The Spanish Department was established in Bolton School Boys' Division in 2009 and offers the AQA AS and A2 Spanish specification to boys in Years 12 and 13 who have completed GCSE Spanish.
Why study Spanish?
Spanish has over 329 million native speakers, making it the world's second most commonly spoken language. Not only is it the official language of Spain, but also of over 20 countries in Latin America and Africa.
The ability to speak a modern language is a great bonus on a CV. Languages are no longer compulsory at GCSE level in UK schools. This means the number of students who can offer a language at A-Level on their university application form is decreasing. By taking Spanish at AS/A2 you will be setting yourself apart from other university applicants. Whether you intend to study modern languages at university or not, an AS or A2 in Spanish will be a useful and sought-after qualification.
Spanish at AS/A2
The AQA Spanish AS/A2 course that we follow will appeal to students who enjoy languages and have the desire to experience something new. The course is broad, offering students the chance to look at everything from the media and popular culture through to politics and society. You can expect your understanding of Spain and Latin America, their histories, cultures and literatures to increase as your linguistic skills develop. Both the AS and A2 are examined by a final set of exams.
The AS course covers:
- Media: TV, advertising and communication technology
- Popular culture: cinema, music and fashion/trends
- Healthy living/lifestyle: sport/exercise, health and well-being and holidays
- Family/relationships: relationships within the family, friendships and marriage/partnerships.
The A2 course covers:
- Environment: pollution, energy and protecting the planet
- The multi-cultural society: immigration, integration and racism
- Contemporary social issues: wealth and poverty, law and order and the impact of scientific and technological progress
- Cultural topic: two cultural topics are studied during the A2 year. In 2013/14 we are studying Como Agua Para Chocolate, a novel about the Mexican Revolution and La Historia Oficial, an Argentine film set in the years following the military dictatorship.
What will the lessons be like?
- A-Level Spanish lessons will be practical, interactive and often discussion-based. They will be varied and will have a specific focus such as on oral skills, listening, grammar or topic discussion.
- You will acquire the language gradually and naturally through regular exposure to a wide variety of authentic resources such as film, podcasts, newspapers and music.
- You will have opportunities to develop your spoken Spanish with study trips and with internet and email links to learners in Latin America.
- You will get to carry out a research project on an area of personal interest as part of the course.
- You will become a flexible and independent learner of Spanish - a useful and lifelong skill.
Who can study AS/A2 Spanish?
Any pupil who has passed GCSE Spanish can elect to study Spanish in the 6th form at Bolton School Boys' Division. The ability to get good grades at AS and A2 in Spanish requires a large amount of independent work. Consequently pupils should have a genuine interest in Spanish and the ability to go beyond the basic structures encountered at GCSE. Although the Spanish Department will not turn down anyone who has a genuine passion to learn Spanish, anyone struggling to gain a Grade B or above at GCSE is unlikely to succeed at A-level and this should be taken into consideration when selecting the subject.