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.
Pupils learn German through the core elements of phonics, vocabulary and grammar which are taught and consolidated through meaningful practice. This ensures that pupils can listen to, read, speak and write German in a broad range of contexts using high frequency vocabulary. This mastery approach not only sets up their language learning for life, but also consolidates their knowledge of English. Language knowledge and practice are sequenced and re-visited systematically to support progression and help pupils to know more and remember more. The range, depth and complexity of their knowledge is extended throughout KS3, to build a secure platform for further language development at GCSE and beyond. Pupils are encouraged to develop their linguistic independence and regularly use websites such as Memrise and Quizlet.
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
Me, my family and friends
Technology in everyday life
Customs and festivals
Theme 2: Local national, international and global areas of interest
Home town, neighbourhood and region
Travel and tourism
Theme 3: Current and future study and employment
Life at school/college
Career choices and ambitions
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.
Yes! The German Department runs a weekend trip for Year 10 pupils to the Christmas Markets in Aachen and Bonn 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.