What will students study in German this year?
We follow the AQA syllabus (8668) which is both interesting and challenging for students. There are three main themes: Identity and culture; Local, national, international and global areas of interest, and Current and future study and employment. We will base our teaching on the AQA German Foundation textbook in Year 9 and will move to the Higher textbook through Year 10.
Students will consolidate and build on language and skills developed at KS3 with an emphasis on spontaneous and creative use of the language.
Assessment takes the form of four separate exams, all taken at the end of Year 11. The speaking exams are a little earlier than the written papers. Each paper is equally weighted, so it is 25% of the final mark. The listening and reading comprehensions require verbal and non-verbal answers in either English or German and the reading paper also includes a translation into English. The speaking exam will be 10-12 minutes plus preparation time and includes a role-play, photo card and general conversation. The writing paper contains two writing tasks and a translation into German. To ensure students are well-prepared for these exams, they will need to be confident in unrehearsed use of the language both orally and in writing. A solid foundation in grammar and vocabulary will be required.
Students will learn more about German and German-speaking culture, using a range of resources, including video, film and music, and computer resources to help bring the language to life. We have subscribed to the Kerboodle digital learning package which support the new exam.
What are the major assessments this year?
There will be formative assessments covering a range of skills at the end of each unit and three assessments near the end of each term that will incorporate teaching from the beginning of the year.
Each teacher will set ongoing grammar or vocabulary tests and will regularly assess and give feedback on written work. There will also be initial assessments at the beginning of each unit to evaluate students’ prior knowledge, in order to inform the teacher on how best to approach the unit.
What do assessments test?
These assessments will address different skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) as well as vocabulary and grammar.
What are the expectations of my daughter in German?
The course is 5 hours a fortnight for Year 9, 10 and 11. Homework builds on previous learning, expands students’ vocabulary and grammar knowledge and skills. It is important that students see this as valuable homework. It may also be a written or comprehension task. Students’ written work is carefully marked, ensuring that appropriate feedback is provided with the purpose of enabling each student to improve their work and understanding of the subject. We purposefully identify the types of errors so that individual work can be corrected meaningfully. It is expected that students bring a small German dictionary to lessons.
How can I best support my daughter in German?
It is by no means essential to know German in order to support your daughter effectively. Simply by taking an interest, asking her to show you her work and explain it and motivating her, you can make an enormous difference to how she feels about the subject.
You can also encourage her to do regular, short grammar and vocabulary revision and test her if she wants you to.
Watching German-speaking series, the news or listening to current music on any of the online platforms is a great idea to train the ear to the language and to support the listening skills which will encourage students to achieve the highest grades. Why not do this together as a family?
Please encourage your daughter to use her own language in written and oral work rather than relying on Google Translate or similar. Electronic translation tools give misleading translations and lead to errors, easily avoided by the use of a good dictionary (online or paper).
Above all, always encourage and praise your daughter’s efforts generously!
Whom should I contact for further advice or information?
Please feel free to contact your daughter’s teacher in the first instance or alternatively:
Head of German Mrs Lacey: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Mr Castro as Head of Modern Foreign Languages: email@example.com