Ysgol Stanwell School

Archer Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 2XL


Head of Department
Mrs T Davis
Mrs S Cameron
Mrs J Jones

German is a very popular optional subject introduced in Year 8. On average 60% of the year group chooses to learn this new language, which is taught by an enthusiastic team of four well qualified teachers. We are a small, but perfectly formed department!

We are also very fortunate to have a full time native speaker language assistant, who works mainly with Year 12 and Year 13. This year (2014-15) her name is Melanie Egger and she comes from Innsbruck in Austria.

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 pupils are allocated 3 lessons of German per fortnight and there are currently 6 sets. In Year 8 we learn about: Introducing oneself, family and pets, school, the home, food and hobbies.

The main resource in our classrooms is the interactive whiteboard, where we use resources and games from language learning websites, as well as our own resources.

We currently use the course book entitled Klasse (published by OUP) and all pupils receive the Klasse workbook.

We encourage pupils to speak in German as much as possible in lessons in order to increase their confidence and improve their spoken German. Pupils learn through a balance of the four skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing, and these are all complimented by games and songs.

Why Learn German in Year 8?

  • It’s not difficult!
  • German and English are closely related so there are lots of words that are instantly recognisable. eg. Maus Schuh Elefant Kaffee Buch Apfel Familie Insekt Papier Dezember Schokolade Fussball.
  • Since German and English are like sister languages, you will even be able to understand some whole sentences. eg.Mein Bruder trinkt eine Cola. Mein Freund tanzt in der Disco. Das Haus ist in England.
  • You never know when you might need it! Maybe when you’re on holiday or later on when you’re looking for a job. You don’t have to be fluent, even being able to say hello and ask how someone is may be a big advantage.
  • It won’t disadvantage you in Welsh or French.
  • Studying German doesn’t mean that you will fall behind in French and Welsh as you will cover the same work and do the same tests.

Choosing to study German next year doesn’t mean that you’re choosing to study it for GCSE. Give it a try and see how you get on!

Key Stage 4: GCSE

The course is a natural progression of the work done in Year 8 leading on to GCSE in Year 11. Pupils continue to learn through the main skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. We follow the WJEC course and use a combination of the Klasse textbook along with AQA GCSE German (both published by OUP).

Which topics are studied at GCSE?

We study free time, the environment, home, healthy living and the world of work.

How is GCSE assessed?

Pupils sit exams in listening (20%) and reading (20%) at the end of Year 11.

Speaking is assessed through two pieces of coursework, consisting of a presentation (to the teacher) followed by a discussion (15%) and a conversation on a different topic (15%). The writing coursework (30%) consists of two tasks completed in class, where pupils have access to dictionaries.

There is no final exam to assess speaking or writing! It is 100% coursework!

A Level

Students are allocated 5 lessons per week and in addition they have 1 lesson per week with the German assistant.  Students follow the WJEC syllabus.

Which topics are studied at A-Level?

Students will study a number of topics with reference to German speaking countries as well as in a wider global context.

Leisure and Lifestyles (AS)
  • Travel and tourism
  • Sport
  • Hobbies
  • Entertainment
  • Customs
  • Traditions
  • Healthy living
    • Health and nutrition
    • Diet and exercise
  • Unhealthy living
    • Drugs
    • AIDS
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol
The Individual and Society (AS)
  • Relationships and responsibilities
  • Gender issues
  • Youth culture
    • Values
    • Peer groups
    • Fashions
    • Trends
    • and more!
  • Education
  • Vocational training
  • Future careers.
Environmental Issues (A2)
  • Pollution
  • Global warming
  • Transport
  • Energy
  • Nuclear energy.
Social and Political Issues (A2)
  • EU
  • Multi-culturalism
  • Racism
  • Immigration
  • Social exclusion and integration
  • Terrorism
  • World of work
    • Employment
    • Commerce
    • Globalisation
    • Minimum wage
    • Single European market
    • Euro
    • and more!
The Guided Studies option

In addition, part of the A2 course will involve studying one film and one book from a prescribed list. This year we are studying Goodbye Lenin and Der Besuch der Alten Dame. The film will be discussed in the oral examination (GN3) and the book will be examined through an essay on the GN4 paper.

How is A-Level assessed?

At AS there are 2 units:

  1. GN1 – Oral (Conducted by an external examiner) (20%)
  2. GN2 – Listening, Reading and Writing (30%)

These units are assessed in the Summer term of Year 12.

It is possible to re-sit these papers in the Summer term of Year 13.

At A2 there are 2 units:

  1. GN3 – Oral (Conducted by an external examiner) (20%)
  2. GN4 – Listening, Reading and Writing (30%)

These units are assessed in the Summer term of Y13.

Why learn German for GCSE or A Level?

  • German is easier to learn than you think because it’s related to English. With a reasonable amount of effort any average student can expect to do well.
  • Germany is a short flight away. You can ski or snowboard in the mountains, sunbathe on the beaches and by the lakes, visit the Berlin Film Festival or the Oktoberfest in Munich. It is a great country to travel in – discover the people, the culture and the cities.
  • Anyone who can speak German can communicate with around 100 million people in their own language for German is not only spoken in Germany but also in Austria, Switzerland and in many other countries in Europe.
  • Speaking German will improve your job prospects, not just in Germany but at home and wherever you are. Germany is the most important trading partner for many European and non-European countries.
  • Businesses are eager to recruit people with language qualifications. In many companies a foreign language will be the deciding factor when two candidates have similar qualifications. Graduates with German have the best employment prospects after the medical professions.
  • Knowledge of German is a real asset for students and scientists. If you can read German, you have access to whole world of research findings in all areas of modern science.
  • As a citizen of the EU you have the right to live, work or study in Germany or Austria. You will also be able to use your German in many of the countries that recently joined the EU such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.
  • Understanding and speaking German will enable you to gain a much deeper insight into the history and culture of the heart of Europe.
  • At university German can be combined with many other subjects.
  • The ERASMUS scheme gives students the opportunity to spend a semester or a year studying at a German university.
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