We have great fun in our German lessons! Much of the learning in the lower years is based on speaking and listening games and exercises, with many and varied activities in each lesson. Writing is the fundamental skill which promotes a real understanding of how language works, and is introduced, rotated, and logically built upon as the students progress through the years. All pupils work in the interactive language laboratory, and also benefit greatly from working with our German Assistant. There is considerable emphasis placed on students evaluating and planning their own work, leading to a very important independent approach to learning.
We are very aware that German is very sought after by employers, indeed it is the most required foreign language in the job market, and so we regard it as the responsibility of the department to encourage and promote the language at all levels. We have a very successful Rhineland trip for Years 8 and 9, and the well-established and successful exchange takes place every year, in order for students to become more aware of a different culture, and also to become more fluent. German is the most widely spoken language in Europe and the mother tongue of 90-95 million people in Europe. 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 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. But apart from that, it’s an exciting and interesting language to learn!
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.