Pupils have the chance to study German from Year 7 and we aim to provide an excellent base for the GCSE course. Along with a range of topics relevant to the pupils and their everyday lives, we believe in giving them a firm grounding in grammar and high frequency language so that they feel empowered from an early stage. We follow the popular Na Klar course.
At GCSE level we maximise the opportunities afforded by the ideally sized classes. In working through the syllabus we ensure that there is a good balance between all skill areas and that pupils are given a more in depth understanding of grammar. All pupils are offered regular classes with the native German speaking assistant to further enhance their use of the language.
Many pupils go on to study German at AS and A2. From the outset pupils are encouraged to discuss issues, to ask questions and to express agreement and disagreement. We aim for a balanced approach which acknowledges their need to work independently but does not ignore the fact that careful monitoring and guidance is still necessary.
Aside from classroom activity, the German department offers two lunchtime clubs to pupils, one of which is for Year 7 and Year 8 to promote the lighter side of language learning through games, songs and quizzes. The other is a drop in "clinic" where pupils can receive one to one help.
Every year a trip is offered to pupils studying German. We alternate a short taster trip with a longer study trip. We also take pupils on a regular basis to the German sixth form lectures at the University of Bristol and to revision courses. We also have e-mail links with German schools and can offer pupil exchanges.