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GCSE German Years 10 & 11


AQA - The specification and assessment structure can be found at the link below:

What will I study?

By the end of year 9, pupils will have covered a good deal of the grammar required for GCSE.  Furthermore, much work covered in years 8 and 9 will be relevant to the themes identified at GCSE. You will continue to work in the skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, extending both vocabulary and grammar. The following themes are identified in the subject specification:

Theme 1: Identity and culture covers the following topics:

Topic 1: Me, my family and friends (Relationships with family and friends; Marriage/partnership).

Topic 2: Technology in everyday life (Social media; Mobile technology).

Topic 3: Free-time activities (Music; Cinema and TV; Food and eating out; Sport).

Topic 4: Customs and festivals in German-speaking countries/communities.

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest covers the following topics:

Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region.

Topic 2: Social issues (Charity/voluntary work; Healthy/unhealthy living).

Topic 3: Global issues (The environment; Poverty/homelessness).

Topic 4: Travel and tourism.

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment covers the following topics:

Topic 1: My studies.

Topic 2: Life at school/college.

Topic 3: Education post-16.

Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions.

What skills and qualities are required?

Comprehension, both reading and listening, requires candidates to have a good knowledge of vocabulary, an understanding of the structure of the language and the ability to deduce meaning. 

Written and spoken work require good vocabulary, the ability to understand linguistic patterns and an attention to detail. A sound understanding of verbs and tenses is needed.

Good application and consistent efforts with learning are needed, combined with the development of a feel for the language(s) studied.

The department’s aim is to produce confident and spontaneous language users.

How will I learn?

Comprehension work will be extended by addressing the demands of longer and more complex texts and by refining comprehension techniques. Written work will be developed by the inclusion of larger sequences of language. Speaking will be practised as a class, in small groups and individually. Pupils should extend their range of language and work to improve fluency, accuracy and accent.

How will I be assessed?

Listening (Paper 1) and Reading (Paper 3) are assessed in exams at the end of Year 11.  It would be expected that all pupils at King’s would sit the Higher papers.  These exams are worth 25% of the final exam each and last approximately 45 minutes.  There are various question types including English questions to be answered in English, German questions to be answered in German or non-verbal questions.  The Reading Paper includes a short translation from the foreign language into English.

Speaking (Paper 2) is assessed in one exam (conducted by the teacher) towards the end of Year 11.  Recordings are externally marked by the Board.  The exam is worth 25% of the whole exam and lasts for 10-12 minutes.  There are three sections which include a role-play exercise, a photo card (which has to be described) and general conversation.

Writing (Paper 4) is examined at the end of the course.  At Higher level, the exam lasts 1 hour 15 minutes and makes up the final 25% of the exam.  There are 3 questions:

Question 1 – structured writing task (student responds to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions.

Question 2 – open-ended writing task (student responds to two compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 150 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions.

Question 3 – translation from English into German (minimum 50 words).

Where could it lead?

A language is an asset that could in future be allied to any skill or discipline and has clear applications within the world of business at all levels including management and the entrepreneurial field. The same applies to, for example, the international legal system, work within the travel and tourism sector, work in national and local government, the diplomatic service, security, journalism or tourism etc.  Language study could clearly lead to a career in translating as well as teaching, either secondary or primary. At university, there are opportunities to study for a joint honours degree offering study of a language allied to another subject and with the possibility of studying or working abroad for one year as part of the course.  This applies not only to language study with other Arts subjects, but also Business, Law and even subjects such as Engineering and Computer Studies.  The study of German offered at King’s prepares students for future acquisition of other Latin based languages.  Students who have studied A level language at King’s in recent years have also gone on to study Russian and the attraction of languages such as Mandarin also beckons.  Maintaining two foreign languages at school, that is to say both French and German, will set King’s pupils apart from many other students in this country and will make them an attractive potential employee in many higher-level and better paid positions.

Additional requirements/information

The Department believes that language learning is a necessary and exciting requirement of the modern world.  A GCSE in German forms part of the English Baccalaureate, meaning that a good qualification in Languages is increasingly sought after.

The British Academy recently produced a report entitled “Languages: the State of the Nation”.  The report summary began by giving priority to its finding that:

“There is strong evidence that the UK is suffering from a growing deficit in foreign language skills at a time when global demand for language skills is expanding”.

We believe that King’s has a part to play in addressing this shortfall by providing comprehensive language provision at both GCSE and A level.

The Smart Choice

Facts and benefits of Learning German in the UK


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Year 10

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1 Unit 1


Listening, speaking, reading and writing

2 Unit 1 and Unit 2 School & Leisure  

Spring Term


Unit 2

Leisure Listening, speaking, reading and writing
2 Unit 3 Family, friendship and relationships Listening, speaking, reading and writing
Summer Term
1 Unit 3 Family, friendship and relationships Listening, speaking, reading and writing
2 Unit 4  My home Listening, speaking, reading and writing

Year 11

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1&2 Travel and the wider world Hoilday, town, leisure

Listening, reading, writing

Spring Term

Education and work

School, work experience, future study and jobs

Listening, speaking, reading, writing

National and international areas of interest

Festival, events, social problems and the environment

Listening, speaking, reading, writing

Summer Term
1 Past papers (listening, writing and reading) Mock Examinations Revision techniques


Resources Topic Type of assessment

Unit 1 School

Listening, reading and writing
CAT 2 Unit 2 Leisure Listening, reading and writing
CAT 3 Unit 3 Family, friendship and relationships Listening, reading, speaking and writing 
CAT 4 Travel and the wider world Listening, reading and speaking
CAT 5 All topics covered in Year 10 and 11 Mock examination (Listening, reading, speaking and writing)

Main Resources

Resource Details Term
Text books

Stimmt AQA GCSE []

Topic booklets (2x) produced by the department, grammar booklet

Recommended websites


Enrichment opportunities

Activity Day and time or term
Bamberg exchange

June – German students visit

October - King's students visit Bamberg

Where Next