The Spanish department at Radley offers the exciting opportunity to study the second most widely-spoken language in the world.
Spanish is a popular language option in Shell, and most of our students have not studied Spanish before they join us. The majority go on to develop a real interest in the language and Hispanic culture, choosing it as one of their GCSE options, with many eventually choosing it as one of their A level subjects.
Spanish is taught by a dynamic and talented team of teachers, including native speakers, who do their utmost to inspire and nurture our Hispanists. We use different and exciting techniques in the classroom to ensure that the experience of learning Spanish is as effective and enjoyable as possible. We stay up-to-date with the latest educational tools and technologies to enable the best learning experience for our students, and offer support through online resources that boys can access at any time.
Our Hispanists achieve very strong results indeed. Last year’s candidates scored 100% A*/A/B grades at A level and 98% A*/A grades at IGCSE level.
Our IGCSE course gives students the confidence to speak and write spontaneously, as well as deal with spoken and written texts on a variety of topics. Boys’ love of the language and of Hispanic culture is carefully nurtured so they can realise their linguistic potential both in the examination, and beyond. At the end of the Fifths, boys sit the CIE IGCSE Spanish exam, which is equally weighted to assess all four of the main skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing).
At A level, we offer the Pearson Edexcel course, which allows students to broaden their knowledge of Hispanic culture, alongside developing the grammatical skills required by a linguist at an advanced level. Boys study one film and one literary text in depth, and others to complement their study of other topics, as well as looking into the evolution of Spanish society, political and artistic culture throughout the Hispanic world, immigration and multiculturalism, and recent Spanish history. Boys carry out an independent research project, allowing them to explore an area of their own particular interest more fully. Boys develop their spoken fluency through frequent one-on-one oral sessions which see them well-prepared for both the A level examination and using their Spanish across the world.
As part of our commitment to our Hispanists, the Spanish department organises an annual exchange with Viaró School (Barcelona) for Remove boys, and a Spanish Language and Culture Trip to Madrid for our 6.1 students. In addition, activities outside the classroom are organised to make sure our students are exposed to the rich variety of Spanish and Latin American culture and have the opportunity to practise their conversational language in a range of contexts.
A considerable number of those studying Spanish at A level continue studying Spanish after Radley. Typically, nearly 60% go on to read Spanish at university, either as part of a Modern Languages degree, or of a joint honours course, such as European Studies, International Relations, or even Engineering with Spanish. Prospective Oxbridge candidates receive a comprehensive programme of tailored support to foster their passion for literature, linguistics and idiomatic flair. Our most talented candidates in recent years have successfully secured places for Modern and Medieval Languages.
For those interested in delving further into the Spanish language and Hispanic culture, the Spanish Society complements their IGCSE or A level course, offering a range of talks on literature, history, cinema, linguistics and career options throughout the year to encourage discussion and foster an interest in the wider world.