Apprenticeship Success for Josh

Apprenticeship Success for Josh

QE is linked to the National Apprentice Scheme where students are matched to prestigious apprenticeship opportunities. One student who has used his A Levels to progress to this route is Josh Jackson. Josh has achieved a pleasing set of A Level results in ICT, Music Technology and Psychology and he has secured a high quality IT […]

August 18, 2016

Against the Odds

Against the Odds

Today at QE a large number of students are celebrating gaining their A levels with many having to overcome significant barriers to do so. Jonathan Raiseborough has just achieved impressive A Level grades in English Language, Graphics and Spanish and his experience is inspirational, a credit to his commitment and determination to succeed. Jonathan was diagnosed […]

August 18, 2016

Superb Results for QE Students

Superb Results for QE Students

Students and staff at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington are celebrating another year of excellent A Level results. QE is one of the largest A Level centres in the country and this year’s A Level pass rate is a wonderful 99.2% with a high grade rate (A*, A and B grades) of over 50%.  2 […]

August 18, 2016

News Archive


A/AS Level


Access To Higher Eduction

Evening Classes

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General Information

Spanish is a major world language and Spain is an important holiday destination and trading partner for us. Those who have a knowledge of this language are in great demand!

Speaking, listening, reading and writing skills are developed by progression through a series of topics which explore aspects of presentday life, current events and important issues. Spanish culture and civilisation are studied through documentary and video material, along with a range of practical activities. Students have one additional lesson per week with our Spanish Assistant.

AS Level

Those wishing to take this course will normally have at least the equivalent of a grade C in GCSE Spanish, though, in special circumstances, students with no previous qualifications in the language will be accepted on the course. Anyone contemplating joining the course without a GCSE qualification must contact the department prior to enrolment. The expectation would be that such students, if accepted, will study GCSE alongside the AS course, in their first year.

A2 Level

This course follows on from the AS course, allowing students to progress to a full A Level qualification in the language.

Course content


  • Conversation: General and topic-based conversation.
  • Grammar: An in-depth look at how the language works.


  • Media (including Television, Advertising and Communication technology)
  •  Popular Culture  (including Cinema, Music and Fashion/trends)
  • Healthy Living/Lifestyle  (including Sport/exercise ,Health and well-being and Holidays)
  • Family/Relationships (Including Relationships within the family, Friendships and Marriage/partnerships)


  • Conversation: General and topic-based conversation.
  • Grammar: An in-depth look at how the language works.


  • Environment: (including Pollution, Energy and Protecting the planet
  • Multicultural Society: (Including Immigration,  Integration and Racism)
  • Contemporary Social Issues: (including Wealth and poverty, Law and order and the Impact of scientific and technological progress) Plus two Cultural Studies Options:
  • Regional Study: Andalusia
  • Film Study: The films of  Icíar Bollaín,

How it is taught

The course is delivered in 5 hours a week. The language is taught through a wide range of activities which include:

  • Speaking Spanish in class or conversation group
  • Grammar exercises
  • Translation work
  • Reading comprehensions
  • Listening exercises
  • Vocabulary-building activities
  • Background reading
  • Watching videos/films/satellite TV
  • Reading a short story or play
  • Using the library and internet to do research
  • Independent listening programme

Examination details


AS Level is achieved on the successful completion of units SPAN1 and SPA2/V, set by the AQA examination board. The examinations are held in May/June.

SPAN 1 (Listening, Reading and Writing) 2 hours 70%

You have 2 hours to complete all 3 sections of the examination.

Listening: Using individual computers you listen to approximately 5 minutes of material and complete a number of tasks, which include questions and answers in English and Spanish and no verbal responses.

Reading: 3-4 items requiring short answers in Spanish or non-verbal responses and a cloze test, testing grammar

Writing: 1 essay (from a choice of 3) of a minimum of 200 words in Spanish, based on the topics studied.

SPA2/V 1 (Oral) 15 minutes (plus 20 mins preparation time) 30%

a) Discussion of one AS of the topics, based on stimulus material prepared in the 20 minutes immediately prior to the examination. (5 mins)

b) A conversation covering the other 3 AS topics  (The first chosen by you and the other 2 by the examiner) .  (10 mins).


