Accessibility links

Spanish AS & A Level at Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School

Course description

The MFL Department prides itself on its excellent results at KS4 and at KS5 and we know that Language qualifications are very highly regarded by universities. In fact, a language qualification is not only desirable but a requirement at many of the UK's leading universities. Language studies offer many valuable, enriching opportunities and statistics show that those who can speak another language are very marketable and can earn a higher salary.

Did you know that 350 million people speak Spanish worldwide? A language opens a range of employment opportunities at home and abroad which will allow you to travel whilst also using your language.

We believe that, although challenging, the A Level course in Spanish is incredibly rewarding for the serious student. The department is currently establishing links with organisations in Spain with a view to securing exchange and work experience opportunities for students at A Level. This programme will help you to improve your speaking and listening skills in an authentic setting and grow into a confident linguist.

The Advanced Level language courses have been created to build upon the skills that you have developed at GCSE. The aims of these courses are to:

  • Enable you to communicate easily in the chosen language, seeking and conveying information, expressing ideas, opinions and feelings. To this end you will have a weekly, two-hour long session with our Spanish assistant.
  • Develop your understanding of both the written and the spoken language. The listening exam allows you to work at your own speed with your own CD.
  • Form a sound basis of language skills for further study or for continuing use in work and leisure.
  • Encourage contact with the native speaking communities through use of different media and, where possible, travel and residence.

Course content

There are three principal areas of study, which are further divided in to sub-themes:

1 Social issues & Trends

a. Aspects of Hispanic society:

  • i. Modern & traditional values: changes in the family; attitudes towards marriage/ divorce; the influence of the Catholic Church
  • ii. Cyberspace: the influence of the interne; the benefits and risks of social networks; smart phones and our society.
  • iii. Equal rights: women in the workplace; gay and transgender rights.

b. Multiculturalism in Hispanic Society

  • i. Immigration: benefits and negative aspects; Immigration in the Hispanic world; illegal immigrants.
  • ii. Racism: racist and xenophobic attitudes; anti-racism approaches; anti-racist law.
  • iii. Integration: education and religion.

2. Political & Artistic Culture

a. Artistic Culture in the Hispanic world

  • i. Modern day idols: singers and musicians; TV and cinema stars; models.
  • ii. Spanish regional identity: traditions and customs; gastronomy; languages.
  • iii. Cultural heritage: tourism and Hispanic civilisations.

b. Aspects of political life in the Hispanic world

  • i. Today's youth, tomorrow's citizens: young people's attitudes to politics.
  • ii. Monarchies and dictatorships: Franco; Spanish monarchy; the ideal society.
  • iii. Popular movements: effectiveness of strikes and protests; trade unions; social protests.

3. Grammer

Students will also study one film (Pan's Labyrinth/ El laberinto del fauno) and one play (Lorca's La casa de Bernarda Alba).

Entry requirements

GCSE Grades A* - C in 5 subjects (including English and Mathematics) GCSE Grade B in Spanish


Examination (100%)

The new Spanish course is a linear qualification which means that all students will be assessed by examination at the end of the course.

There are three exams that take place at the end of the course.

  • Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing 2hrs30. 50% of A Level.
  • Paper 2: Writing – a written exam based on the film and play of study. 2hrs. 20% of A Level.
  • Paper 3: Speaking The speaking exam is based on a student's individual research project and one of the sub-themes above. 21-23 minutes. 30% of A Level.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School directly.

Last updated date: 07 December 2016
Provider logo

Key information