German at Sir Thomas Rich's

“Vorsprung durch Deutsch!”

The German department at STRS is a vibrant and active department, dedicated to making learning German a pleasant cultural and linguistic experience. We aim to create strong, independent linguists from year 7 onwards, who will be able to communicate in German with confidence and competence.

Head of Department:
Department Teaching Staff:

Key Stage 3 - Years 8 & 9

Teaching Arrangements: German is introduced in year 7. The time allocation is 4 periods per week. In year 8 and continuing into year 9, German can be taken as a second foreign language. The time allocation is 3 periods per week. From Year 7 through to Year 9 all pupils follow the Pearson STIMMT course. The course is suitable for pupils of all ability ranges and prepares our pupils well for the challenges of the new GCSE requirements.
Homework Guidance: Half an hour to an hour once a week. Additional regular learning of vocabulary for 10 minutes each day will help pupils progress quickly.
Assessment Arrangements: Throughout years 7 to 9 there will be end of unit assessments, testing listening, speaking, reading and writing competency for each unit. These assessments will be done in lesson time.
In addition there will be a formal school end of year examination, assessing listening, reading and writing skills of the work covered during the year.
Topics Covered:
Year 7
  • About myself
  • My family and pets
  • Free time activities
  • School
  • In town
Year 8
  • Holidays
  • Media
  • Health and Fitness
  • A school trip
  • Going on a date
Year 9
  • Role models
  • Music
  • Ambitions
  • Childhood
  • Citizenship

Work at KS3 offers opportunities for pupils to become familiar with the sounds, written form and grammar of German and increase their cultural awareness of German-speaking countries. The work in KS3 will form a sound basis for further study in KS4 and beyond.

Teaching Arrangements: German is normally taught in two sets throughout years 10 and 11. Time allocation is 4 periods per week. All pupils follow the Kerboodle AQA German Higher course. The course is suitable for pupils of a range of ability and interests and includes differentiated material. Throughout years 10 to 11 there will be end of unit assessments, testing listening, speaking, reading and writing competency for each unit. In addition there will be a formal mock examination each year, assessing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills the same skills. German for GCSE offers opportunities for pupils to develop and use their language knowledge with confidence and competence, gaining a deeper understanding of spoken and written German.
Homework Guidance: 1 hour per week. Additionally, it is expected to spend at least 10 minutes per day learning new vocabulary.
Assessment Arrangements: GCSE AQA German has four final assessments at the end of Year 11; one each in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each question paper weights 25% of GCSE German. Pupils will be entered either for Foundation (grades 1-5) or Higher Tier (grades 4-9).
Exam Specification: AQA GCSE Topics Covered:
Year 10 - Foundation Level
  • Me, family and friends
  • Technology in everyday life
  • Free time activities
  • Customs and festivals
  • Home town, neighbourhood and region
  • Social issues
  • Global issues
  • Travel and tourism
  • Life at school/ college
  • Jobs, career choices and ambitions
Year 11 - Higher Level
  • Me, family and friends
  • Technology in everyday life
  • Free time activities
  • Customs and festivals
  • Home town, neighbourhood and region
  • Social issues
  • Global issues
  • Travel and tourism
  • Life at school/ college
  • Jobs, career choices and ambitions

The aim is for our pupils to become independent learners and users of German and to further enhance their knowledge of the German language and culture. German for GCSE will provide a sound basis for further study at A Level.  

Entry Requirements: A GCSE Grade 7 or above in German is required to study German at A Level.
Teaching Arrangements: German is normally taught 6 periods per week by two teachers. One free period will be allocated to the language assistant. These sessions are compulsory and will support quick linguistic progress and confidence in using German as a means of communication.
Homework Guidance: 2 hours per week plus 10 minutes daily learning new vocabulary.
Assessment Arrangements: A Level students are entered for the Eduqas (WJEC) qualification.
Exam Specification: WJEC Eduqas GCE A Level in GERMAN Topics Covered:
Year 12
  • Family structures, traditional and modern values, friendships/ relationships and citizenship
  • Youth trends, issues and personal identity
  • Educational and employment opportunities
  • Regional culture and heritage in Germany/ German speaking countries and communities
  • Literature, art, film and music in the German speaking world
  • Film “Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei” (The educators)
Year 13
  • Migration and integration
  • Cultural identity and marginalisation
  • Cultural enrichment and celebrating difference
  • Discrimination and diversity
  • The making of modern Germany: 1989 onwards
  • Literary text “Ich fühl mich so fifty fifty”
  • Independent research project (as part of the oral examination)

German in years 12 and 13 is an exciting course of study and combines perfectly with any other subject at A-level. Building on your linguistic knowledge, you will be able to develop your language skills to a standard that will enable you to easily converse when abroad, follow the news and write impressive essays.

