The German department aims to provide students with the opportunity to become familiar with both the spoken and written language, as well as broaden their understanding of the culture of German-speaking countries. Germany is Britain’s biggest trading partner and is Europe’s most powerful economy. German is also the most spoken first language in Europe with around 100 million native speakers. Germany has a rich heritage in science, philosophy and the arts.
Curriculum and Assessment Maps
- Mr D Thomson (Head of German)
- Miss M Todd (German)
- Mrs C Gardner (German)
- Mrs T Richards (French and German)
- Ms N Daniel (French and German)
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)
All pupils in Year 7 learn German as one of two foreign languages, which they will continue to at least Year 9. In Year 7 they will have 4 periods of German per fortnight, whilst in Years 8 and 9 this will reduce to 3. One period may occasionally be based in a computer room, in order to practise ICT skills and revise vocabulary and grammar through a variety of engaging sites. Classroom lessons contain a wide variety of listening, speaking, reading and writing activities, using a number of stimulating and challenging resources, tailored to prepare pupils for the new-style GCSE curriculum.
Key Stage 4 (GCSE)
Students who opt to take the GCSE course will have a good grounding in the subject from Key Stage 3, consolidating on some previously learnt material as well as developing their competencies in new topic areas. In each Year students will have 5 periods of German per fortnight, using a new course book with accompanying interactive resources. We currently follow the AQA examination syllabus. The four components are: Listening (25%), Reading (25%), Speaking (25%) and Writing (25%). All skill areas are assessed by final exam in Year 11. During the course there will be a lot of emphasis on grammar and translation skills, as well as heightening pupil awareness on current and historical cultural matters.
Post 16 (A Level)
The A-level specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and to society. The specification has been designed to be studied over two years. In the first year, aspects of the social context are studied, together with aspects of the artistic life of German-speaking countries. In the second year, further aspects of the social background are covered, alongside the German political landscape, both in relation to Germany itself and its role on the European stage. The past and the way Germany shapes the present is viewed through the reunification and its consequences while the focus on young people and politics looks forward to shaping the future of German-speaking countries. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of themes relating to the culture and society of countries where German is spoken, and their language skills. They will do this by using authentic spoken and written sources in German. Students following this specification will develop their language knowledge, understanding and skills through a variety of strategies and themes, including translation, literature and film. In the second year there will also be the opportunity to personalise study to a specific area of interest, which will then be examined as part of the spoken component.
How can parents help?
How To Help Your Daughter To Improve
Whenever possible, you could encourage your daughter to:
- Read the teacher comments and where relevant act on them.
- At GCSE and A’ level, carefully read the assessment criteria and examiner’s report before assessments or examinations
- Use the text book to read ahead to be ready for new topics.
- Make revision materials at the end of each topic
- Keep up-to-date with vocabulary learning
- Review her work frequently
- Use the text book to consolidate classroom learning
- Use the internet sites suggested later to research unfamiliar topics
- Explain her lessons to you
- Ask her teacher for a more detailed explanation
- This is not a full list, the techniques she uses in other subjects may also work with German
Here are just a few areas in which the application of German would prove to be useful:
- Travel and Tourism
- Arts (especially Music) and Science (2nd most published language for scientific journals)
- Translation and interpreting
- Any profession that requires confidence in communication, flexibility, the willingness to embrace a new challenge
Opportunities out of lessons
German Opportunities Out Of Lessons
- Key Stage 3 Residential to the Rhineland
- Weihnachtsmarkt in Birmingham (German Christmas Market)
- Brieffreunde (Pen pals)
German Opportunities Parents Can Provide
- Trip/holiday to Germany, Switzerland or Austria
- Work Experience/Contacts with international/German-based companies
Useful German Websites
German-games.net (good for practicing KS3 and 4 vocabulary through topics)
Languages Online (grammar, vocabulary and games)
Goethe-Institut (cultural institute)
youtube.com (various videos in German for all levels and topics)