Peter Symonds College

Study at PSC

This AS Level course will move you on from GCSE, covering all four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. You will gain a greater knowledge of the grammatical structures and develop accuracy in the language. Teaching is based on a thematic approach, and the language is taught through a variety of contemporary issues, culture and society from the Spanish-speaking world, using authentic resources. The study of a Spanish film will be an integral focus at AS Level.

Course Content

Your aim will be to improve your language skills, whilst gaining an understanding of the contemporary society, cultural background and heritage of Spain and Latin America. You will learn to speak and write at length in Spanish about all aspects of Spanish-speaking societies and cultures. You will study culturally relevant, familiar and motivating topics from the following themes:

  • Aspects of Hispanic-speaking society; issues and trends such as: the changing nature of family, the cyber-society and equal rights, the world of work. You will also learn about artistic culture in the Hispanic-speaking world and its modern-day idols, Spanish regional identity, and the cultural heritage.
  • In class, you will practise all four skills and will engage in whole-class, group and pair discussions. From October to May you will also have a small group conversation session with a Spanish language assistant. There is a clear independent study programme to complete outside lessons, dividing your weekly study time between reading, writing, listening tasks and learning vocabulary. 
  • You will also have the opportunity to reinforce your Spanish by joining our very popular annual Spanish study visit in the spring term.

Methods of Teaching

Lessons are taught mainly in Spanish and students will be working individually, in pairs, or in small groups on a variety of activities including:

  • Reading
  • Keeping track of notes from topics covered in class
  • Extension work, making use of online resources to acquire a wider range of vocabulary
  • Grammar revision will be an integral part of daily activities in class
  • Engaging in many oral activities such class discussions.
  • Working in the Language Multi-media Centre to practise your listening skills.

Learning through independent active study is crucial to your progress, and carefully monitored programmes will support you in this.

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

All four skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) will be assessed at the end of the AS course, with cultural content forming a key part of the assessment. Assessment methods will include translation from and into Spanish, speaking, writing and listening/reading comprehension and grammar.

Where Could It Take Me?

This practical, applied approach to the study of Spanish means that it will be useful to students of the arts and sciences alike. Being able to continue with Spanish beyond GCSE level will equip you with academic and employment benefits.

There are many good reasons to study Spanish, and these include:

  • Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world.
  • Spanish is spoken in 23 countries as a first language.
  • Knowledge of a foreign language is highly valued by Universities and employers.

Financial Implications

Students will have access to resources from the Learning Resource Centre, the Spanish department can also loan some materials but students will need to purchase their own online-textbook and other course materials for use at home.

Study visits abroad: The oral examinations account for a high percentage of the total mark. We therefore strongly encourage students to visit a country in which Spanish is spoken. An optional study trip takes place annually and the inclusive cost is approximately £730 for one week (excluding pocket money). You will also have the opportunity to attend a film study day, focus on the film studied at AS level Pan’s Labyrinth at the BFI in London.

The College has a Student Support Fund for those students who may have difficulty meeting these costs.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English at grade 5 or above plus grade 6 or above in GCSE Spanish. Students with a grade 6 in Spanish will be supported by an extra grammar support session every week.

Most Recent Results

Below is a summary of the most recent set of results for this subject:

Grade: A B C D E U Total
Total: 0 1 1 1 0 0 3
Percentage 0.0 33.3 33.3 33.3 0.0 0.0