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German A Level at St Olave's Grammar School

Course description

tudying a language in the Sixth Form requires a solid grounding in vocabulary, grammar and structure at GCSE level, the motivation and determination to work hard, and, above all, the curiosity to find out about culture!

We will be following the AQA German AS and A Level specifications using a variety of books and resources to spark our students’ interest, and we encourage them to borrow materials (novels, plays, DVDs etc.) or use web-sites to facilitate their all important independent learning.

Our Sixth-Form students work with our German Assistant to develop their speaking skills in compulsory weekly sessions, both at AS and A-Level.

Course content


At least an A Grade in GCSE German is required by students wishing to study A-Level German.

Work continues post-GCSE with the four skills of Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing, at a higher level.  Additionally, the ability to translate and summarise will form part of the exam and the film Das Leben der Anderen will be studied.  Work in terms of vocabulary, grammar and structure also continues in the following two broad topic areas:

  1. Aspects of German-speaking society
  2. Artistic culture in the German-speaking world


Students confirm whether they will be sitting the AS examinations or continuing to the full A-Level in the first half of Year 12.


Language work continues at a higher level than at AS, across all skills practised in Year 12, and additionally focuses on the following topic areas:

  1. Multiculturalism in German-speaking society
  2. Aspects of political life in the German-speaking world

Furthermore, students will take an in-depth look at Der Vorleser by Bernhard Schlink and select a topic of their liking for their Individual Research Project (IRP).

Entry requirements

At least an A Grade in GCSE German is required by students wishing to study A-Level German.


AS Level

Paper 1: Listening, Reading & Writing

  • Listening, Reading, Summary & Translation into English
  • 45% of AS
  • 1hr 45mins
  • May

Paper 2: Writing

  • Translation into German & Essay on the Film
  • 25% of AS
  • 1hr 30mins
  • May

Paper 3: Speaking

  • 2 Stimulus Cards from 2 sub-themes
  • 30% of AS
  • 12-14mins
  • April or May

A Level

Paper 1: Listening, Reading & Writing

  • Listening, Reading, Summary, Translation into German & Translation into English
  • 50% of A-Level
  • 2hrs 30mins
  • June

Paper 2: Writing

  • 1 Essay each on the Literature and the Film
  • 20% of A-Level
  • 2hrs
  • June

Paper 3: Speaking

  • 1 Stimulus Card from 1 sub-theme & Individual Research Project (IRP)
  • 30% of A-Level
  • 16-18mins
  • April or May

Further information


The residential trip to Berlin and the exchange with the Hölderlin Gymnasium in Heidelberg alternate in a two year cycle.  The former is a five day cultural trip, visiting the Reichstag and museums, such as the unusual Jewish Museum, the memorable Topographie des Terrors or the hands-on DDR Museum, looking at historic sites, such as the remnants of the Berlin Wall or the Jewish Memorial, as well as receiving a moving guided tour through the former Stasi prison Hohenschönhausen.  The 7-day exchange in the well-known, romantic town of Heidelberg involves one day at school and a joint excursion with exchange partners.  On the other week days sites in Heidelberg, such as the castle, are visited, as well as the near-by cities of Mannheim and Frankfurt.  During the evenings and the weekend, students stay with their hosts, either at home or out and about.  Both trips are thoroughly enjoyed by all participants and students are encouraged to speak the target language only whilst in Germany, which improves their understanding and fluency dramatically. 

We attend German conferences or film study days in London when appropriate and possible, and all students take part in the UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO).

We also run a French and German film club at lunchtimes aimed at Year 10-13 students, in which we show current French/German films in the target language, with English subtitles.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Olave's Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 24 March 2017
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