Head of German: Julia Sassen email@example.com
The German Department
The German department is a small but thriving department within Modern Languages. The emphasis lies on enabling our pupils to become competent and self-reliant speakers of German. Bucking the national trend, the take-up of German at Sevenoaks School is firmly on the up.
There are four highly committed and enthusiastic teachers of German as well as an excellent German assistant for conversation lessons. Class sizes are smaller than average, and the classroom atmosphere is very friendly. Luckily for us, there are a number of native speakers of German in the school who act as brilliant ambassadors for their country and provide our learners of German with a valuable opportunity to practise their German outside the classroom.
The German department regularly organises cinema and theatre trips, an annual Christmas market trip, and puts on German plays. There is also a German cinema club, convening once a week, where German language films are projected.
We firmly believe in the broader educational value of school exchanges and run a highly successful exchange programme. We are particularly proud of our unique Year 10 link with our partner school in Ibbenbüren, which has been running for over 25 years. Initially designed to foster greater language competence and cultural awareness, it has over the years evolved into a multi-layered link, encompassing both the Music and the Drama departments. Equally popular is our Lower Sixth exchange with the Helene-Lange-Gymnasium in Hamburg.
Currently there is no provision for German in Year 7.
German has been offered as an option in Year 8 since September 2011. They are making fantastic progress and have the opportunity to try out their first words of German during the Christmas Market trip to Monschau and Aachen, which is always a highlight of the festive season. Especially the trip to Charlemagne’s town of Aachen and the Lindt factory outlet which is a firm favourite for chocolate lovers.
Due to a recent increase in the take-up of German in Year 9 we are in a position to offer Beginners German as well as German for those who have previously studied the language. The language is taught with a strong focus on oral expression in view of the fact that we want to see our pupils in a position to gain the most from, and feel absolutely comfortable about, their exchange stay in Germany half way through Year 10. The classroom language is German, and there are regular sessions in the state-of-the-art language laboratory. The myth about German being a difficult language to learn is usually dispelled within the first few weeks of term.
Years 10 & 11
We currently use the OCR board for our GCSE course, but deliver Year 10 and Year 11 German teaching at a level that aims a long way beyond the OCR requirements. Our goal is to put all our Germanists in a position where they can freely express their every thought and idea without having to have recourse to bite-size GCSE speak. It is this level of proficiency reached by the end of Year 11 which guarantees a smooth transition into the Sixth Form IB courses, and a large proportion of our GCSE cohort happily take this step. The highly successful Year 10 exchange with the Goethe-Gymnasium in Ibbenbüren forms an integral part of our Year 10 curriculum. The pupils are hosted by extremely Anglophile local families and enjoy a very varied 2-week programme of lessons, excursions, day trips to Bremen and Osnabrück, as well as cultural outings.
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