If you have any further enquiries, please email Mr Andrew Smith, Head of Spanish, at

Why study Spanish?

Después de haber aprobado el examen de GCSE con buenas notas, tendrás una oportunidad fantástica al empezar esta asignatura de A Level que es divertida y además útil en el mundo laboral de hoy en día. Hablarás mucho en clase sobre la vida en los paises de habla hispana con temas de interés universal, de tu propia vida y de tus opiniones. También leerás, escucharás y escribirás mucho.

Seguirás a muchos estudiantes con éxito que han obtenido resultados excelentes en años recientes entre los cuales varios de ellos cursan sus estudios de Lengua y Literatura Hispánica en la Universidad. ¿Te gustaría estudiar o trabajar en España o en Latinoamérica? Tendrás la mitad del mundo en tus manos.

What does the study of Spanish involve?

Having got this far, you are clearly committed to Spanish as a possible option. Intensive grammar revision and enhancement are necessary to bridge the gap between GCSE and authentic Spanish materials, which you will encounter immediately.

Why at Salesian College?

In September 2023, two of our four A Level students started degrees combining Spanish with other subjects. A recent student started French and Spanish at Cambridge, another who went to Nottingham University spent his year abroad in Brazil and Colombia whilst studying Spanish and Portuguese, and another at Exeter University taught in our Barcelona Salesian exchange school. Given that our groups average five students, your individual speaking topic preference (recent examples include the importance of the environment in Peru, Catalan independence, German influence on Argentina and the political and economic crisis in Venezuela) receives personal tutor status. Add this to multiple contacts available internationally with Salesian Schools which can potentially supply from work experience to voluntary work, mentoring younger students in Spanish and many other activities, studying Spanish A Level at Salesian College offers you a wealth of opportunities to engage your passion for the Hispanic world.

  • Annual exchange with a Salesian School in Barcelona during Year 12
  • A work experience project in Barcelona during the summer of Year 13
  • A work placement during the year abroad at University as Language Assistant at Salesian College Sarria in Barcelona and its benefits connected to the Salesian network.
  • Useful contacts with the market world in Madrid via the careers department in the Salesian School (Soto del Real)
  • Extra lessons and guidance for Oxbridge candidates

What does the course involve?

In Year 12 your exams will assess speaking, listening, reading and translation into English and Spanish, and the study of one set text or one film.

In Year 13 your exams will assess speaking, listening, reading and translation into English and Spanish, and the study of one more set text or one film (but not two films).

Skills required

You will have achieved at least a 6 at GCSE, although the majority who choose Spanish have gained grades 7-9. Strong analytical skills when reading and listening are allied with the ability to articulate an argument deploying discriminating research, logic and imagination when writing and speaking.

What the Spanish Department offers in teaching and resources

Mr Smith and Mrs Cardona share both Year 12 and Year 13 teaching equally and all students spend 30 minutes per week speaking with a native Spanish Language Assistant. You will use excellent web based resources, which explore topical Hispanic and global issues. These are used in conjunction with AQA Spanish for A Level.

What is expected from Spanish students?

Punctuality, diligence, fastidiousness and an overwhelming desire to communicate via speaking and writing your opinions enthusiastically and persuasively in another language are the X factors bred into the good linguist. These skills combined are shared by few students in the UK. If you've got these, then we'd love to see you next year.

What can an A Level in Spanish lead to?

In recent years several outstanding scientists have chosen two or three A Level sciences plus Spanish as a legitimate aid to their career prospects. They have achieved fine results, which suggests that Spanish is compatible with virtually anything, justifying its choice with any subjects along the spectrum between pure science and pure art.

Several students have continued Spanish at university in combination with other romance languages (one who recently finished Chinese at Manchester attests to the discipline preparing him well for his course); others have continued Spanish as a high level subsidiary to Economics, History and Philosophy and this year, a joint honours with PE at Loughborough. A natural progression to Portuguese enabled one student to volunteer as a helper at the Rio Olympics during his year abroad.

The increasingly mobile workforce of the 21st century, whether within or without the EU, requires talented linguists in the fields of finance, law, the Foreign Office and medicine. You could equally be importing wine from Chile, negotiating building contracts in rural Spain. One recent Salesian College Spanish graduate is working with Apple’s Spanish and South American operations, and another works for a German bank in Lisbon. The opportunities to exploit your passion for this discipline depend upon the limits of your imagination.