“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”Nelson Mandela

Study of languages gives students a degree of academic rigour and a better understanding of a wide range of current topics and cultures. It widens horizons and imbues a greater tolerance towards different perspectives and ways of life. Competence in a foreign language can greatly enhance career possibilities, whether in its own right, for example in teaching and interpreting or in combination with other skills such as law and the business world. Skilled linguists are particularly appreciated in many fields of employment. 

A level

As at GCSE, the emphasis of the course is on acquiring excellent communication skills. Speaking and listening are as important as reading and writing and the main difference lies in the depth of knowledge expected and the flexibility with which this knowledge can be used.  The course also requires independent thinking and research.  Each student has an individual lesson with the language assistant every week in addition to general conversation in class.

A level content course:

Year 12:

  • Aspects of German-speaking society.This covers topics such as family, digital world, youth culture, fashion, music and television.
  • Artistic Culture in the German-speaking world such as festivals and traditions, art and architecture, cultural life in Berlin past and present.
  • Grammar and Translation
  • Film studied: “Good-Bye Lenin” by Wolfgang Becker

Year 13:

  • Multiculturalism in German speaking-society including immigration, integration and racism.
  • Aspects of political life in the German-speaking world such as Germany and the European Union, politics and German reunification and its consequences.
  • Grammar and Translation
  • Literature studied: “Der Besuch der Alten Dame” by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
  • Individual Research Project.


The German department organises cultural visits to the target language country for Year 12 in Berlin. These not only provide an insight into past and present Berlin, but also give a great deal of historical background to the course. The students are encouraged to undertake a week of work experience abroad through the company Halsbury during October or February half terms, or at Easter.  They also regularly go to the BFI and the Goethe Institute.  They are also encouraged to run film clubs, language societies and organise assemblies.