Why learn German?
German is the most widely spoken language in Europe by population. It is a first language to more people in Europe than French, English or Spanish.
Germany is also ranked first in terms of UK export markets and the third largest economy in the world. Therefore, being able to communicate in German is a really sought-after skill and a GCSE in German can lead to many areas of work.
Click here for more information: https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/languages-for-the-future.pdf
What will I learn at St. Richard’s?
Year 7 and Year 8
In Year 7 and 8 pupils study German phonics, grammar and vocabulary through topics like self, family, free time, school, where you live, holidays, food and healthy living. They also learn how to express themselves accurately and have regular assessments. This ensures that pupils develop the key skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking, as well as get to grips with the structure of the language.
We follow the ‘Stimmt’ textbook but also introduce pupils to the life and culture of German-speaking countries through the study of films, songs, authentic resources and the visit to a German Christmas market. Pupils are encouraged to develop their linguistic independence and regularly use websites such as Memrise and Quizlet.
Year 9 through to Year 11
After having studied German for three years, at the end of Year 9 pupils should be able to refer to past experiences, everyday activities and future plans. We continue to follow a topic-based approach, allowing the students to learn essential phonics, vocabulary and grammar whilst maintaining interest and enthusiasm. Topics studied in Year 9 include film & TV, music & festivals, technology, jobs and the environment. Continual skill development occurs through the inclusion of the four key areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, some of which is pitched at GCSE Foundation level.
In Year 10 and Year 11 pupils follow the AQA course specification. In Year 10, students cover the topics of family & marriage, home & town, school & future plans, free time and holidays. In Year 11, pupils cover the environment, global & social issues, customs & festivals, jobs & careers and technology. They develop their competence and understanding of grammar and key skills to ensure they are thoroughly prepared for the GCSE examination at the end of Year 11.
An outline of the GCSE German course (examination board: AQA)
Theme 1: Identity and Culture
Theme 2: Local national, international and global areas of interest
Theme 3: Current and future study and employment
GCSE German has a Foundation Tier (grades 1 – 5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4 – 9). Pupils must enter for all four skills at the same tier. Each of the four skills is worth 25% of the final grade. All skills are tested in final examinations at the end of the course in Year 11.
Click here for more information: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/german-8668
How can I help my child at home?
It is really not necessary to know German at all. You can support your child by:
https://www.kerboodle.com (to access the German GCSE textbook)
https://www.pearsonactivelearn.com (to access a range of self-assessment materials)
https://quizlet.com & https://www.memrise.com (to learn and practise vocabulary)
http://www.languagesonline.org.uk/ & http://www.languageskills.co.uk (for revision)
http://www.leo.org (excellent German online dictionary)
http://www.deutschseite.de/ (great for German grammar)
Are there any trips?
Yes! The German Department runs a weekend trip for Year 8 pupils to the Christmas Markets in Aachen every year in December. Pupils have the opportunity to practise their German by buying items in the markets and the chance to taste traditional German Christmas food such as Stollen, Lebkuchen and of course Bratwurst. Whilst in Aachen, the pupils visit Aachen Cathedral for prayers and reflection and are also able to try their hand at ice skating. This is a wonderful opportunity for pupils to visit Germany and experience their language and culture first-hand.
There is also a joint history and German trip to Berlin for Year 9 and Year 10 pupils in June which gives pupils the opportunity to develop their learning beyond the classroom and practise their German GCSE vocabulary in a real world situation.