After English, German it the most widely spoken language in Europe; it is a key language for business and much sought after by many employers. In our department we raise awareness of the importance of language and language learning, both in the classroom and on trips to Germany, and our highly experienced and qualified staff employ a range of teaching strategies which combine the best of new ideas with excellent practice.

We aim to develop skills, confidence and creativity in the four key areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Teachers are specialised, experienced and enthusiastic, using a wide range of activities and strategies to help students enjoy learning foreign languages while developing their linguistic ability. Authentic resources and the use of the foreign language in and outside the classroom are considered a vital part of languages teaching at St Mary’s and the department offers a range of extracurricular activities and trips abroad in order to enhance the language learning experience at our school.

Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 pupils follow the programs of study set out by the national curriculum.  We use a range of teaching resources including the “Stimmt” text books. Topics are taught through the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing but we also focus on the core grammar in preparation for German GCSE. Pupils are encouraged to participate actively in lessons. We incorporate fun activities to support learning into the lessons, such as cultural research,  using mini whiteboards, watching cultural video clips and playing competitive team games online in our computer room. We subscribe to various language learning websites that pupils can access both at home and at school for vocabulary learning and practice.
Year 7 Topics


-Describing yourself

-Family and pets

-Leisure activities   


-Festivals and traditions

Year 8 Topics



-Healthy living

-School trips

-Daily Routines

-Festivals and traditions

Year 9 Topics

-Role models





-Festivals and traditions

Key Stage 4
Students who opt to study German at GCSE will follow the AQA syllabus. The course builds upon the skills developed at Key Stage 3 and further develops fluency and depth on the following topics:

1. Identity and culture

2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest

3. Current and future study and employment

Students are assessed on 4 skills, and can be entered either at foundation or higher level:

Tier: Foundation Higher
Paper 1 - Listening - 25% 35 minutes 45 minutes Students answer a variety of questions on extracts recorded by native German speakers.
Paper 2 - Speaking - 25% 7-9 minutes 10-12 minutes Students will have to take part in a role play, describe a photo and have a general conversation on the topics studied.
Paper 3 - Reading - 25% 45 minutes 1 hour Students will have to answer a range of questions on German texts. There will also be a translation from German to English.
Paper 4 - Writing -25% 1 hour 1 hour 15 Students will have to write a short structured task in German and, if entered for higher tier, an open ended task. There will also be a translation from English to German.

Exam Board:  AQA -  Specification code: 8668, QAN code:  601/8159/X

For further details please visit:

Key Stage 5
Students who opt to study A Level German will follow the AQA syllabus. The course build upon the four skills developed at GCSE and covers a wide range of topics including:

1. Aspects of German-speaking society 

- Changing state of family 

- Digital world

- Youth culture

2. Artistic culture in the German-speaking world

- Festivals and Traditions  

- Art and Architecture  

- Cultural life in Berlin, past and present

 3. Multiculturalism in German-speaking society
       - Immigration

       - Integration
       - Racism

4. Aspects of political life in the German-speaking world
       - Germany and European Union  
       - Politics and Youth  
       - German re-unification and its consequences 

Students will also study a film, currently Das Leben der Anderen, by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, and a play, currently Der Besuch der alten Dame by Friedrich Dürrenmatt.
In Year 13 students will complete an independent research project on a topic of their choice.

Students are assessed in 4 areas:

Paper 1 50% 2h30 minutes Listening, reading and translations
Paper 2 20% 2 hours Two essays on each of the works studied
paper 3 30% 21-23 minutes Discussion on one of the themes studied and presentation of the individual research project.

At the end of Y12, all students will complete an internal transition exam.

 Exam Board: AQA - Specification 7662

For further details please visit:

The government has recognised that there is a modern languages skills gap. Choosing to study a language at degree level is a way of boosting your employability.

Besides the traditional paths of interpreting, translating and teaching, students with language skills are in demand. Universities value a Languages A-level as a highly academic subject due to the transferable skills that students develop - these skills can be used in almost any career with pathways including jobs in

For further information about the German curriculum please contact:

Mrs C Parkin

Head of German Department

For further information about the German curriculum please contact:

Mrs C Parkin
Head of German Department