German is taught throughout the School. In the First Form all pupils complete a half-year taster course. If they opt to continue with their study of German (and many do!) they will have three lessons a week in the Second and Third Forms. In the Fourth and Fifth Forms pupils work towards the Edexcel IGCSE exam, with two double lessons a week and additional conversation lessons taken by our German language assistant. Pupils who choose to continue their German studies in the Sixth Form follow the AQA course. By the end of the course they will have developed a wide-ranging knowledge, not just of the structure of the German language, but also of Germany’s recent history and modern culture.
Outside the classroom there are opportunities to explore and experience German culture. The German and French Departments alternate in organising a trip for First and Second Form pupils in the Summer Term – this year we will be spending a week in the Rhineland and undertaking daily language challenges. The popular Upper School language trip to Lindau on Lake Constance offers our older pupils the chance to live with a German family, improve their language skills in daily lessons at the Dialoge Sprachinstitut and also to visit Germany, Austria and Switzerland within a week. Our links with Lindau continue to grow – for the fourth consecutive year one of last year’s German A Level pupils is working as the English assistant at the Freie Schule Lindau. We are returning to Berlin in November with our current Upper 6th pupils for a long weekend, to complement their studies of the Berlin Wall and life in the GDR.
The German Department consists of three teachers and a German language assistant, who provides conversation lessons to prepare pupils for their speaking exams.