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Year 7-8

Years 7 and 8 are taught in mixed ability groups and work is clearly differentiated to ensure stretch and challenge for all abilities. The scheme of learning is designed to build understanding, resilience and perseverance with a step by step process. Since most pupils have limited experience with language learning, they will frequently find themselves in the Learning Pit. Therefore, a very positive “can-do” attitude is the most important thing! They are expected to simply “try their best” and recognise that good communication comes from making mistakes and listening to feedback and “having a go”.

Language learners must be willing to speak in class and actively participate in listening carefully and the “shouting out” of words and phrases as a whole group to ensure an authentic accent and good pronunciation. It is not all about writing in languages. There will be plenty of paired or small group work every lesson to help them develop spontaneous speaking skills. The key is “repetition, repetition, repetition”. However, vocabulary learning underpins everything and its importance and time spent doing this cannot be over-emphasised.

Home Learning is an absolute necessity in languages. Learning must be reinforced between lessons to achieve success and confidence. Students must ensure they allow enough time over the whole week to learn “little and often”. We suggest 10-15 minute sessions 3 times a week.

This must start with single words in all 4 skills - in reading, writing, listening and speaking – and progress to short sentences, applying a variety of conjunctions to gradually build up to longer sentences. They will learn how to form a variety of opinions and give reasons and explanations for their opinions to fully develop their answers. Throughout the year they will learn about different cultural traditions and compare British cultures / practices to those in other countries.

They will follow this pattern in Year 7 and broaden their knowledge of vocabulary through the following topics using the present tense;

1.    Language Awareness – (A complete understanding or nouns, verbs and adjectives, how to learn vocabulary, dictionary skills and key concepts such as genders and plurals.

2.    All about me (Understanding and giving personal information and learning the basic introductory phrases such as giving their name, age , birthday, greeting each other and others appropriate to the time of day and applying the correct register).

3.    Celebrity – (Understanding and giving descriptions of themselves and others  - physically and personal characteristics – Focus on adjectives)

4.    Free time and hobbies -  (Understanding and applying a wide variety of regular and irregular verbs in the present tense. This is a challenge - therefore, we learn songs and make creative models to try to remember the verb endings).

5.    My Home – (Describe the rooms in their houses, re-inforce the activities / verbs, describe different types of houses and use their imaginations to design and describe their ideal home, which may be on the moon, in a tree or on a desert island!

Year 8

We now need to introduce some more challenging grammar, whilst students continue to apply all they have learnt in Year 7 and develop their skills further. They will need to remember the vocabulary from Year 7 and add to their knowledge. Each lesson will continue to include all 4 skills. This year is predominantly spent learning about modal verbs, word order and applying the verbs in a variety of tenses.

This is achieved using the following topics;

1.    School / Education – (school subjects and which period you have them, applying analogue time to lessons, describing teachers and the buildings)

2.    Health (Food, diet, sports, illness, smoking and drugs)

3.    Other target language countries and cultures including festivals (e.g. Austria, Switzerland and the francophone countries including Senegal)

4.    Famous cities – (e.g. the history, famous landmarks or sights, tourist attractions and activities there.)

5.    Holidays – (e.g. different locations and why you will visit, how and why you travel abroad, advantages and disadvantages of different types of accommodation. This involves researching a trip around Europe to present to the rest of the class in groups.)

Home Learning – Once again the importance cannot be stressed enough in language learning. Especially as the grammar can now be challenging. In addition to a short task in one skill, pupils are expected to re-read class notes between lessons, learn vocabulary and independent learning is vital, particularly for the A / B bands. We very much encourage the use of language app’s and websites to find fun ways of learning words / phrases and improving their accuracy in spelling or recall of vocabulary. Tasks may be set on Doddle or other language websites.


Assessment Year 7 /8 - Each unit will be assessed in two skills – one receptive (reading / listening) and one productive (writing / speaking). We will support any pupils who require some additional help. We will apply the Diagnose Theory Testing (DTT) method to ensure following a baseline, we will plug any gaps and extend their understanding further through lessons and LBTC before assessing their progress.

