Being able to converse in a foreign language is a valuable asset; it opens up international study and work opportunities. Studying a language also fosters a range of transferable skills such as communication skills, critical thinking, resourcefulness and creativity, as well as linguistic, cultural and cognitive flexibility.

The GCSE Spanish course will be a continuation from Key Stage 3, with students continuing to improve and broaden their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, in order to be able to communicate in the language with increased fluency. Students will also learn more about Hispanic culture, deepening their understanding of the Hispanic world.

Course content

It is a linear qualification. Pupils will sit their exams at the end of year 11. Throughout the GCSE course, they will have a weekly lesson with the Language Assistant to develop their speaking skills.

Theme 1: Identity and culture
Me, my family and friends
Technology in everyday life
Free-time activities
Hispanic customs and festivals

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
Home, town, neighbourhood and region
Social issues
Global issues
Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment
My studies
Life at school/college
Education post-16
Career choices and ambitions


Listening – Paper 1 – 25% of the GCSE
45 minutes. Questions to be asked and answered in English, Spanish or non-verbally. 20% of the marks will be for questions set in the target language.

Speaking – Paper 2 – 25% of the GCSE
10 – 12 minutes plus preparation time. Three clear parts:

  • Role-play (2 minutes)
  • Photo card stimulus (3 minutes)
  • Conversation about the topics studied (5–7 minutes)

Reading – Paper 3 – 25% of the GCSE
1 hour. Questions for the reading comprehension to be asked and answered in English, Spanish or non-verbally.
Translation from Spanish into English (35 words Foundation/ 50 words Higher)

Writing – Paper 4 – 25% of the GCSE
1 hour 15 minutes.
Higher Tier (3 tasks)

  • Short writing task. There is a choice from two questions
  • Long writing task. There is a choice from two questions
  • Translation from English into Spanish

Year 10 pupils are invited to take part in the Susi Devlin Essay Award competition. We also take part in the annual GDST Languages Competition.

Next steps
Learning Spanish is a skill for life; the GCSE course enables students to travel and converse in the language and prepares them well for A Level. Students interested in living and working abroad, working in media, law, medicine or business should consider continuing with a language. Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world, with 400 million speakers.

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