Pupils may opt for German at the start of the Second Form and will then continue with the subject until at the least the end of the Third Form. We use the very successful Lernpunkt Deutsch course and as well as gaining a practical grounding in the language, pupils have also taken a great interest in learning about the German way of life and its rich cultural background. The popular trip to the Rhineland reinforces and enhances what is learnt in the classroom.
The vast majority of those choosing German continue to GCSE, where we follow the Edexcel course. The emphasis here is on everyday communication in areas directly relevant to young people, such as media and music, school and work experience.
At Sixth Form, we offer an enviable range of courses. The Edexcel AS and A2 courses take students’ language skills to near fluency level by the end of the Upper Sixth and deal content-wise with important contemporary issues. The accompanying study of German literary texts and Berlin has proven extremely stimulating at A2. Literary analysis forms the core of the IB A1 course designed for native speakers of German, whereas non-native speakers may opt for Language B, which mirrors the skills developed at AS/A2 and has topics tailored towards students’ interests. Those with little experience of German may choose IB Ab Initio which will take them to a standard beyond GCSE. GCSE and Sixth Form students of German have benefited enormously from the Exchange with Schwabach and the Berlin Trip, which run annually.
IB German A Literature (HL and SL)
Four modules are covered during the course of two years:
Part 1: A study of three texts in Translation, involving close textual analysis as well as research
Part 2: A study of three works of different genres, one of which must be poetry
Part 3: A study of four works of the same genre and which allow for comparative as well as individual study
Part 4: A study of four works chosen freely by the teacher.
The cultural background of the texts as well as film versions are studied alongside the works themselves
How the course is taught
A heavy emphasis in this course is placed on research and independent learning, although, naturally, students are supported at all times and offered guidance when completing extended projects such as their coursework module and individual oral presentations.
Students are expected to participate in class discussion, be inquisitive and work both independently and in groups.
Homework ranges from independent research to essay questions, either from past papers or based on a topic currently being studied. In addition to this, students are expected to consolidate the texts they are studying and take additional notes in order to enhance their learning outside of the classroom.
All works studied are available to students from the beginning of the course so that they are free to read any of the texts in advance. They will be set poems to analyse in the summer preceding the course in order to acquaint them with the basic techniques of literary analysis.
IB German Ab Initio (Standard Level)
Ab Initio German is open to all non-native speakers who have not gained a certified qualification in German. If you have studied German at GCSE or IGCSE level, then you are not eligible to take German Ab Initio. This course may only be taken at Standard Level.
This is divided in three themes, which each divide into sub-topics as below:
- Individual and society
- Leisure and work
- Urban and rural environment
How the course is taught
Students will receive six periods of work per cycle, which are usually taught by the same teacher. Additionally, students will have a weekly oral period, either individually or in a small group. Pupils will be expected to go to every language assistant lesson and they will also need to prepare material in advance of each class.
Pupils are expected to complete all of their homework on time. There is an expectation that pupils will carry out independent learning as without doing this, owing to the accelerated nature of the course, the high grades will not be attainable. From the very beginning of the course much emphasis is placed on vocabulary acquisition, student participation, independent learning and research. This research will be necessary as preparation for formal examinations.
All students are expected to engage fully in lessons, complete homework on time, learn vocabulary and basic grammar thoroughly and attend co-curricular activities when necessary.
The IB course has a significant creative element and pupils will need to be creative thinkers and not afraid to take risks. The expectation too, is that pupils will speak the target language during lessons wherever possible. Pupils will be expected to go to every language assistant lesson and they will also need to prepare material and exercises in advance of each class.
Students are provided with introductory material to study over the summer holidays before starting the course. Students are then tested on this material within the first week of term.
IB German Language B (HL and SL)
The three Core Topics are:
- Global Issues
- Communication and Media
- Social Relationships
At Higher Level, students must also study two works of literature written in the target language, currently these are 'Vati' by Peter Schneider and 'Im Westen Nichts Neues' by Rainer Maria Remarque.
How the course is taught
Each course is normally taught by two subject teachers. Higher Level students will have nine lessons per two-week cycle (plus 1assistant lesson per week) and Standard Level students will have six lessons per 2 week cycle (plus 1 assistant lesson per week). The language assistant lessons will be timetabled into one of your non-contact periods. The language assistant lessons are usually taught in groups of 2 or 3 and so are extremely beneficial.
It is recommended that all students engage in substantial revision of German grammar and key vocabulary in order to prepare and equip themselves with the necessary tools for production and interaction before they embark on the course. In the summer preceding the course, they will be required to work on materials to facilitate this.
The pursuit of German at Higher Level is essential for those wishing to specialise in German at university - but it may also be a very useful for those wishing to study German in conjunction with another language or with the kinds of subjects mentioned in the introduction. It also may be undertaken purely because of a student's enthusiasm for the subject.