¡Bienvenidos al departamento de español!

Spanish has over 400 million native speakers making it the 2nd most widely spoken language in the world (Mandarin Chinese is 1st). It is the official language of 21 countries including Southern and Central American countries and parts of Africa. It is also the official language in some US states.


In a recent report from the British Council, Spanish was named as the most important language to the UK’s future given the increase in business with Latin America.

Spanish is studied by over 300 students here in St Mary’s from Yr8 through to A2 making it a popular language choice.

We encourage our pupils to develop confidence in the use of the target language through extra-curricular activities as well as to perform well in public examinations.

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way”. Frank Smith (Psycholinguist)

Teaching Staff:

  • Head of Department - Miss Joanne Mervyn
  • Teacher - Mrs Jane McEvoy
  • Teacher - Miss Claire McAtamney
  • Language Assistant - María Ortiz Calonge


Spanish students are encouraged to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in the target language through a variety of activities supplemented by the ¡Así! textbook. Initially we concentrate on Speaking and Listening skills and, as their confidence grows, we introduce writing skills. We also teach them about the culture and history of Spain as well as keeping them up to date with current events.

At the beginning of Yr8 they start to learn simple words and phrases and gradually add to these over the three years. From introducing themselves and talking about their families they go on to discuss more complex topics including their daily routine and holidays and future plans.

They have the opportunity to attend the weekly Spanish club run by our Spanish language assistant.


It is important to note that a GCSE in a Modern Language is necessary to apply for courses in universities in the Republic of Ireland.

Controlled Assessment:

  • Speaking - 30%
  • Writing - 30%

External Assessment:

  • Listening - 20%
  • Reading - 20%

Topics Include:

  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Free Time
  • Media
  • Holidays
  • Home and Local Area
  • Environment
  • School
  • Future Plans & Jobs


AS Spanish:

Listening, Speaking, Comprehension, Translation to English, Extended Writing (Selected Topic)

Topics Include:
Relationships, Family life and relationships, Personal and interpersonal relationships, Health and Lifestyle, Physical well-being, Mental well-being, Interests, Young People in Society, Influences on young people and Education and career planning.

A2 Spanish:

Listening, Speaking (including discussion on Spanish region), Comprehension, Translation to Irish, Extending Writing (Literature based – “Como Agua Como Chocolate”)

Topics Include:
Local and Global Citizenship, Equality, Multi-cultural society, Democracy and Conflict, Environmental Awareness, Conservation, Energy and Climate change.

The AS (two modules) is the first part of the full ‘A’ level course.
The full ‘A’ level comprises the AS and the second half of the ‘A’ level course referred to as A2.
However, the AS can be taken as a ‘stand-alone’ qualification without progression to A2.
The ‘A’ level GCE award will be based on the total marks from AS (50%) and A2 (50%).

All AS and A2 students have weekly conversation and grammar classes with our Spanish assistant.


  • Educational Visit to Barcelona
  • Spanish Club
  • European Day of Languages (26th Sept):
    • All pupils are invited to the annual European Breakfast
    • Yr9 Language Quiz
  • Continental Christmas Market


Spanish is useful in a wide variety of careers, including interpreting, translating and teaching. However, it is also extremely useful in business-related careers, journalism, tourism, government, marketing, engineering and the financial services.

Being able to communicate in Spanish has clear advantages in the workplace given the following facts: Research has shown that using language skills in business opens the door to a wide range of economic, social and personal benefits.

74% of employers are looking to employ people with conversational language skills.

Being able to communicate with prospective customers in their mother tongue can guarantee that they are more likely to do business with you.

Studying a foreign language improves your oral and written skills in English too, and also helps develop key communication skills that are crucial in the workplace.