Pupils will be given a detailed piece of marking (FAR) once every six weeks to ensure they thoroughly understand how to move their learning forward. Class work will be predominantly marked using Self Assessment (SA) or Peer Assessment (PA) on short exercises or sentences in reading, writing, listening or speaking. Verbal feedback will be given regularly throughout all lessons. Improving literacy skills is fundamental to language learning and will be integrated into all lessons and LBTC.

Years 9-11

Students will study the new liner AQA GCSE (1-9). Students will be assessed at either higher or foundation in all four skills in final examinations. Grade 6 and above is higher. The qualification consists of 4 examinations – reading, listening, writing and speaking. Each skill is worth 25%.

 The emphasis on speaking is on spontaneous speech and “communication”, with most of the examination being “unseen”. However, students are allowed 12 minutes to prepare a photo card and role play before they begin. They can choose one topic for general conversation, but will have another based on the three year course. The new GCSE is much more demanding and there are no dictionaries allowed at any stage. Therefore, as previously mentioned, vocabulary learning is vital to achieve marks for communication. The knowledge of the gender of the word will allow them to achieve grammatical accuracy with possessive adjectives, adjectives, accusative and dative cases and negatives.

In order to assist your child we will offer grammar workbooks for Year 10 and GCSE revision guides on Parent Pay for Year 11. The revision guide, Active Learn and Doddle will provide important access to listening at home. Vocabulary tests will be given weekly to ensure they can pass the reading and listening papers.  All 4 skills must be accessed at home. Past paper questions will be given weekly in class.

Years 12 and 13

Students follow the AQA A level curriculum for German. The course is designed to encourage students to enhance their linguistic skills and develop their capacity for critical thinking on the basis of their knowledge and understanding of the language, culture and society of the country or countries where the language is spoken; engage critically with intellectually stimulating texts, films and other materials in the original language, developing an appreciation of sophisticated and creative uses of the language and understanding them within their cultural and social context; develop knowledge about matters central to the society and culture, past and present, of the country or countries where the language is spoken; equip themselves with transferable skills such as autonomy, resourcefulness, creativity, critical and analytical thinking, and linguistic, cultural and cognitive flexibility that will enable them to proceed to further study or to employment; develop as independent researchers through the language of study.


In Year 12 students study the film “Das Leben der Anderen” and learn to write critical essays about it. They also study the following topics: Familie im Wandel; Die digitale Welt; Jugendkultur: Musik, Mode und Fernsehen; Feste und Traditionen; Kunst und Architektur; Das Berliner Kulturleben damals und heute. In Year 13 students study the play “Der Besuch der alten Dame” by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. They undertake an Independent Research Project and study the following topics: Einwanderung, Integration, Rassismus, Deutschland und die EU, Politik und die Jugend, Die Wiedervereinigung und ihre Folgen.


A thorough revision of GCSE grammar is undertaken at the start, before new grammar is introduced. The Hodder textbook for AQA is used, and students are encouraged to buy their own copy for use at home. Additionally, we make thorough use of Dynamic Learning, an online resource, to enable students to access listening, reading, translation and vocabulary activities independently. Vocabulary tests are undertaken weekly, and students can expect to spend at least 5 hours outside the classroom learning German; students aiming for A or A* grades should also be undertaking further study. Most students use Quizlet to make their own vocabulary lists to practise regularly. We also recommend the purchase of the book “Wort für Wort”, which enables students to broaden their range of topic-related vocabulary fairly quickly and easily. Many students also volunteer to help out with Key Stage 3 German classes as a way of increasing their confidence.


Class sizes are generally quite small, allowing students to participate fully in a range of activities, where using the target language is the norm. Assessment is undertaken at the end of each unit, using a mixture of receptive skills (listening and reading) and productive (speaking and writing). Formal examination takes place twice a year, in February and then in the summer of Y12, along the lines of the AS-level exam, ie Paper 1 which combines listening, reading and writing, Paper 2 in which students write an essay about the film studied, and Paper 3, which is a speaking exam. In Year 12 the speaking exam consists of two topic-related cards. The students have to explain the contents of the card, give their opinion, and discuss what they know about the wider topic area. In Year 13 the exams are broadly similar, although the writing exam encompasses both the film and the book, and the speaking exam varies slightly: students are presented with one card only – the remainder of the speaking exam comprises a discussion about their Independent Research Project. 








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