University courses this subject may be required for or lead onto:
  • education
  • translation
  • interpretation
  • tourism
  • trade
  • PR
  • communications
  • management
  • law
  • Business
Careers that German may lead onto:
  • business
  • engineering
  • finance
  • law
  • journalism
  • teaching
  • government service
  • medicine
  • the sciences
  • art
  • literature
  • philosophy
  • music
  • film
  • export
  • trade
  • international marketing

"I started German in STRS in Year 8 and continued through GCSE to A-Level, achieving a grade A which allowed me to take my passion for German to University. I read Russian with German at the University of Birmingham and graduated in 2015. I chose German because I had always had a fascination with foreign languages and wanted to learn as much about the language and culture of our European neighbours as possible.
Studying German has opened countless doors for me in the area of employability and has given me so many opportunities to travel and meet new and interesting people. My degree included an Auslandsjahr1, of which I spent 6 months in the University of Cologne and 6 months in a language school in Moscow. My degree also gave me the opportunity to travel Germany with friends, go to St Petersburg during the summer when the sun never sets, and even Martinique, a French territory in the heart of the Caribbean. This year, I am going directly into employment at the British School of Tashkent in Uzbekistan as a German and Russian teacher.”
--Dale Lewis, STRS 2004-2011
“Although German was probably my weakest subject at GCSE level, I really enjoyed learning the language and decided to carry it on at A-Level, along with economics, psychology and English literature. I really love Germany and it is a fab language to pair with business/economic studies, as many major successful companies are German or have a large presence in Germany, Switzerland or Austria.
German was my lowest grade at A-Level but I wanted to become fluent and so I decided to study BA German and Management Studies at the University of Reading, with a placement year in Germany. I’m now in my fourth year and have just come back from my year abroad where I got a 1st! I spent six months studying at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf and then moved around three hours down south to complete a six month internship at SAP’s headquarters near Heidelberg. Studying a language at university is great because you have a smaller class where you get to know everybody quite well, teachers and students alike. The business side of my course is very different as there are a lot more students in one lecture.
Studying German at university has increased my confidence hugely and I think I am quite a different person to who I was during my A-Levels. I have just graduated and will be starting my new job as a graduate consultant at SAP in London.
Ich danke euch für alles!! “
--Beth Grant, STRS
2 years ago:
“I am about to start my year abroad in Bad Ischl, Austria (not far from Salzburg). For the first nine months I'll be an English teaching assistant working for the British Council in two schools (working just 13hrs a week and getting paid, so hopefully plenty of time for exploring and immersing myself in the culture!). At the end of my time in Austria, I'm hoping to get a work placement for a few months, hopefully with a translation company in South Germany. In the future, I hope to work in education. “

July 2017:
“I will be leaving Durham with a high 2:1 in German and history. I was pleased with a few highlights from German, including a first in my translation module and a mark off a first in my oral examination, which was quite a shock. I am heading to Bristol University next year to do a PGCE in History (secondary) and hopefully will manage a bit of German teaching alongside.
--Eleanor Youngs, STRS 2011-2013

German offers the opportunity to visit the country and indulge in the German culture, society and language in every Key Stage:
Key Stage 3 – Years 8 and 9 pupils travel to the Rhineland area of Germany for 5 days. The trip includes a visit to Cologne, a boat trip on the river Rhine and the medieval town of Rüdesheim on the banks of the river Rhine, and a day trip to Phantasialand, one of the biggest German theme parks.
Key Stage 4 – Year 10 pupils can take part in the Göttingen exchange, which has now seen 40 years of successful partnership between the Otto-Hahn Gymnasium and Sir Thomas Rich’s.
Key Stage 5 – our Year 12 pupils have the opportunity to take part in the Halsbury work experience programme over the February half term holidays. The programme includes 5 days at their chosen work placement, evening entertainment and travel.