We are a well-established team consisting of native speakers, subject specialists and linguists.
German is taught in all year groups at the Senior School. Pupils in Year 9 may choose a beginners or continuers class, with the option to continue with German at GCSE level in Year 10. Pupils studying German benefit from a specialist teacher and small class sizes, allowing the teacher to adapt to the needs of each individual, and ensuring pupils get all the attention and resources they need to succeed. International pupils joining Wycliffe for the Development Year may take our accelerated German course as their foreign language option, and complete their iGCSE within one year.
Our German assistants take pupils in pairs (lower school) or one to one (Sixth Form) for speaking lessons, which really help enhance pupils’ communication skills. We also give extra individual speaking practice to all students in Year 11, which has a lasting impact on their proficiency and confidence in this skill.
We run a very successful annual trip to the Christmas markets in a German-speaking country. Our inaugural trip was to Köln in 2017, then Berlin in 2018 and Vienna in 2019. For 2020, we are very excited at the prospect of reviving our long-established exchange link with our partner school in Trier, Germany, and combining this with our Christmas markets trip. We pride ourselves on opening the German Christmas trip to all students in the school, whether they learn German or not. Those who don’t study the language have the chance to experience another culture, see the sights, try the food, and have fun shopping and ice-skating. This year, those who do study German will be able to spend a day in school experiencing German school life with their partners, as well as exploring the Christmas markets and local tourist attractions together. Although we won’t stay in families, the students will still have the chance to build lasting friendships, and it will give them authentic experience of language use. When the German partners visit us at Wycliffe, they also will stay in local hotel accommodation rather than with us in families, but we will spend our days together, both in school and out on excursions and doing activities such as cooking and sports together.
Students of German at Wycliffe also go on subject-related excursions closer to home, for example our Sixth Formers attend German lectures on current affairs, and this year we took GCSE and Year 12 students to a concert by a German band at the Europa School in Oxfordshire. We like to promote awareness of the wider world, so for example this year we have included the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall in our curriculum, and we had a winner in the national competition for European Day of Languages. We use a wide range of resources for learning, and we encourage students to immerse themselves in German via formal or informal multimedia sources to enhance their learning.