Would you like to watch Money Heist or Cable Girls without subtitles and understand the plot? 

Do you want to fight for human rights in Venezuela

Think you could do a better job than Marcelo Bielsa’s translator

The study of Spanish will help you do all of these things and more. Spanish is a truly facilitating subject and can be studied as part of most degree courses including a year living and working in a Spanish-speaking country making you fully fluent and super employable in your future career.


The A Level course, we explore the Spanish-speaking world and its culture, past and present, building on the basic knowledge, which students have already acquired at GCSE. At the same time, we help students to develop their linguistic ability so that they are able to use Spanish with increasing independence, satisfaction and confidence, which will ultimately enable them to pursue Spanish in higher education or training, or use it meaningfully in future employment and when travelling in a Spanish-speaking country. In Spanish, we aspire to nurture students who are open-minded and have an interest in the wider world, and thus we encourage students to break out of the insularity of their own environment and broaden their horizons.

The Cervante’s Institute’s latest data shows that almost 500 million people have Spanish as their mother tongue (6.2% of the world’s population). The total number of potential Spanish users is close to 600 million, if speakers with limited proficiency and learners of Spanish as a second or foreign language are added to the native speakers. These almost 600 million represent 7.5% of the world’s population. Therefore, having 500 million native Spanish speakers makes Spanish the second mother tongue in the world in terms of number of speakers, and the second language for international communication as well as being the official language of 21 countries. In addition, it is studied by almost 22 million people in 110 countries, and according to the British Council’s Language Trends report, in 2023 and for the fourth year running, Spanish continued to have the highest number of A level entries and is predicted to remain the most popular A level language in schools across England. Spanish is also the second-most-used language on the internet, where it has great growth potential.

Not only is learning Spanish becoming increasingly crucial in terms of the global economy, it can also play a major role in your own personal development. The Spanish passion for living is contagious, and once you start to learn about their language and culture, you won’t ever want to stop.


A level Spanish can help with many career paths. The Confederation of British Industry’s recent report highlighted the increasing importance of language learning to enable a post-Brexit UK to seize global opportunities effectively.  For those who want to specialise in language, there is translation, teaching or interpreting. For those looking towards a career in travel, business, media, hospitality and tourism, being proficient in a language will give you even broader career options in a number of fields including engineering and designing. Moreover, with Spanish being the third most used language on the internet, it will be a great asset for those interested in broadcast media or journalism.

Spanish, as with any foreign language, is an invaluable asset in the vast majority of employment sectors and vocations. It can also be readily combined with many other degree subjects at university allowing you to work or study for a year in a Spanish-speaking country during your degree course. Leaving university with the ability to converse fluently in Spanish will only increase the opportunities available to you.


We offer our students many opportunities to engage with Spanish outside the classroom. This includes trips to the cinema so see recently released Spanish-language films, visiting the theatre to experience all-Spanish productions of key texts from the specification, as well as going out for tapas! Students are offered the opportunity to visit Spain during the two-year course. In the past, students have also taken the initiative to secure work experience in a Spanish-speaking country and we are able to facilitate this.


We follow the AQA exam. Spanish, Spanish and German cover similar topics. The new spec started in September 2016 with the first AS exam in Summer 2017 and the first A Level exam was in Summer 2018. The new AS exam does not count towards the A Level qualification; many schools, like Harington, have therefore decided not to enter students for this. There will, however, be internal exams in June of Year 12.

The structure of the A Level exam is explained below. You will be assessed across three papers at the end of year 13.

Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing (50% of A Level)
This is listening, reading and translation all in one paper.  You will have to manage your own time so that all questions are answered in the given time.  You will have control over your listening tracks and can listen to them as many times as you want.  In both the listening and reading sections, there are questions which require you to summarise information you have heard or read in Spanish in no more than 90 words. All questions are in Spanish and require an answer in Spanish, unless otherwise stated.

In detail, this is a 2 hours 30 minutes paper that is separated into two sections:

Section A – Listening and writing (30 marks)

In this section, you will have to listen to texts of various length and respond to questions in Spanish. You will have to write a summary of a recording in no more than 90 words.

Section B – Reading and writing (70 marks)

In this section, you will have to read texts from various sources and answer questions in Spanish. You will have to write a summary of a text in no more than 90 words. There are also two translation tasks of approximately 100 words; one from English into Spanish, and one from Spanish into English.

Paper 2: Writing (20% of A Level)
Throughout the course you study a film and a text in-depth, looking at characterisation, themes, historical context and symbolism among many other things which will prepare you to write an essay on each Spanish work in the exam. You will have a choice of question to answer on both the book and the film. The exam board recommend 300words in Spanish for each essay, however, there is no word limit.

Paper 3: Speaking (30% of A Level)
The speaking exam is separated into two parts:

Part 1 (5-6mins) Discussion of one sub-theme

As part of studying the 4 broad themes with your class teacher, you will also research, discuss and debate the sub-themes and other related issues in lessons. Upon entering the exam, you are given a choice of two stimulus cards (each from a different sub-theme) and you choose one of them. The cards contain a picture, a text and three questions. You will have 5 mins to prepare to answer the three questions and any follow-up questions on the same sub-theme. You will also be expected to as the examiner two questions arising from the material on the card.

Part 2 (2min presentation and 9-10min discussion)

You will have to choose a subject or key issue that is of particular interest to you and which relates to a country where Spanish is spoken. This will require you to research information from different sources both printed and on the internet in order to prepare a 2 min spoken presentation of your findings in Spanish followed by a 10 min discussion of the issue with the examiner.


For admission to A Level Spanish, our usual minimum requirements are:

  • Students will need to have achieved a grade 6 or above in Spanish.