All Modern Foreign Language teachers are committed to promoting excellence and to the great value of acquiring skills in foreign languages for students’ personal and academic development.  

Students can choose to study Spanish from Year 8 through to GCSE and A Level.

From the beginning students learn to listen, appreciate, research and have an open mind about other people’s culture. In Lower School, students acquire essential vocabulary and key grammar points enabling them to develop their skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking. There is an emphasis on teaching study habits that will help pupils to become independent learners. 

The curriculum is designed to foster students’ intellectual curiosity and a love of the language and Hispanic culture through exposure to cultural activities, trips and competitions.

At GCSE we consolidate what the students have learnt in Lower School. We progress at a faster pace to cover the AQA GCSE syllabus. We focus on developing students’ abilities to comprehend and express themselves in spoken and written Spanish. The curriculum also explores the culture and daily life in Spain and Latin American countries. The aim is to create an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating language learning experience for the students. We are very proud to offer a well-established and successful exchange trip with Fundación Santos Mártires in Cordoba, Spain.

The AQA course helps students to acquire a deeper understanding of the language, culture and society of Spanish–speaking countries. They are required to engage critically with stimulating texts and films. Students will have the opportunity to carry out an individual research project on an aspect of Hispanic culture. Grammar competence is an important element, and the students have to explore it in depth in order to master translation.  

The rigorous academic approach followed, combined with the wide variety of co-curricular activities offered, contribute to the students’ high level of competence in the language, their love of the Hispanic culture and their excellent A level results. 

Meet the Head of Department

Mrs Atkins comes from Cuenca, a UNESCO world heritage site located high in the Ecuadorian Andes. From an early age, she had an interest in the anglophone countries, and spent a year as an exchange student in the USA after leaving university. Later, she studied for a Master’s degree in TEFL at Reading University.

Her career at King Edward VI High School for Girls started in 2006 and since then, the school has seen an expansion in popularity and numbers in the study of Spanish. KEHS is proud of the wide programme of cultural activities it offers to its students, their love for the Hispanic culture, and their excellent exam results.

Outside of work, Mrs Atkins enjoys travelling, walking in the countryside, and socialising.

Future Careers

The increasing importance of Spanish as a language spoken in more than 20 countries opens future career paths to graduates with a high command of the language.  

Past students have shared their experience on how having studied Spanish has helped them to access graduate programmes, further training, attendance at conferences, work in collaborative research with universities in other countries, and employment abroad. 

KEHS students who pursue Spanish at university tend to opt for a combined degree with different subjects (English, History, Maths, International Business, Economics and Psychology) as well as other MFL and ancient languages.  

There is the misconception that a language graduate can only work in translation or teaching. However, it is not uncommon for our ex-students to end up working in the financial sector, investment, banking, marketing, journalism, human resources, academic research and the civil service, to mention just a few possible career options.

Beyond the classroom

At different levels of the school, students have an extensive programme of co-curricular activities: 

Lower school

  • Attend a study and cultural trip to Barcelona 
  • Attend a Theatre Production Company visiting the school every year 
  • Take part in the Spanish Club run by A Level students 
  • Take part in a translation competition run by Oxford University.


  • Participate in the long-established exchange with Fundación Santos Mártires in Córdoba. An excellent opportunity to enrich their cultural awareness, support their personal development and resilience and establish long lasting friendships in Spain
  • Benefit from the mentoring system run by A Level students
  • Have additional support lessons with their teachers outside the classroom 
  • Attend guest speakers’ talks in school.  

A Level

At this level, the students have an array of activities that allow them to practise their language skills and increase their leadership skills through:  

  • Teaching in the partnerships programme for primary schools 
  • Being mentors for younger students in the school 
  • Running the Spanish Club 
  • Running a Cinematic Society 
  • Taking part in translation and essay competitions. 
  • Raising funds for LAFF (a childrens’ foundation) in Perú 
  • Attending the cultural trip to a Spanish city 
  • Attending the theatre visit to Cervantes Theatre in London 
  • Attending extension lessons about culture, politics and literature in school. 


Students are encouraged to take a gap year to work and travel in Latin America, and attend intensive study courses and conferences offered by universities in Spanish speaking countries.

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