German at St Richard’s

Guten Tag!      Hallo!      Willkommen!      Grüß Gott!      Servus!      Grüszi!

Why learn German?


German is the most widely spoken langugerman1age 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.


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What will I learn at St. Richard’s?


Year 7 and Year 8

In Year 7 and 8 pupils study topics like self, family, free time, school, holidays, food, healthy living and where you live. They also learn how to express themselves using accurate grammar and spelling and have regular assessments.

We follow the ‘Stimmt’ textbook but also introduce pupils to the life and culture of German-speaking countries through the study of films, songs, stories and poems. This ensures that pupils develop the key skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking as well as get to grips with grammar and authentic material in readiness for the GCSE course.


Year 9 through to Year 11

The focus in Year 9 is on mastery of grammar and developing the necessary skills to succeed at GCSE. We start the GCSE course in Term 3 and pupils study new topics like media and technology as well as a cross-curricular topic that focuses on German history.

In Year 10 and Year 11 pupils study the remaining themes and topics from the AQA specification and work to 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
  • Free-time activities
  • Customs and festivals

Theme 2: Local national, international and global areas of interest

  • Home town, neighbourhood and region
  • Social issues
  • Global issues
  • Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

  • My studies
  • Life at school/college
  • Education post-16
  • 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.


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How can I help my child at home?


It is really not necessary to know German at all. You can support your child by:

  • Asking what has been learnt in each lesson.
  • Reinforcing the importance of spending 10 minutes at the end of each day revisiting class notes.
  • Testing your child on class notes made especially on vocabulary and grammar when learning is set for homework.
  • Discouraging your child from using Google Translate or other similar online translation tools. Instead, provide an up-to-date Collins dictionary to support the completion of homework.
  • Encouraging your child to visit the following language websites to practise reading and writing the language and hear the language spoken: (to access the German GCSE textbook) (to access a range of self-assessment materials) & (to learn and practise vocabulary) & (for revision) (excellent German online dictionary) (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.