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, French and Spanish Departments alternate in organising a trip for Lower School pupils in the Summer Term – the German trip is spent exploring the Rhineland and undertaking daily language challenges. The popular 4th and 5th Form language trip to Bamberg in Bavaria offers our older pupils the chance to live with a German family, improve their language skills in daily lessons at the Treffpunkt Sprachinstitut and also to take part in daily excursions. Every other year we take our A-level pupils to Berlin during the Easter holidays, where they study at the Alpadia Sprachschule and have plenty of time to boost their understanding of the history and culture of Germany’s capital city.
We now have a growing network of ODs who have gone on to study German at university, and who are a valuable source of advice to our current pupils on the opportunities available to linguists.
The German Department consists of three teachers and a German language assistant, who provides conversation lessons to prepare pupils for their speaking exams.