With Germany playing such a major role on the European and world stage, there has never been a more important time to learn German. Germany is the world’s second largest exporter and its economy ranks number one in Europe and number four worldwide. German is the second most commonly used scientific language in the world and it is the language with the most native speakers in the European Union. Subsequently, knowledge of German opens up many job opportunities in a wide range of fields, including law, science and engineering. Furthermore, the German-speaking world has played and continues to play one of the most significant roles in the arts. Many of the most important contributions to literature, music, art, film and philosophy come from the German-speaking world.
To this end, we seek to create a passion within our students for German and an awareness of the importance and enjoyment of language-learning in an increasingly globalised society. We aim to enable our students to develop a wide and varied vocabulary and excellent grammatical understanding, so that they can successfully manipulate the language and use it creatively. We strongly encourage our pupils to develop their spontaneous speaking and independent learning. We also have a strong focus on self and peer evaluation to help our students become self-aware, independent learners and ultimately to make maximum progress at all times.
WHY IS GERMAN EXCITING AT CLSG?
We share with our students a sense of curiosity and passion for the German language and culture. We go well beyond a purely functional view of language and aim at providing intellectual and linguistic challenges to stretch our students fully. Audio-visual and ICT resources are a key aspect of the teaching. Our students have access to a wide range of authentic magazines and newspapers as well as listening materials and numerous online resources.
In year 7 students are given pen-pals in Germany from our partner school the Auguste Viktoria Gymnasium in Trier, to enable them to use the language meaningfully and see the German-speaking world first-hand. We offer a Rhineland trip for year 8 and 9, in which the students meet their pen pals for the first time, an exchange to Trier for year 10 and a work experience exchange to Trier for years 12 and 13. Our students also enjoy a wide range of enrichment trips, including gallery, theatre and cinema visits, as well as lectures and seminars.
YEARS 7 - 9
In years 7 to 9 our students quickly learn the basics of the German language and the fundamentals of the grammar. The students learn to describe themselves and their families, their interests, clothes, food, their pets, their school life, media and the arts, their environment, holidays and much more. They also learn to use different time frames describing past activities and future plans. We encourage the students to be as creative and proactive as possible and offer lots of opportunities for students to do so, in particular making full use of their iPads for projects and research. We follow the new course Stimmt!, which is packed with cultural enrichment, interactive language to encourage spontaneous speaking and a wide variety of challenging and stretching activities.
YEARS 10 and 11
In Years 10 and 11 students continue to develop their comprehension and communication skills as well as their understanding of more complex grammatical structures. They regularly practise their speaking skills with the German assistant and are encouraged to participate in the year 10 exchange to Trier. We use a wide range of authentic materials to challenge and stretch our students in preparation for the GCSE examinations.
The new A level course will enable exploration into a wide range of contemporary and historical issues, as well as the study of the rich and fascinating world of German literature. Students will learn about and research aspects of modern society, current affairs, literature, culture, arts, and the history of German-speaking countries. We will review GCSE grammar and also look at more complex aspects of German grammar.
Students will have access to magazines, films, works of literature and a wide range of other authentic and online resources, as well as a one-to-one speaking lesson with the German language assistant every week. Students are encouraged to take part in our work experience exchange programme to Trier and to take every opportunity to visit the German-speaking countries.
A Level: Edexcel
RECENT TRIPS/LEARNING ACTIVITIES
- Year 10 Exchange and year 12 work experience exchange to trier
- Year 8 and 9 Rhineland trip, including a visit to Cologne and a chance to meet up with their pen pals
- Trip to see Erich Kästner’s ‘Emil and the Detectives’ at the National Theatre
- A visiting theatre company production of a play in German for years 7-9
- Sixth form study day at the BFI – Lectures and discussion on the history of German cinema
- Hannah Höch at the Whitechapel Gallery - a lecture on Höch, dada, surrealism and photomontage and a visit to the exhibition
- Trip to see Philip Glass’s new opera of Franz Kafka’s ‘The Trial’ at the Royal Opera House
- A lecture by Neil MacGregor about his exhibition ‘Germany: Memories of a Nation’ at the British Museum
- An A level seminar on Linguistics and the German Youth Language Kiezdeutsch
“The department is really inspiring and encouraging and has greatly helped boost our confidence. There is so much on offer to get involved in. Most notably the exchange to Trier, where as well as being able to immerse ourselves in the culture and develop our language skills, we can all agree that friendships were formed that will last for life.” Current year 12 class
"I’ve really enjoyed German A Level, in particular the reading and analysis of literature in Year 13. I’m excited to go on to study it at university, and to take every opportunity that comes my way in the future to speak German." Nina, former year 13 student
Head of Department: Mrs C Humphreys