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Spanish Essay is Outstanding Achievement

Senior School

15 September 2023

During the summer holidays, we actively encourage our students to extend their learning outside the classroom - for instance undertaking additional reading that they might enjoy - and this is exactly what Year 10 student Alyzah did. 

After asking Mr Flox, Head of Spanish, to recommend some books to read over the summer holidays, Alyzah started reading in Spanish "El tiempo entre costuras", a novel by Spanish author María Duenas, which narrates the life of Sira Quiroga, a young seamstress who leaves her native Madrid before the beginning of the Spanish Civil War to settle in Tangiers with the love of her life, without realising that her life would change forever. It has been described by some critics as "a gripping adventure in which haute couture ateliers, the glamour of grand hotels, political conspiracies and the dark missions of the secret services merge with loyalty to those we love and the irrepressible power of love.” It is one of the best-selling works of Spanish literature in recent years and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.

Not only did Alyzah enjoy reading this exciting novel but she has also written an essay to analyse how the different types of conflict within the plot contribute to developing and enhancing the main themes in the novel. For those Spanish speakers, the opening paragraph of her essay is reproduced below. This is an impressive accomplishment for a Year 10 student who displays a great deal of maturity and mastery in her use of language, more typical of an A-Level student rather than a student who is at the start of the GCSE course. 

The MFL department look forward to seeing Alyzah develop her talent in Spanish further and they would also like to encourage more students to undertake independent reading in order to develop their competence in their studied languages further. 

Well done, Alyzah!

¿Cómo desarrolla o realza los temas los conflictos de la historia?

El tiempo entre costuras es un libro escrito por María Dueñas que sigue las dificultades a las que se enfrenta una joven modista, Sira Quiroga. Quiroga es un personaje fascinante ya que ella se traslada a un país desconocido (Marruecos) con un hombre al que acaba de conocer (Ramiro Arribas). El libro comienza antes de la Guerra civil española y describe a las experiencias de Quiroga en Tetuán (la capital del Protectorado español en Marruecos) mientras su madre se queda en un Madrid devastado por la guerra. Aunque ella ha sufrido la traición de alguien a quien amaba, Sira encuentra consuelo en nuevas amistades, por ejemplo: con Candelaria «La Matutera» quien financia la tienda de Sira, Félix (su vecino que le enseña sobre Marruecos) y la misteriosa Rosalinda Fox, una inglesa, cuya vida lujosa intriga a Sira. 

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