German at Sir Thomas Rich's

“Vorsprung durch Deutsch!”

The German Department at Sir Thomas Rich's is vibrant and active, dedicated to making learning German a stimulating and intellectually challenging cultural and linguistic experience. From Year 7 onwards we aim to create strong, independent linguists who are 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. Students study 6 periods in a fortnight. 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 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 Key Stage 3 there are end of unit assessments, testing listening, speaking, reading and writing competency for each unit. These assessments are done in lesson time.
In addition there is a formal 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 Key Stage 3 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 Key Stage 3 forms a sound basis for further study in Key Stage 4 and beyond.

Teaching Arrangements: Pupils study 5 periods fortnight. 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 Year 10 and 11 there are end of unit assessments, testing listening, speaking, reading and writing competency for each unit. In addition there is a formal mock examination each year, assessing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. GCSE German offers pupils the opportunity to develop and use their language knowledge and skills with confidence and competence, enabling them to gain a deeper understanding of spoken and written German.
Homework Guidance: 1 hour a week. Students are also expected to spend at least 10 minutes a 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 are 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. GCSE German provides 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 taught for 10 periods a fortnight. One free period will be allocated to the Department Language Assistant. These sessions are compulsory and support quick linguistic progress and confidence in using German as a means of communication.
Homework Guidance: 2 hours a 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 Year 12 and Year 13 is an exciting course of study and combines perfectly with any other subject at A Level. Building on linguistic knowledge, students develop their language skills to a standard that enables them to easily converse abroad, follow the news and write impressive essays.

University courses this subject may be required for or lead onto:
  • Teaching
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Economics
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Event Management
  • PR and Marketing
  • Communications
  • Business and Management
  • Law
Careers that German may lead onto:
  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Government
  • Medicine
  • Sciences
  • Arts
  • Literature
  • Academic research
  • Music industry
  • Film industry
  • Management
  • International marketing

"I started German 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 six months at the University of Cologne and six months at a language school in Moscow. My degree also gave me the opportunity to travel Germany with friends, visit St Petersburg, and even to visit Martinique, a French territory in the heart of the Caribbean. After university, I was employed by the British School of Tashkent in Uzbekistan as a German and Russian teacher.”
Dale Lewis, student 2004-2011
“Although German was probably my weakest subject at GCSE, I really enjoyed learning the language and decided to carry 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 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 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. 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, former student

“I left the University of Durham with a high 2:1 in German and History. I was pleased with a few highlights from German, including a 1st in my translation module and a mark off a 1st in my oral examination, which was quite a shock. I then headed to Bristol University to do a PGCE in History (Secondary) and have incorporated some German teaching alongside.
Eleanor Youngs, student 2011-2013

German offers the opportunity for students in every Key Stage to visit the country and experience German culture, society and language:
Key Stage 3 – Year 8 and 9 pupils travel to the Rhineland area of Germany for five days. The trip includes a visit to Cologne, a boat trip on the 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 five days at their chosen work placement, evening entertainment and travel.