German is a sister language of English and students pick it up very quickly.
Although students don't start the course until Year 8, by the end of Key Stage 3 they will be as proficient as they are in French and many students continue it to GCSE and beyond, with students opting to study German at top universities every year. Throughout the course our priority is that students should gain a real understanding and enjoyment of not only the language but also German culture and lifestyle.
Why German? It is the mother tongue of more Europeans than any other language, it is widely used in business and technology and, it is in the high demand by British employers. The German ambassador in London, Peter Wittig, described knowledge of German as a "huge asset". There was evidence that it was the most sought-after language among employers, as well as the basis for encouraging trust and understanding across borders.
"Post-Brexit the UK will - understandably and rightly - seek a new and even greater role in our globalised world. This will be facilitated if young Britons are inspired to be outward-looking and open from a very early age," he said: "Language learning will be indispensable, and German, which is the mother tongue to more people in Europe than any other language, will remain an ideal choice.”
Year 8 and 9 students follow the Echo Express course which provides scope to practise all four skills - listening, speaking, reading and writing - as well as introducing grammar such as word order, use of cases, adjective endings, use of prepositions and an introduction to present and past tense verbs. Topics include greetings, alphabet and numbers, school, family and friends, leisure activities, your home, and life in the town and country. Students will be assessed once a term and regular progress checks will be built into lessons to inform teaching and planning. This allows students to be well prepared for linear exams at the end of KS4. Students also have access to online learning platforms.
In Year 8, students studying German get the opportunity to visit the beautiful town of Heidelberg for a five-day residential trip. This experience is extremely popular and very well-received by students.
In Years 10 and 11 students develop the vocabulary, tenses and grammar to describe events in the past, present and future. They build on their understanding of the five broad topic areas on which the GCSE is based. Students follow the AQA Stimmt course.
Students who have opted for GCSE German can improve their confidence, fluency and cultural understanding through our German exchange programme to Munich.
Students access the course using the AQA approved OUP resources – this includes a textbook, a DIGIBOOK and kerboodle on-line. The course covers four main themes, each with a number of topics such as the changing role of the family, the digital world, youth culture, festivals and traditions, art and architecture, cultural life in Berlin (both past and present), culturalism, Germany and the EU, Youth politics and the reunification and its consequences. Students will also study the play Andorra by Max Frisch and the film Goodbye Lenin. In year 13 they will also complete an Individual Research Project that forms the basis for the presentation and discussion in the A Level Speaking exam.