Spanish IGCSE

Spanish IGCSE

Develop Spanish language skills to communicate in a variety of situations, including the workplace. As your language skills develop, you will also explore aspects of Hispanic culture and its traditions and festivals.

Why St Mary’s

Inspired by subject-specialist teachers, who are passionate about Spanish language and culture, you will learn in a creative environment, with access to all the technology and resources you need to enrich your language skills.

Taught through engaging topics, Spanish IGCSE will enable you to develop the skills you need to communicate effectively in a range of situations, including in the workplace and when travelling overseas. It will also give you an insight into Hispanic culture, including traditions and festivals.

Our enriched learning opportunities can include:

  • Competitions during Languages Week
  • Performances and exhibitions at Cambridge theatres, cinemas and museums
  • Debating competition in Cambridge
  • Spanish film club
  • Trips and an opportunity for work experience abroad
  • Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation
  • Our weekly drop-in lunchtime surgeries offer additional 1:1 support

Course overview

The syllabus content is organised around five topic areas:

  • Area A: Home and abroad
  • Area B: Education and employment
  • Area C: Personal life and relationships
  • Area D: The world around us
  • Area E: Social activities, fitness and health

You will undertake three assessments, in each of the following areas:

  • Paper 1 Listening
  • Paper 2 Read and Writing
  • Paper 3 Speaking


The structure of the examination is as follows:

  • Paper 1 Listening (25%): students listen to a number of recordings and answer questions with non-verbal responses (e.g. tick boxes) and verbal responses in Spanish. The examination lasts 30 minutes with an extra five minutes of reading time (40 marks)
  • Paper 2 Reading and Writing (50%): students read a number of texts and answer questions with nonverbal responses (e.g. tick boxes) and verbal responses in Spanish. There are two extended writing tasks: the first requires about 60-70 words to be written in Spanish, and the second will be narrative, descriptive or discursive and may be a letter, report, article, or page from a diary, for example. The examination lasts 1 hour 45 minutes (80 marks)
  • Paper 3 Speaking (25%): students complete a presentation and discussion based on a picture of the student’s choice and a general conversation covering two of the topic areas listed. The examination is carried out by the teacher who has taught the class and lasts 10 minutes. It is recorded internally and assessed externally (40 marks)

All skills are assessed at the end of Year 11 in external examinations. There is no controlled assessment in this subject.

At a glance
  • Syllabus: Edexcel IGCSE 4SP1
  • 3 assessments
  • 6-day Spanish trip (optional)
  • Small class sizes
  • In-depth, personalised support
You will enjoy this course if you ...
  • Have good attention to detail
  • Like thinking analytically
  • Are keen to discuss topical issues
  • Are interested in Hispanic language and culture

What our teachers say...

At St Mary’s we are all passionate about communication and culture. Each member of the Spanish department has their own specific area of interest, such as gastronomy, music, dance, politics, sport and art. I personally decided to teach Spanish because I love to know what is happening around me in different countries! I find it frustrating to not be able to listen in to conversations, or read books and newspapers, or understand directions, in an unfamiliar language. The great thing about speaking Spanish is that it is helpful in so many different countries around the world.”

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.Nelson Mandela

Language opens up communication and understanding between different countries – and from that comes collaboration. From facilitating international research, business projects or policies, the future relies on us working across borders to build a better world.

By understanding different cultures, we can build better international relations, built on mutual respect.

Former St Mary's students have gone on to leading universities to study Spanish alongside history and other foreign languages, including German, Catalan and Russian. A Level Spanish also covers a rich cultural history and therefore connects this subject with arts-based and history degrees.

Spanish is the second most widely-spoken language in the world with over 400 million speakers, therefore it opens up numerous academic and career opportunities, plus it is a great skill to have if you would like to travel and work abroad.

Graduates in Spanish enter diverse careers including: translation, education, tourism, marketing, business and diplomacy.

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