Approximately 426 million people in the world speak Spanish, and it is the official language in 21 countries around the globe. Being able to communicate in Spanish will not only make travel to these countries easier, but open up an exciting range of opportunities. At Wetherby, the Spanish department aims to encourage boys to communicate effectively in Spanish and gain a greater understanding of both the language and cultures of Spain and Latin America. There are opportunities to travel abroad to Spanish speaking countries with the department a range of local trips within London itself, for example visiting a tapas restaurant, the Cervantes theatre and University workshops and open days.


Boys in Year 7 follow the ‘Viva’ course which introduces them to Spanish. Topics include ‘All about me, my home, family, friends, hobbies, school life, and my city.’ Boys are also encouraged to develop their understanding of Spanish grammar, including the present and future tense, adjective agreement, opinions, adverbs of frequency etc. Boys are exposed to a range of exciting cultural topics including study of ‘the Amazon rainforest, Christmas in Spain and Latin America, ‘Los Reyes Magos’, Guatemala: A case study, Spanish artists Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Spanish festivals and Mexico’s Day of the Dead’.


Boys starting Spanish in year 8 and 9 follow the Mira 1 express course by Anneli McLachlan. This course is specifically designed for pupils starting Spanish in year 8 or 9 and places a strong emphasis on Assessment for Learning. It will further motivate boys through fun ideas, games and thinking skills and caters to the individual needs of boys ensuring that they get the most out of lesson time. Topics studied include ‘my family and I, school, family and friends, my home, my town, free time, and making weekend plans. Boys are also encouraged to develop their cultural understanding of Spain and Latin America. These include: The Spanish Speaking World, Food and regional dishes of Spain and Latin America, Carnival, Spanish and Mexican Cinema and Tourism in Spain and the Americas. In addition to practicing the four language skills, boys are also exposed to other key linguistic skills such as dictionary skills, ICT skills, research, dictation and translation.


Boys taking Spanish in year 10 will follow the textbook ‘Edexcel International IGCSE Spanish’ and aim to take the exam at the end of year 11. The course is divided into five main topic areas that are taught over two years with topic areas a, b and c being covered in year 10, and the rest in year 11, allowing for time to be dedicated to revision and exam preparation. Topics include; ‘home and broad’, ‘education and employment’ and ‘house, home and daily routines’, ‘The world of work’, ‘Travel and tourism’, ‘healthy eating’ and ‘the environment’. This course provides extensive preparation to help the boys become independent, confident linguists and a grammar led approach ensures that they are equipped to progress into further study of Spanish. At iGCSE level, boys must complete 3 papers. Paper 1 (listening) is worth 25%, paper 2 (reading and writing) 50%, and paper 3 (speaking) 25%. Therefore it is important that boys pay equal attention to all four skill areas. It is hoped that boys with an interest at this level should consider further study of Spanish at A level.

Mr McFaul (BA.Hons, PGCE, QTS, MA) (Head of Department)