We offer a beginner’s course, with two lessons a week, the ideal foundation for GCSE. The emphasis is on acquiring useful vocabulary and structures quickly and effectively and enjoying the challenge of learning the language, using both an excellent published course – Zoom 1 – which is highly interactive and includes full digital support, as well as our own extensive range of departmental resources. At the end of the Michaelmas term the pupils take part in a “Christmas Parcel Exchange” – swapping typically British Christmas gifts, recipes and information on traditions with German ones from a German partner school. The year’s course culminates with a five day trip to the Rhineland, with numerous opportunities for the pupils to put their newly developed language skills to the test – with visits to Cologne Cathedral, the Lindt Chocolate Museum, Sports Museum (with a game of football literally on the roof), the Haus der Geschichte (post-1945 interactive historical museum) in Bonn, the Haribo factory shop and Phantasialand, a fabulous theme park in Brühl.
Years 10 & 11
We offer the WJEC course in Years 10 and 11. Pupils have three lessons and two prep (homework) sessions a week; they also have the opportunity to benefit from an extra speaking lesson per week with the German Assistant, which helps them develop their own spoken language. We continue using the Zoom course and supplement this with our extensive range of departmental resources. Full academic support is available by a member of the German department during the electives slot, Monday-Thursday. Pupils are encouraged to attend German Society meetings which take place twice a term.
Pre-IB Diploma German for Native speakers: Years 10 & 11
This is a course designed for native speakers only and is taught primarily by a German native speaker teacher. The course acts as both an introduction to the study of literature at IB level and also to ensure that native speaker pupils of German still have the opportunity to develop their skills in their own language. The emphasis is on maintaining and developing skills of literary appreciation and fosters the enjoyment of reading widely and regularly. The course is not examined; however for those pupils interested there is the opportunity to sit the German iGCSE provided by the Edexcel exam board.
A level German:
This two year course leads to examination by WJEC. It encompasses a wide range of contemporary topics, as well as exposure to literature and film. German grammatical knowledge is reviewed and enhanced, with very much a cyclical approach which helps to re-enforce a deeper understanding. Courses are usually taught by two members of staff, with a lesson a week on a one-to-one basis with the German Assistant, a native–speaker undergraduate or graduate who stays with us for a year.
IB Diploma German B:
This two year course involves studying a range of modules which help to develop pupils’ written and spoken German, as well as developing their reading and listening comprehension skills. Higher Level courses also involve the study of two literary texts – with the emphasis being on comprehension and vocabulary learning rather than traditional literary appreciation. Courses are usually taught by two members of staff, with a lesson a week on a one-to-one basis with the German Assistant, a native–speaker undergraduate or graduate who stays with us for a year.
IB Diploma German Group One Literature for Native Speakers:
This two year course is the equivalent course for German native speakers to the English Group One literature course. It involves the study and literary appreciation of a wide range of German authors, genres and literary periods, as well as two works translated into German. Pupils who complete both receive the distinction of gaining a bilingual diploma.
IB Diploma German ab initio:
This two year course is intended for pupils with no German or with those who have completed the Year 9 course only. It is available at Standard Level only and takes pupils from this level up to a surprisingly high level of language learning.
Trips & German Society
The German department organises regular trips to German-speaking countries and to events and study days of interest in the UK. Year 9 travel to the Rhineland in the summer; in December there is a trip on a cyclical basis to Berlin (2012 & 2015), Munich (2013) and Vienna (2014). These linguistic and cultural trips aim to provide plenty of opportunities for speaking German in a real context and are also open to pupils studying other subjects.
German Society meets twice a term for film nights, where a mixture of classics and modern films are shown, with English subtitles. German food and drinks are served. Do join us – the evenings are in the calendar and are advertised around school and on the German virtual learning environment! Recent films have included Lola rennt! (Run Lola run!), The Third Man and Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others).