A2 is gained by adding units SPAN 3  and SPA4V/4, set by the AQA examination board. The examinations are in May/June.

SPAN 3 (Listening, Reading and Writing) 2 ½  hours 35 % of A Level

You have 2 ½  hours to complete all 3 sections of the examination.


Using individual computers, you listen to about 6 minutes of material in Spanish  and complete 3-5 tasks requiring short answers in Spanish or non-verbal responses.


2-4 items requiring short answers in Spanish or non-verbal responses

Translation from Spanish to English

Translation Transfer of meaning (prose) from English to Spanish


One essayfrom a choice of 4 on the region or director. You must write a minimum of 250 words.

 SPA4/V (Oral) 15 minutes 15% of A Level

The examination is in 2 parts:

1 A  discussion based on a short written stimulus linked to one of the A2 topics and studied during a preparation period of 20 minutes.

You choose one of the two points of view expressed on your chosen card and

a Present the point of view you have chosen (max 1 minute)

b Defend / justify your point of view, as the examiner ‘argues’ the opposing view .

  • A conversation

A conversation covering both Cultural Topics you have studied.

(Approximately 5 minutes on each)                                                                                  

 Entry requirements

The normal minimum entry requirement is a C grade in Spanish at GCSE (or equivalent). However, a formal entry qualification is not always required:

  • Those who have spent time living in Spain will be considered for direct entry to the course
  • Those who have not had the opportunity to study Spanish at school but who are confident that they want to study the language to AS or A2 may be accepted, but would be required to study GCSE alongside the AS Level

Students should also meet the general college entry requirements for advanced level study. Please refer to the current Prospectus – advanced programmes, entry requirements.


The normal entry qualification is AS Spanish.

Useful / Common Subject Combinations

Spanish combines well with many subjects:

  • Other languages. These days it is useful to have a working knowledge of several languages
  • Travel/Tourism. Spain is a major tourist destination
  • Business/Economics. Spain and Latin America are important trading partners

Careers and HE Information

A number of our students have progressed through our courses to from Beginners’ Level to A Level and beyond. Some have found work in Spain or have participated in voluntary projects in Spanish-speaking countries. Others are putting their Spanish to good use in this country in business or education.

Other Relevant Information

Course notes will be provided and text books are issues from the library. You may find it very useful to have a ‘good’ Spanish/English dictionary. We recommend that you contact us for advice on this. As students of the college you will have full access to our internet facilities. This includes access to ‘Moodle’, our intranet, which can be accessed from home and which contains supplementary notes and activities and links to other selected and useful websites.

Contact us

We encourage prospective students to contact the department to discuss which course may be best for you, by coming to our registration and information sessions or by e-mail/telephone:

Tel: (01325) 461315

Equality & Diversity

The College actively promotes equality of opportunity and values diversity. It continuously strives to develop awareness of equality and diversity issues in its students and staff. It also seeks to ensure that its facilities and services are equally available to all. Each year a guide to ‘Learning Support at QE’ is published outlining support for students with any special learning needs. Most important of all, there is a commitment to mutual respect throughout the College and students attend Equality and Diversity meetings to discuss specific issues.


Please click here to read the policy. If you require any information on the website in an alternative format, e.g. as a hard copy, in Braille or translated into another language, please contact the college.

Supporting Documents:
Student Planner
Personnel Procedures Manual (available from the Personnel Officer, Curriculum Support or on-line Staff Guide)
Lesson Observation Scheme
College Charter
Equality Duty Statement
Anti-Bullying Policy (also available from the General Office)
Dignity at Work Policy
Equal Opportunities Monitoring – Employment
Equality & Diversity KPI Report 2013-14 (published 2015)
Review of Equality Objectives 2015

Library and ILT Resources

Study Facilities

As a student at QE, you will need to plan for independent study, when you are not at timetabled lessons. The Library, situated on the first floor within the Main Building,  is one of the main open access areas which can be used for study.  Other large study areas such as the Atrium and Mezzanine, which are to be found between the Abbey and Trinity Buildings, can be used between and after lessons.

