Imagine a language that takes you beyond the clichés of sandy beaches and rowdy resorts; beyond the fragrant lines of lemon groves and olive presses, to a world rich in history, art, literature and music. Learning Spanish at Brentwood enables pupils to discover a rich, cultural heritage, while simultaneously learning to communicate with over 500 million people worldwide.
Spanish is one of the widest spoken languages today, in fourth position after Mandarin, English and Hindi. It is also the official language on four continents - and given the fast rate of growth in the US and elsewhere, learning Spanish is a smart choice for pupils today; it opens up so many doors to international career opportunities.
At Brentwood, Spanish is a language option from the Second Year. As one of the most phonetic languages in the world, if you know how a word is spelled then you can usually work out its pronunciation. That is why we are passionate about vocabulary and grammar! Our pupil exchange to Seville and Sixth Form study visit to Salamanca bring to life the Spanish learning experience and provide a strong foundation for those who want to study beyond A Level or the International Baccalaureate programme.
To view the Spanish curriculum please click here.
Mrs Clare Vale
Head of Spanish
Mrs Vale joined Brentwood School in 2008 after teaching Spanish and French in London. Her interest in languages stems from her childhood in Canada and Brazil. She has lived in Spain and regularly travels there; Mérida, the dinosaur footprints and wine of Rioja, the conquistadors of Extremadura and the fiesta of Santiago de Compostela are favourites. After discovering Cuba and the Hispanic origins of Texas, thoughts turn to Latin America. Her dream is to fly over the Nazca lines and climb Macchu Picchu in Peru.
Miss Reina Campbell
Miss Campbell teaches Spanish and French. After completing her own studies at Brentwood School, she went to King’s College London to read Hispanic Studies. During her university course she lived for a year in the centre of Madrid. She spent much of her free time wandering around El Museo del Prado, contemplating Goya’s “Pinturas Negras” and other famous works, or eating chocolate con churros in the Chocolatería San Ginés. She has travelled all over Spain but her favourite Spanish city, after Madrid, is Barcelona, where she was blown away by the stunning architecture by Gaudí.
Miss Amy Leath
Miss Leath teaches Spanish and is also a Sixth Form Tutor. She teaches from the Second Year up to the Upper Sixth. She went to the University of Essex where she gained a 2:1 in Modern Languages. She completed her PGCE at the University of Warwick. She has a fat cat, lives in a blue house and drives a green car.
Mr Hugh Ottewell
Mr Ottewell teaches Spanish and French and is the Contingent Commander for the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). Mr Ottewell went to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where he read Spanish and Latin American Studies/Portuguese with French as a subsidiary subject. On graduation Mr Ottewell attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned as an officer in The Light Infantry (now The Rifles). Mr Ottewell left the Army in 2005 and retrained as a languages teacher. He is widely travelled and has a passion for all things hispanic. He is also a very keen sports coach and enjoys outward pursuits and foreign literature.
Mlle Irene Penalver- Escames
Mlle Penalver- Escames went to the University of Murcia and Essex and completed her teacher training at Anglia University in Chelmsford. She joined Brentwood School in 2004 after working in a school in Hertfordshire. She loves reading and going to the cinema.
Mr Rhodri Pritchard
Languages have always been in Mr Pritchard’s blood. His love of France, its tongue, landscapes and cuisine, came from his French mother, whilst his father, a lecturer in Spanish and exacting grammarian, introduced him to that language’s riches. He not only studied these languages at university but lived in France and Spain for considerable periods. Here he pursued his other passion - rugby - and was instrumental in re-establishing the now thriving sport at Brentwood after a decade’s hiatus. Mr Pritchard is a strong believer in cultivating practical language skills and has led dozens of MFL trips and visits to France and Spain, including sports tours and a thriving French rugby exchange.
Mme Solange Roast
Originating from the beautiful region of Normandy (Northern France), Madame Roast has always been interested in learning languages and travelling. She loves discovering new cultures, different ways of life, and meeting people from all over the world. She is also an avid practitioner of sport and always rises to new challenges. She specialises in tennis and plays for the county. She studied English at Caen University with Russian as a minor and Anglia Polytechnic University in Chelmsford. She enjoys British and American civilisation and literature. She is still keen to learn new languages and would particularly like to study Italian and German. In her free time Madame Roast loves going to the theatre and to the cinema. She teaches French, Spanish and Games at Brentwood School.
Mr Alex Yellop
Spanish language assistant Alex Yellop is a former pupil of Brentwood School. His love of languages was nurtured from an early age by the Language Department at Brentwood. After reading French and Spanish at the University of Manchester and completing his Master’s in Latin American Studies at King’s College, London, Alex is delighted to work alongside his former teachers. Alex’s academic interests range from Spanish language cinema to Cuban music. He is a keen sportsman and is looking forward to helping out with various sports teams.