The principal aim of this course is for you to be able to communicate fluently in Europe’s most widely spoken language, thus making you stand out from the woeful and chronic shortage of multilingual school leavers. Knowledge of German can be vital to international work in the areas of science, engineering, business and the humanities. German holds the key to a deeper understanding of where our modern world has come from and where it might be going.
Through its authors, philosophers, composers, painters and scientists, German-speaking Europe has not only been at the crossroads of history for the past 800 years, but promises to remain one of the most important world cultures for the foreseeable future.
I am aware that the step up to A Level can be a daunting one. You needn’t worry as small class sizes will mean plenty of one-to-one support. We will be building on your linguistic knowledge as well as the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing you have gained during your GCSE studies. Some of the themes taught at AS may indeed be familiar to you and will reappear as we study various topics such as the changing state of the family (relationships and family), the digital world and youth culture (music and fashion). Coupled with advanced grammar, we will also study German festivals and traditions, art and architecture as well as Berlin’s cultural life past and present. New to this specification is the study of a German novel, play or a film at AS Level.
Our travels to date took us to Germany (2014) and Austria (2016) where we discovered much of Berlin’s and Vienna’s history, particularly the cities’ Jewish history. We followed the trails of Vienna’s most famous residents, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt and Gustav Mahler whose life and works may form part of the independent research project undertaken at A2. The examinations follow a familiar pattern of listening and reading comprehension exercises followed by a translation part in which you can show off your grammatical skills. In your writing examination, you will be asked to discuss the film, play or novel we have studied. An oral exam completes the assessment process.
The Academy’s general entry criteria of a minimum of five 4s at GCSE apply. Students need to have a 5 grade in German at GCSE, although this really is an absolute minimum. Critically, students should be fiercely passionate about the language, and the desire to learn how to read, speak and write it and be committed to understanding about the culture in which it has thrived and thrives now.
To find out more about the A Level course, click here, to visit the AQA website.