FOUNDATION | EXAMINATION | ADVANCED
The University of Cambridge highlights the following reasons why German is such an important subject:
“Speakers of German are the largest linguistic group in the European Union and have played a central role in European history and culture for nearly two thousand years. Germany's geographical position has made it a natural mediator between east and west, north and south. In the periods of Reformation, and of Romanticism and Modernism, the German lands saw the birth of literary, artistic, theological, philosophical and musical movements which continue to shape the world we live in today. German writers such as Goethe, the brothers Grimm, Thomas Mann, Brecht or Grass and thinkers such as Luther, Kant, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud rank among the most important writers and thinkers of the West.
German remains an important language in the twenty-first century. Germany has the third largest economy in the world and is the world's most successful exporting nation. Roughly 10% of all books published worldwide are written in German and there are more than twice as many German websites (.de) as British (.uk). German is spoken by over 100 million people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.”
At Kingsbury High School the purpose of studying a foreign language is of greater relevance now than ever before as it allows our students to access the cultural richness of our society and of the world and to acquire lifelong skills that will enable them to thrive in education and in their personal lives as well as making them more employable in the world of work. Through the learning of languages students develop transferable skills, which will strengthen their ability to observe and analyse the world around them, enhance their confidence to form reasoned arguments, hone their independence and study skills, boost their creativity and help them to realise their aspirations. The students will also, hopefully, develop a lifelong love of learning languages and appreciation of cultural differences.
We always endeavour to engage all our students in the course of this learning journey. Students develop a keen curiosity and awareness of the new language and culture through exposure to a variety of authentic materials and experiences. These include the presentation of Germany and German-speaking countries in terms of their typical festivals, history, art, songs and literature, amongst other aspects of the countries. Students’ learning styles and needs are catered for by the wide variety of engaging activities and resources which are on offer. Students are keen to apply their knowledge and initiative when taking part in games and quizzes, completing and presenting projects, producing posters and audio-visual performances in German language. Students are also enthusiastic to go beyond their textbooks and use the available online resources and websites to practise the language further.
Students’ level of engagement is subject to regular monitoring during every lesson and by additional measures such as the learning walks and book scrutinies. Our students enjoy the opportunity of identifying which language activities they find engaging and they have the opportunity to suggest how student engagement could be improved in an annual survey in the form of the ‘Pupil Voice’.
We also endeavour to include all our students in the course of their study of the foreign language and address individual circumstances, abilities and needs on a daily and over a long-term basis. In Key Stage 3 students work in mixed-ability groups and access general and differentiated learning. This approach nurtures the culture of an inclusive learning environment where all learners feel encouraged to give their best and support and inspire each other. The teaching in Key Stage 4 continues to cater for individual needs but has a more defined focus on tier-oriented content. The objective of inclusivity is also met by providing students with tasks that require a range of different skills and talents: these activities include project research, Excel Day art and leadership workshops, audio-visual production of role plays and presentations. A number of students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds are able to enjoy cultural experiences by taking part in visits to institutes that promote the German language, outings to the theatre and cinema, educational workshops and various other trips organised for the different year groups.
Curriculum & Assessment
Year 7 and Year 8 – Looking into the possibility of organising a short trip to the historic city of Aachen
Year 8 Excel Days – Art Dealership in MFL
Year 9 – Residential trip to Cologne (or possibly Munich, in future)
Year 10 Excel Days – School-based workshops on German literature and films
Year 12 and Year 13 – Conferences and workshops (e.g. at the German Embassy, Goethe Institute and BFI), related to the course and target-language culture