The German department at Kingswood School aims to stimulate passion in all things German, allowing pupils to see beyond traditional stereotypes and encouraging them to visit German-speaking countries. German is the language of business, literature, logic, music, poetry, philosophy and science. Germany lies at the heart of Europe and is the financial powerhouse of the European Union. It is a major player in worldwide business, and knowledge of its language may give any job applicant the edge. According to a recent CBI report, German was rated as the most useful language by UK managers.
German is the most widely spoken language in Europe and the mother tongue of 90-95 million people in Europe. While learning German can connect you to 120 million native speakers around the globe, remember that many people also learn German as a second language. It is the third most popular foreign language taught worldwide and the second most popular in Europe. As Brexit becomes a reality, it will be increasingly important to communicate with Germany in German.
German lessons at Kingswood focus on building confidence in both spoken and written communication, enabling pupils to develop a portable skill. German lessons are fun but also ensure that pupils feel that they are making real progress. Lessons regularly include songs, games and work in our interactive language laboratory, and all pupils benefit greatly from working with our German Assistant.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7, pupils may choose one language from French, German or Spanish and they will be allocated their second Modern Foreign Language. The German curriculum follows the text book Stimmt! which provides an excellent foundation for the GCSE German course. Great emphasis is put on the acquisition of speaking and listening skills, and grammar is studied in depth from the beginning.
We organise a very popular biennial trip to the Rhineland for all Key Stage 3 pupils.
The AQA German GCSE course continues seamlessly on from the Key Stage 3 courses, allowing pupils to develop their oral and listening skills to a high level. They also acquire the ability to read and respond to texts in the target language, and learn to use a range of vocabulary and grammatical structures. A key aim is also to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of German, Austrian and Swiss culture. There remains a considerable element of having fun while learning, with much emphasis placed on language games and interaction with peers and the teacher.
All pupils are encouraged to participate in the German Exchange which takes pupils in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 to spend a week in Germany just before Christmas, when they enjoy the Christmas market in Münster. The German pupils join us in October.
The AQA A-Level course puts great emphasis on broadening the students’ knowledge of the cultural and historical background of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. To this end, students are encouraged to read background texts in English and German to deepen their knowledge, and much use is also made of film. Topics studied include social issues and trends, aspects of a German-speaking society, multiculturalism in a German-speaking society, and political and artistic culture; we study a novel and a film as part of our examined syllabus. We also aim to develop a high level of language proficiency in both the spoken and the written word.
We arrange cinema trips to the Little Theatre, Bath, to watch German films, and all pupils are encouraged to participate in the long-standing and successful German Exchange with Schiller Gymnasium in Münster. We also organise a Sixth Form Languages day at Southampton University to highlight for students the considerable benefits of studying a foreign language.