We offer a beginner’s course, with two lessons a week, the ideal foundation for GCSE. Pupils have three lessons and two preps (homework) a fortnight. 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 – echt 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. Due to Covid Restrictions all school trips abroad are currently suspended.
Years 10 & 11
We offer the AQA 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 use the AQA GCSE Foundation and Higher Coursebooks as well as the extensive Kerboodle resources which serve to enrich and further students acquiring of the four language skills in preparation for the exams. Full support is available to the pupils during the academic clinic slots and at other times outside of class. Native Speaker pupils give presentations in designated lessons on German cultural themes, thus giving our non-native speakers the opportunity to not only strengthen their listening and speaking ability but more importantly to forge links across the school and lasting friendships with our large German community.
Pre-IB Diploma German for Native speakers: Years 10 & 11
This is a course designed for native speakers only and is taught 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 productive and analytic skills in their own language. Pupils have 2 lessons a week; the content is as closely linked to the new Bavarian Lehrplan PLUS as possible. The course is examined at the end of Year 11; the IGCSE German 1st Language exam consists of 2 separate papers, 2 hrs each, with Paper 1 focussing on text comprehension and appreciation and Paper 2 on essay writing. It is provided by the Cambridge International Examination board. This qualification is widely accepted as a pre-requisite for any Sixth Form course on German Language and Literature.
IB Diploma German A (Group One) Literature for Native Speakers:
This two-year course is the equivalent course for German native speakers to the English A (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 the English and German Group One courses receive the distinction of gaining a bilingual Diploma.
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 ab initio:
This two-year course is intended for pupils with no German or for those with little prior knowledge i.e. who have completed no more than the Year 9 course. It is available at Standard Level only and takes pupils from this level up to approximately AS level.
A level German:
This two-year course leads to examination by AQA. 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. A highlight of the course is the study trip to destinations in Germany, Switzerland or Austria which aims at linking the German A level experience with the study of other A level subjects. Due to Covid Restrictions all school trips abroad are currently suspended.
Trips & German Conversation Club
German Conversation Club:
German Conversation Club meets every week in the German Department. Both native and non-native speakers of German attend, predominantly year 12, year 13 and some pupils from year 11. Many themes are discussed, jokes, saying and idiomatic phrases are shared and explained, students from Germany talk about their home life, education in Germany, hobbies, music taste and festivals and other cultural events in German speaking countries. The club offers our English learners of German the unique opportunity to partake in authentic German conversations and discussions and for our German members, they can share some of their culture and their language in a relaxed, friendly and informal manner. The German Conversation club has been very well attended and remained popular throughout its first year.
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 & 2018), Munich (2013 & 2016) and Vienna (2014 & 2017). 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. Due to Covid Restrictions all school trips abroad are currently suspended.