 35 marks. Cannot be based on book or film studied.
  • One of four sub-themes of Hispanic society or Artistic culture – stimulus card (5-6 minutes) – 25 marks.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Dame Alice Owen's School directly.

Last updated date: 31 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years