Senior School Classes


By learning a modern language, pupils can gain skills for life. It helps breakdown barriers when you travel, it can give you an added advantage for your career and CV, and pupils get to learn about Spanish Culture.

Throughout the course of the year, pupils follow a basic introduction to Spanish language and culture. They cover the key topics of personal introductions, school life, family relations, describing their home and free time activities. Equal weighting is attached to the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking and particular emphasis is placed upon the acquisition of a rigorous grammatical base and good pronunciation.

Throughout the course of the year, pupils in S2 Spanish build upon the knowledge and skills they acquired last year. Specifically, they cover the topics of free time, describing where they live, the weather, television and film preferences and past holidays. They consolidate their knowledge of the present tense and also learn the near future and preterite tenses. Equal importance is attached to developing each of the four key skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking though special emphasis is placed upon the importance of spoken communication.By the end of the S2 year, it is anticipated that pupils have a sufficient grounding to progress to National 4 / 5 study.

S3 and S4: National 5

To achieve Modern Languages National 5, learners must pass all of the Units and a course assessment. The Understanding Language Unit focuses on the receptive skills of reading and listening and will enable learners to develop their knowledge of more detailed language in the contexts of society, learning, employability and culture. The Using Language Unit focuses on the productive skills of talking and writing. The ability to apply grammatical knowledge is a skill which underpins both units. In terms of assessment there is a new emphasis on naturally occurring evidence that involves more than one of the four key skills. Staff can make use of a wider range of evidence including digital or spoken presentations, discussions, extended writing, notes, multi-modal texts or podcasts. An integrated approach to assessment (for example, an assessment combining listening and talking) will develop the learner’s skills in a realistic, communicative situation and will reduce the amount of assessment.

Assessment: The course assessment comprises:

  • Question paper 1: reading and writing;
  • Question paper 2: listening;
  • Performance: talking – Learners will deliver a presentation and engage in a conversation in the modern language.

S5 and S6: Higher

The course is divided into two units, one mandatory and one a choice of two to be studied for the duration of the academic year. Studying Higher Spanish provides a worthwhile and enjoyable educational experience for candidates and provides pupils with an increasing bank of knowledge about foreign country or countries and its/their customs and ways of life.

Unit 1: Language: This unit aims to develop all language skills for use in a range of purposes. Contexts for this language work are defined in three broad themes – lifestyle, education and work and the wider world.
Unit 2: Either a) Extended reading/viewing or b) Language in work:
a) This unit aims to develop competence in the four skills of speaking, writing, reading and listening. Pupils will study something drawn from one of the following categories:
  • texts linked by subject matter, such as a magazine, newspaper or short story
  • texts linked by subject matter, developing in greater depth a topic studied
  • a book appropriate to the level of study and to the interests of the candidates written for speakers of French
  • film, video or TV viewing supported by written texts.
b) This unit aims to develop competence in the four skills of speaking, writing, reading and listening. The type of study undertaken is drawn fro a series of texts on a vocational or work related area of study selected from the vocational area of:
  • work experience
  • business studies
  • travel and tourism
  • information technology
Assessment: The course will be by means of a combination of internal assessment (externally verified) and external examination. The examination is 2hrs 40 min long with a 6-8 minute oral examination.
S6: Advanced Higher
Unit 1 Language: There are 3 broad themes that are subdivided into related topics and via which grammar is communicated and studied:
  • Personal, social and cultural issues – pattern of family life and media and the arts
  • Topical and cultural issues – European/global issues and issues relating to the country where the language is spoken
  • Environmental studies – pollution/conservation
Unit 2 EITHER Extended reading/viewing:
Two areas of study are required: 1 written literary text with/without related video/film; any 1 of the following with/without related video/film, a second written text, a set of linked written text or a background topic.
OR Language in work: The study of texts, research and materials relating to the vocational areas of
  • travel and tourism
  • information technology
  • business studies
  • work experience
Assessment: Assessment is by a series of internal and external assessments that test the four skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking). A satisfactory performance in the internal assessments is required. The external writing test is both via a folio of work (15%) and a final exam (20%) and the external oral assessment (25%)will be conducted and marked by a visiting examiner. The listening and reading are worth 15% and 25%, respectively.