At Presdales, German does not just mean learning the language: it also encourages an understanding and appreciation of the people, the turbulent history, the diverse landscapes and the geniuses which lie behind it.
German is spoken by 120 million people in Europe as their mother tongue.
German is the 2nd most commonly used language in the Internet.
German is the 2nd most important language for scientists.
German is the biggest economy in Europe and the 3rd largest in the world.
Our Vision and Aim
The Presdales German Department comprises four teachers and a German Language Assistant, who are passionate about the subject and keen to pass on our knowledge and a love of the German language and culture to the pupils we teach.
Our aim as a department is to achieve optimum progress for all our students and to promote a passion for German. To this end, we will challenge and stretch our students to help them gain an outstanding understanding of the grammar and vocabulary. We will develop their ability to speak spontaneously in German as soon as possible and we hope that they will enjoy doing so. To be a successful linguist, you must be proactive in your language learning and as a department we are continuously striving to develop the independent learning abilities of our students. We also provide our students with as many opportunities as possible to experience German culture and to understand the importance of the subject outside of the classroom context.
Key Stage 3
Students have two lessons of German per week throughout Years 7-9. In KS3 we follow the NCELP pedagogy in line with research-based best practice resources from our lead school status. This is the Language Driven Pedagogy (LDP) and at KS3 we teach the building blocks of language learning, phonics, vocabulary and grammar. These are taught and consolidated through meaningful practice, so that students can listen to, read, speak and write German in a broad range of contexts using high frequency vocabulary.
During our weekly phonics sessions, Year 7 and 8 students learn the most frequent German sounds to enable them to say and write all the words encountered during the year. In Year 9, the phonics is extended to learning the more complex sounds involving intonation, stress and rhythm.
In Year 7, the grammar element covers the present tense of common regular verbs and grammar rules such as genders, negation, adjectives, question words, plurals and pronouns. In Year 8 we revisit those grammatical points and build on prior knowledge to develop an understanding and use of modal verbs, more question forms, word order and future intentions ad. In Year 9, we regularly revisit and retrieve the grammar points already taught, adding adjective endings, the perfect tense and the future tense with’ werden’ as well as comparisons and work with prepositions. They learn to manipulate the language to produce more and more complex language, providing an excellent base to support GCSE study.
At the end of Year 7, students have studied and encountered around 250 of the most frequent German words and they are able to apply this knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and phonics to their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. They double that number of words by the end of Year 8 and triple by the end of Year 9. This is all vocabulary needed for successful GCSE study.
Year 7 students take part in the Spelling Bee Competition. Our students have reached the national finals in this competition. Our year 7 students are also matched with similar aged students in our partner German school for a class to class partnership with the ultimate end of meeting each other during reciprocal visits.
KS3 students extend their German language and cultural knowledge in a range of different contexts from extra-curricular German themed activities through to exploration of cultural features within the language, national events and famous places.
Students are encouraged to taste German food, decorate eggs for a German Easter, make masks for ‘Karneval’ and participate in other cultural activities organised in school. Our first visit abroad for two and a half years took place in December 2022. 84 students from Year 8, 9 and 10, travelled to Düsseldorf and Cologne visiting the Christmas markets, the awesome Cologne Cathedral, the Lindt chocolate museum and the well-known theme park of Phantasialand. St Nikolaus even filled their shoes with chocolate on 6th December. Especially pleasing was the visit to our Partner School ‘Gymnasium am Neandertal’, where students were able to meet partners they had been corresponding with during the Pandemic.
Assessment is in the form of regular class and end of year testing. During Year 9 students will be able to opt to study German to GCSE level.
Our KS4 students follow the AQA Specification for GCSE.
At GCSE, all skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are externally assessed at the end of Year 11 at Foundation or Higher level.
Each skill is worth 25% of the final grade. Students complete a whole examination in June at the end of Year 10 and a mock exam in December in order to understand the requirements of the examination and understand their progress. In addition , there are regular internally assessed end of module tests.
The MFL GCSE is based around familiar, culturally relevant and engaging topics linked to the following contexts:
identity and culture – including family, relationships, technology, leisure activities and important cultural traditions in countries speaking the target language
local, national, international and global areas of interest – including local area, social issues, charity work, healthy living, environment, poverty and homelessness, travel and tourism
current and future study and employment – including one’s own studies, life and school and college, education post-16, and jobs, career choices and ambitions.