Opening times:

Each area is open from 8.30am to 5.00pm on weekdays (closing at 4.30pm on Fridays).

Additionally, the Library remains open until 7.00pm on Mondays and Thursdays when Evening Classes are running.

During  holidays,  Reception staff will direct you to available areas if you choose to study within college. More information about these three areas is shown further below.


To help with your study requirements, you may find a visit to the QE Shop is useful.  It is next to the Library and sells stationery at very competitive prices.  The shop is open at break and lunchtimes.

ILT Resources

The College is proud of the ILT resources that are available for both students and staff. Every classroom has a digital projector, computer and access to the Internet, the College’s network and its Virtual Learning Environment. The College’s Virtual Learning Environment enables staff and students to access learning materials and resources from any computer connected to the Internet, at College or at home.

Helpful and well-qualified ILT staff are available to support both students and staff with their use of equipment and software.

There are many well-equipped ILT rooms, including ICT, Media and Art with access to suites of Apple computers. In addition, there are large open access areas for students to use during their study periods when they do not have classes. For example, in the Library there are 88 desk-top computers plus a number of Chromebooks available for short-term loan. There are also video editing facilities, scanners etc. and a loan system for audio visual equipment such as digital cameras and recorders.

WiFi access to the internet is available throughout the College for those students who wish to use their own devices.

We are adding to our resources all the time in order to ensure that students have access to the highest quality learning environment possible.

The Atrium

The Atrium contains computer workstations and there are a number of Apple Mac computers for those students who need to do video-editing. It is mainly booked for Extension Studies but is available outside of lesson times.

It is open each weekday from 8.30am.

Printing is available in black and white and colour in the Atrium.

The Mezzanine

Containing computer workstations plus desk areas, the Mezzanine is mainly booked for Extension Studies but is available outside of lesson times.

It is open from 8.30am each weekday.

Black and white printing is available here.

The Library

The Library is purpose built for sixth form use and an exciting extension and refurbishment was completed in January 2013.

It is open each weekday day from 8.30am for quiet/ silent study, and Library staff are always happy to help if you have any queries.

Library Facilities

There are 88 computer workstations and 98 study/reading spaces, 30 of which are within a separate silent study area.

Most of the Library computers must be booked in advance, using the My PC system. This allows students to plan study time effectively. You can use the system to book up to 3 days in advance, and have up to 4 bookings at any one time.

Printing is available in black and white and colour in the library. Scanning is also available here.

There is a pay photocopier for black/white or colour photocopies.

Library Resources

More than 9,000 items  can be borrowed or searched for by using the Library Catalogue.  Login to the catalogue with your college network details to check your loans and do renewals etc.

Your student ID card is also your library card, which allows you to borrow up to 30 items from college (as a maximum).

Library resources include books, journals and dvds. A selection of daily newspapers are also available.

A limited number of chromebooks may also be borrowed to use anywhere within the college.

Many library resources can be found in Moodle, including e-books and e-journals, plus handy guides to help you with aspects of your study, such as how to reference your research, and how to stay safe online.

Open Athens account

If you wish to use some of the online resources outside of college, you will be asked to enter your Athens account details. All full-time students will have an account set up at the start of the year.  It gives you access to the system which protects the resources we have subscribed to. There is no cost to you, it’s simply your usual college network login, with ‘qec’ added in front of your username.

Example:  Username = qec012345     and Password – 1234Abcd

Click here to go to the OpenAthens Site and login to see the resources you can use.

Contact us

You can contact us in the following ways;

Via the usual college address/telephone number

Email Library helpdesk –

Facebook – QE Library

Twitter @QELibrary




Equality Duty Statement and Objectives

Please click here to read the Equality Duty Statement. If you require any information on the website in an alternative format, e.g. as a hard copy, in Braille or translated into another language please contact the College.

Supporting Documents

Equality & Diversity Policy

College Mission and Strategic Objectives

HR Report 2014

Review of Equality Objectives 2015

College Charter

Equality & Diversity KPI Report 2013-14 (published 2015)


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