By teaching the Spanish language, we aim to develop a thirst for knowledge and passion for culture, language, people and travel in Spain and Latin America. There are more than 450 million speakers of Spanish worldwide in more than 20 countries. In addition, 75 million speak Spanish as their second language and it is growing rapidly in the United States. It is the second most spoken native language in the world, therefore a skill that pupils will find invaluable in the future. Spanish is a language that employers will value in the workplace. It also offers enriching travel opportunities and the chance to discover a diverse range of fascinating cultures.
Spanish at Christ’s Hospital is one of the most popular optional subjects and many pupils develop into top class linguists. The CIE IGCSE course is fun, dynamic and practical. We make use of up-to-date materials and technology. Pupils of all ages are encouraged to work independently at school and at home to develop their language skills. Pupils in GE, DG & GR (Years 11, 12 and 13) attend extra conversation classes with our native Spanish Language Assistant. Additional support is available beyond the timetable to support pupils striving to establish the foundations of language learning.
Many pupils that take IGCSE Spanish tend to carry on at A Level, and in recent years more than half then decide to carry on with Spanish as part of their university degree courses. Bespoke programmes are also organised for the most ambitious pupils that wish to go beyond A level, read languages at university or apply to Oxbridge.
Spanish Language Assistant
Each year we welcome a Spanish Language Assistant, who runs weekly tutorials in small groups to help pupils prepare for their speaking exams and also helps the younger pupils as they start their Spanish studies.
We aim to offer a Spanish trip every year. This is an integral part of the language learning process and a fascinating opportunity. Pupils combine lessons taught by native speakers with cultural excursions and activities. From architecture and history, to dancing, music and tapas – the pupils’ enthusiasm for all things Spanish gathers momentum on returning from a Spanish trip.
Mr. MPJ Wright, Head of Spanish
Spanish trip to La Coruña – Easter 2022
Once the obstacles of flight cancellation and PCR tests were overcome, the excitement of being in the beautiful province of Galicia at the beginning of the Easter break was awe-inspiring for our senior pupils, some having been unable to visit Spain for their entire two-year Spanish course.
The trip commenced with a guided walking tour around the headland and through the city of La Coruña, taking in stunning coves, spectacular beaches and historical plazas full of cafés and tapas restaurants. Our Grecian (Year 13) pupils were even interviewed by a local television news reporter in the street and asked to give their views on the new Spanish law regarding seat belts!
The itinerary was packed with a blend of linguistic, cultural, social and sporting opportunities, as well as a daytrip to the special city of Santiago de Compostela, its impressive cathedral, university buildings and cobbled streets full of tourists and students.
Our pupils attended twelve hours of lessons throughout the week, split into groups to provide a timely boost to both A level and IGCSE revision. The lessons were delivered by native teachers, communicating only in Spanish, and taking care to specifically revise topics and develop skills relevant to their examinations in the summer term.
The surfing lesson on a warm afternoon under a bright blue sky was a popular highlight, as was the handball training session at the local club, coached by a professional player and followed by the chance to meet some Spanish players of a similar age. Visits to the aquarium, the planetarium as well as plenty of ice-cream and a tortilla cooking demonstration completed the busy schedule.
The trip was an eye-opening experience for the pupils who have had an insight into one of the gems of hidden Spain that is Galicia and the Costa Verde. Feeling inspired to keep learning about Spanish people and culture, the appetite for travel has been well and truly restored and language skills consolidated.
Congratulations to the pupils, who were good humoured and great company throughout, throwing themselves into all activities, and appreciative of every opportunity.
IGCSE pupils :
‘It was fun, informative and educational as well.’
‘I feel more confident in my Spanish abilities.’
‘I would 100% recommend this to other students, the experience was rewarding.’
A level pupils :
‘This trip has been such a good experience, it’s not just about learning, it’s about living in the culture.’
‘I’ve learned so much about the food and the architecture. I’d love to come back and really immerse myself.’