The GCSE course builds on the skills learnt at KS3. In Year 10 and 11 our pupils will develop and consolidate core competences in grammatical knowledge, translation to and from the target language. They will also develop their speaking skills so that they can respond spontaneously in everyday situations – a highly relevant skill for their future as well as for the requirements of the oral examinations. Year 10 and 11 also gives a valuable opportunity to develop the required extensive cultural component to embrace geography, history, customs and traditions.
The curriculum is enhanced with cultural trips to Düsseldorf and the surrounding area, visits and online links with our new partner school, das Gymnasium am Neandertal, and opportunities to exploit language learning through authentic links. There is also an opportunity to participate in an Online partnership called Spellian.
A very good GCSE language qualification is highly regarded by many universities and employers. There are many opportunities for studying a language at university, either on its own or as a complement to virtually any other subject. Universities recognise that communication skills in a foreign language are a huge asset for a large number of careers, including journalism, politics, law, science, engineering, business and the tourism industry.
Course Book: A Level Edexcel. 100% pass at A Level with 100% achieving A- A*
Our KS5 students follow the Edexcel Specification for A Level
Entry requirements: GCSE grade 6 in German
German A level builds on the knowledge, skills and understanding gained at GCSE. With a focus on language, culture and society, both historic and current, the course fosters many transferable skills including communication, research skills, critical thinking and creativity.
You will quickly broaden your vocabulary and cultural understanding through studying broad themes incorporating social issues and phenomena in German speaking areas as well as cultural and literary aspects. You will practise all four skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing and you will be constantly strengthening your knowledge of German grammar, so that you can manipulate the language in order to say or write what you want correctly.
We use films, popular magazines and newspapers to teach the topics and the department regularly organises trips to conferences and workshops. You will have the opportunity to speak to the German Assistant on a weekly basis and to undertake a week’s to our partner school in Germany. German combines particularly well with science subjects, other languages, history and mathematics.
You will be assessed across all four skills as you were at GCSE. Assessment will also include a focus on translation skills and you will study two pieces of literature in detail. Our present cohort is studying a film called ‘Good Bye Lenin!’ and Dürrenmatt’s play about revenge , ‘Der Besuch der alten Dame’. The speaking examination will include an independent research project which will require you to provide statistics and evidence of different viewpoints. The assessment criteria also require you to demonstrate cultural knowledge.
A qualification in German is important for an increasing number of career opportunities in Europe as well as access to careers in the world of business management, marketing, tourism, banking, telecommunications or the Civil Service in Great Britain. In a recent CBI survey published in The Telegraph, UK business managers rated German the most useful foreign language in a future job. German A level builds on the knowledge, skills and understanding gained at GCSE. With a focus on language, culture and society, both historic and current, the course fosters many transferable skills including communication, research skills, critical thinking and creativity. The course suits students who wish to expand their linguistic and cultural horizons, who may wish to live or work abroad, or who wish to pursue further study in languages. There are rich opportunities for studying German at university, either on its own or as a complement to virtually any other subject. Universities recognise that communication skills in a foreign language are a huge asset for a large number of careers, including journalism, politics, law, science, engineering, business and the tourism industry.
Our A Level students of German play an active role as Ambassadors of Languages, acquiring very useful soft skills. They run German clubs for Year 7 at lunch time on a rota basis and help Year 11 in GCSE clinics to prepare for their speaking exams. They also come to the lessons for younger classes, helping with testing, misunderstandings and general support to those students who need more help.
For an overview of our Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 Curriculum Maps, please click here.
The German department is committed to giving all students opportunities to get to know Germany and those people who speak German. This is not just about organising visits to Germany but also about what happens in the classroom. The cultural experiences are embedded in our programmes of learning and include pupil-to-pupil links, mini- projects and celebrations.
As a department we historically offer an annual visit to the Christmas Markets in Cologne and Düsseldorf to Year 8 and Year 9 students studying German. This trip has developed over the years to be become one of the most memorable and now includes visits to our partner school close to Düsseldorf. In December 2022, 84 students descended on the Gymnasium am Neandertal in Erkrath. https://www.gymneander.de/
We were made very welcome, and our students were able to meet their class partners to whom they had been writing and sharing video clips since they began learning German. We are visiting again in December 2023 with 40 Year 8 students and in 2024 we are embarking on a new venture with a new kind of Exchange with our Year 9 and 10 students.
