German at CRGS
German is offered as an option to all students at CRGS from Year 8 through to A Level. We aim to develop the students' ability to use German for practical communication purposes, by giving them a firm grounding in German grammar and syntax and offering them plenty of opportunities to perfect their spoken and written language. They will also gain an understanding of the culture and history of German-speaking countries. We have interactive whiteboards in all languages rooms, enabling us to bring varied media into the classroom and offer different teaching styles.
Year 8 and Year 9
Students follow a condensed course covering the KS3 programme of study and aimed at bringing students up to a high standard of German for the start of the GCSE course in Year 10. We use the Echo Express textbook and software, complemented by a variety of other teaching resources.
In Year 8 we cover topics such as School, Family and Friends, Free Time, Home and Town, and introduce the present and future tenses, word order rules and the cases.
In Year 9 we cover topics such as Holidays, Shopping, Hobbies, Health and Excursions. Amongst other grammar points we work on the cases, adjective endings, perfect and conditional tenses and modal verbs.
Year 10 and Year 11
At GCSE we offer the AQA course, which develops listening and reading comprehension, writing skills including essay writing and translation, and spoken German. The GCSE exam consists of four final examination of reading, listening, writing and speaking skills. The topics studied at GCSE include The Media, Relationships, School, Work, Local area, Home, The Environment, Holidays and Leisure. A variety of media and texts, including literary extracts, are used to teach the course.
Year 12 and Year 13
At A Level our students follow the AQA course. In the first year the course extends some of the topics covered at GCSE and introduces German customs, festivals and the recent history of Berlin. In the second year, the course introduces students to German current affairs issues such as immigration, as well as other aspects of the culture and politics of German-speaking countries. In the first year we study a film, and in the second a literary text. A Level assessment consists of an oral exam, a combined examination of their listening and reading skills, and a written examination of their understanding of the film and literary text.
Sixth formers are encouraged to pass on their knowledge of German through the Mentoring Scheme, which supports younger learners within the school, and the Primary School Teaching option, which many of our students have greatly enjoyed.
Trips and Exchanges
There are numerous opportunities for students to practice their German outside the classroom. In Year 8 we offer a summer trip to Cologne and Aachen, where students are able to put their new knowledge to good use. In Years 8, 9 and 10 we offer the German Exchange with a Gymnasium (German Grammar School) in Weinheim, a small town near Heidelberg. Students spend a week living with their partner’s family, attending school and going on trips to local places of interest. For Sixth Formers we organize excursions to cultural events in London to complement their studies and a trip to Berlin. They are also encouraged and helped to organize their own trips. In the past, A Level students have enjoyed summer work experience placements in Germany, international conferences for German learners and individual exchanges.
Beyond German at CRGS
Many students taking A level German choose to continue their study of the language at university, either in combination with another language or with another subject, for example Business Studies, Economics, Law or Politics. Even without continuing beyond A Level, knowledge of German has proven invaluable to many former students. As Germany is a major trading partner of Britain, knowledge of the language is a tremendous asset in business, science and technology.