In Year 7 pupils study one language from French, Spanish and German in detail, and then study an additional language in Years 8 and 9.
Topics covered in each language include Personal Information, Family and Friends, School, Hobbies, Travel and Tourism, Healthy Lifestyles, including food and drink, and Shopping.
During the three years students will also build up a range of general linguistic skills, including how to tackle unfamiliar language in texts, how to give opinions and use connectives to create more complex sentences, and how to identify and use verbs in three different time frames. These skills are assessed through regular end-of-unit tests. Students also learn about the culture of Germany, and have the chance to discuss similarities and differences to our own. An annual visit to Northern Germany is offered to students in Year 9 and Year 10.
Speaking is an essential skill which the students work on throughout the their 3 Years. We encourage the students to work collaboratively in lessons to develop confidence in this area, and pair and group work activities are a regular part of our lessons.
Students start their course in Year 7 by studying either French or German for three lessons a week. There is an opportunity to attend beginners Spanish as an extra-curricular club on a weekly basis. During this term students are taught the basics grammar of the language in through the topics of “talking about myself and my family” with a focus on descriptive language and forming opinions.
In the Spring term German students focus on a unit called “School life and ambitions” where students study not only the language involved within this topic, but also look at cultural differences between the different school systems and lifestyles. In this unit we develop opinions further and learn how to justify them as well as learning the basics of the future tense. During this term, we encourage students to take up the opportunity to correspond with a German pen pal with our partner school St. Berards Gymnasium in North Germany.
In the summer term students focus on a unit “House and Home” where students learn how to describe their home-life and begin to use the past tense by describing childhood experiences.
During the autumn term of Year 8, German students continue to master the language by describing their town and advertising it to others and drawing comparisons to their town now and in the past using the past tense. Towards the end of this term students study the German film “Das Wunder von Bern” and gain an insightful knowledge into post war Germany.
The spring term sees German students mastering the language involved with healthy lifestyles, being able to talk about illness, healthy eating and exercise and deal with this language in conversational set ups, for example at the doctors. They begin to use the conditional tense to give advice.
The summer term looks at German students being able to discuss life as a teenager in both the UK and Germany, looking at fashion, free-time and lifestyle choices. This presents itself with a good opportunity to continue their discussions and partnerships with our partner school.
German in Year 9 starts by discussing your most recent holiday, really deepening student’s grammatical knowledge of the past tense and future tenses.
During the spring term, students study the media in Germany. During this unit, they talk about their relationships with the media and study the film “The Book Thief” in German, where students are encouraged to understand the political background to Germany and be able to discuss media and film in German.
During the summer term students study the imperfect tense and write their own fairytales in German. They then learn to discuss what makes a good role model in German and finish the year by studying the reunification of Germany through the German film “West Wind”.