We also have a strong link with students at the Heinrich Heine Gesamtschule in Düsseldorf following a visit from one of the teachers from this school https://www.hhgeduesseldorf.de/. A teacher from this school stayed with us for 2 weeks as part of the Host a Teacher programme coordinated by the UK-German Connection and the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst. Frau Schorn’s contribution in school has enriched the experience of learning German for all of our students. In October half term our Year 12 and 13 students will be visiting this school as part of their A Level study visit.
In addition to trips abroad, the German Department tries to enhance the experience of learning German for all. Each year 7 student is matched with a student of a similar age in the partner school, and we engage in activities in class such as learning Karneval songs, putting shoes outside the classroom for St Nikolaus or decorate eggs for Easter.
Year 7 students can take part in Spelling Bee, and we have had regional winners! Year 8 and 9 students will be able to participate in the Translation Bee this year and our Year 10 and 11 students are encouraged to participate in a online Exchange SPELLIAN https://spellian.com/
Year 9 students were recently involved in delivering taster sessions in German at a local Primary School as a first step to Language Leader qualification.
Year 12 and 13 A Level German students become our Language Ambassadors and come to help in our lessons for younger students.
We try to instil an interest in languages from Year 7 by inviting students to attend our languages film club offering them the opportunity to discover some fascinating elements of culture of all the languages offered at school.
Thoughts about our Christmas Market Trip December 2023;
‘The Christmas market trip to Düsseldorf was a great opportunity to see the real culture inside Germany. You get to hear the language and explore the lifestyle and the famous landmarks. For example, we had the chance to go visit the cathedral in Cologne (Köln) which is a key landmark and a beautiful building with beautiful architecture. On day one of our 4 day stay in Düsseldorf we experienced a German Christmas market which was a beautiful place, full of delicious German food and authentic German Christmas decorations. It also gave us the chance to practise speaking German and the phrases they use. On day 2 of our trip we visited the Lindt chocolate factory and museum, which was a favourite destination for many of us to enjoy our favourite chocolate. Even if you don’t like Lindt chocolate, it was a great opportunity to buy Christmas gifts for friends and family. On our travels we also visited our partner school who threw us a surprise Christmas party. This was a great chance for us to meet and experience what life is like in a German school and to meet the penfriends we have been writing to for a year, since we started learning German. One of the most fun things we were able to do on the third day of our stay was visit the German school again but this time we experienced 2 lessons and saw how the lessons were different to school in the UK. After lessons we visited Phantasialand and spent the rest of the afternoon exploring this famous German theme park and seeing all the different stalls and shops that were available. On our last day, just before we started our journey back to the UK, we went up the TV tower (Rheinturm) This was an amazing experience to see Germany from an eagle eye view. I would definitely say this trip is one people will never forget.’ Marley Hattan
‘On the 29 of November 2023 I experienced what it is like in Germany. I really enjoyed it and it was an amazing experience. Here are some things I enjoyed. -Phantasialand (my favourite ride was the train. It was unreal) -Schokoladenmuseum (the chocolate it was so delicious) Wasserpark (waterpark I loved it!!!) Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas markets) And that was only a fraction of all of the wonderful things we experienced there was so much. It was such an eye opening experience and I really enjoyed it and had so much fun. I also met my German partner who is now my close friend and I’m very happy that I was able to meet her! When we visited the chocolate factory, I bought some Christmas presents, and in the cathedral, I lit a candle for my grandma . I was also lucky enough to try some new German foods, such as a Bratwurst (hotdog) , fried Donut balls , Pretzels and more! If you get the opportunity to go on this trip, YOU SHOULD GO!’ Jessica Drake
One of the things I liked the most about the German trip was the Christmas markets. They were so beautiful and unique and amazing smells surrounded me. The stalls were full of Christmas decorations and German food. The thing that I enjoyed the most was going to Phantasialand and the swimming pool. I liked both of these places because they were both magical and exciting and in the theme park there were different areas like Mexico and Africa and when you entered that area it felt like you were being transported into that country. They had also paid a lot of attention to detail as there were even fake clothes hanging up on washing lines!’ Issy Craig
‘Our favourite thing on the German Christmas market trip was Phantasialand. We went to the theme park in Düsseldorf called Phantasialand and it was very fun. We also went to the waterpark near cologne and it was really fun. There were quite a few slides and 3 pools. One of my other favourite activities was the chocolate museum. There was a chocolate fountain and we got to try it on a wafer and it was so nice.’ Mae Tallant
‘On the trip I enjoyed the theme park the most and it was really fun.’ Abigail Bacon–Sugrue
‘This trip was my first school trip and I was super nervous but it will be a very memorable trip i can’t choose my favourite thing but I absolutely loved Phantasialand. I also loved the Lindt factory and the water park and of course the markets. This trip has given me loads of new memories and is an unforgettable trip for me.’ Maddie Deasey
‘On the German trip my favourite was Phantasialand which is a massive theme park in Germany that we visited. I loved it because the roller coasters were very fast and fun. I definitely recommend the park. It’s different from the theme parks I have been to in England because the roller coasters were a lot faster and more crazier. Overall a fantastic trip.’ Sophie Mason
‘On the German trip I liked the water park, because it was fun and different to English ones. I also liked the Rheinturn tower (TV tower) because it had good food and the lift was cool.’ Daisy Goodwin
‘Gymnasium am Neandertal – we went to the German school and we had a party then we did a scavenger hunt which I won!
We went to Phantasialand and we went on lots of rides. They all went so fast it is so much fun
The hostel was super cool and fun
We went to the Lindt museum. I ate a lot of chocolate it was ‘lecker’
The cathedral (Dom) was very big and interesting
The Christmas markets were very fun
The ferry on the way back was fun! (However on the way there we took the shuttle train which was much, much faster and only took around half an hour whereas the ferry took almost 2 hours’ Florence Fisher
‘I enjoyed Phantasialand, because it was really fun and I had a great time with my friends, and the same goes for the waterpark. I also liked the school, because they threw us a whole party, which was nice. My friends and I had a great time and I will definitely recommend it to other German students.’ Molly Hole
‘My favourite part of the German trip was Phantasialand. I enjoyed this because it was my first time going on the faster rides. My friends had encouraged me to go, and because my friend told me a story on how she tried her first big ride, I decided to go. I didn’t regret it at all. I also enjoyed it because I talked the most ‘Deutsch’. I had ordered; 4 big portions of fries with ketchup, 3 cokes and 1 Fanta. This made me really proud because I understood mostly everything they were saying, and most importantly they understood me.’ Aleksandra Ivaskeviciute
‘I really enjoyed the Chocolate museum, where I saw the history of chocolate, how it was made, and also there I bought presents for my family. Also I like TV tower and Phantasialand. The TV tower was amazing, it was high but the view from there was beautiful. Phantasialand was interesting and perfect, you can go for different activities depending on what you like.’ Olena Sklyarenko
‘The German trip was so cool, We got on the shuttle and the ferry, At 9pm we swam in the outside pool, The Weihnachtsmarkt was super merry,
Gymnasium am Neandertal was the partner school, The endless amount of chocolate at the chocolate factory, The people at Phantasialand wearing wool, Standing on the glass in the Rheinturm felt like a victory.
The adventures in Cologne, The wonders we saw, The beautiful gemstone, I love every minute I saw,
I would love to go back, I would love to see it all again.’
Thoughts about our Christmas Market Trip December 2022;
‘it’s a wonderful experience with your friends and it’s so interesting to see all the German places.’
‘Would I recommend it? 100%. Not only is it great for learning the language, but it was a great time overall. I got to meet SO many great people at the partner school. But outside of the learning aspect, I would definitely recommend the trip, especially Phantasialand; it was a chance to just relax and have fun.’
‘it was really fun spending time with friends in a foreign country and you get to do new experiences like going to a foreign school and going to a chocolate factory. It will also be a memory that I won’t forget and it’s been the best trip I have ever been in during my time in primary and secondary school.’
‘It is great for making new friends and learning new things about the culture of Germany!’
‘It’s fun and educational. You get to go to Christmas markets but at the same time you learn about the language.’
‘It’s such a fun experience and it’s a once in a lifetime sort of thing for students as you won’t be able to go and see the school and your pen pal again if you went with family’.
‘It’s an absolutely brilliant opportunity to use your German, and when you’re around your friends you have so much fun without even realising. I loved it and I would go again lots of times.’
‘I really liked the chocolate factory because it was cool seeing how my favourite chocolate was made and we also got a lot of samples. I also liked the shop because there was a variety of chocolates to pick from which I could give to my family’.’
‘I would recommend this trip to other students as I enjoyed it very much and I met some lovely people at the partner school.’
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