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German A Level at Nailsea School

Course description

Linguists are in demand. Language GCSEs enable you to function at a social level in a foreign country; A Levels provide you with the skills needed to operate at a much higher level. Studying a foreign language at A Level will broaden your horizons, make you aware of current affairs and popular culture here and abroad, give you the ability to debate and argue your point, and communicate effectively using a high degree of spoken and written language.

You must have a commitment to speaking the language in class, as much of the work is done in pairs or groups producing dialogues, debates, group presentations and dramatisations, based around a wide range of current and topical themes. A careful study will be made of the grammar of the language to enable effective communication in all these areas.

The A Level builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE and develops the spontaneous use of your language skills. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. The approach is a focus on how the target language-speaking society has been shaped socially and culturally and how it continues to change. In the first year aspects of the social context are studied, together with aspects of the artistic life of the target language-speaking countries. In the second year, further aspects of the social background are covered, alongside the political landscape, both in relation to the country itself and its place in Europe. The past and its role in shaping the present is viewed through historical events and their consequences while the focus on young people and politics looks forward to shaping the future. Students will be using authentic spoken and written sources in the target language. Furthermore students will study a choice of works such as films, literacy texts, novels and poems. Learning a language at A-level is not only a good qualification on your CV but a gift for life as it enables you to become fluent in a second language and therefore opens up many doors and opportunities for your future.

Course content

Skills/Aptitudes Developed/Required:

  • You must be prepared to talk in the language every lesson. You must develop and express your opinions on the topics studied.
  • You must have a lively interest in the people, life and culture of the relevant country or countries.
  • You must have a commitment to keeping abreast of current affairs at home and abroad.
  • You must have a desire to make progress in your chosen language through independent study and participation in class. You must be prepared to develop and express opinions.
  • You must have a willingness to read in the language, attend lectures, plays and films and, if possible, travel abroad to practise your language.

Entry requirements

Grade 5 at GCSE in the relevant language (both GCSE higher papers must’ve been taken).

Entry to the Sixth Form is not automatic, but depends on:

Achieving 5 grade 4s or above for entry to level 3 courses and meeting the individual entry requirements of your chosen Level 3 courses.


The Exam is divided into three parts:

Part 1: Listening, Reading, Writing (50% of A Level) In this paper, all the topics you have studied over the course are assessed via reading and listening as well as translation tasks. Your ability to apply grammar studies is also very important. Where possible authentic material is being incorporated into this paper.

Part 2: Writing (20% of A Level). In this paper you will be writing about one text and one film (or two texts). Your ability to engage with the material as well as the application of grammar will be assessed.

Part 3: Speaking (30% of A Level). During the exam you will be talking about an individual research project as well as about one of four-sub themes studied during the course (based on the stimulus card).

Awarding Body: AQA

Future opportunities

A modern foreign language is a good subject choice for many students and combines well with a wide range of subjects, i.e. another foreign language, English, Humanities, Business Studies, Computing, Maths and Science. The new examination syllabuses cater for the needs and interests of a wide variety of students, and universities and colleges offer many degree courses combining a modern foreign language with another discipline.

Our links with the European Community are developing constantly and the ability to speak a foreign language is becoming increasingly important. There is great demand for personnel with foreign language skills: international organisations such as the EU or the UN, international banking, import/export trade, airlines and the tourist industry; also, journalism, public relations, secretarial, translating, interpreting, communication technology, publishing and teaching.

Further information

Students will be asked to purchase a text book as well as the novel, which the class will be studying during the course. We furthermore advise to purchase a grammar and translation workbook.

Student Profile - German

A Levels: German, History, Geography, English Language

Level 2 Courses studied: At GCSE I achieved 7 A*s, 3 A s, 1 B and a merit in I.C.T. In German GCSE I got an A. I am pleased that I passed and got all my GSCEs. My results did not affect my choice of sixth form subjects.

Reasons for taking course: In sixth form I am taking History, Geography, English Language and German. I chose these subjects because I really enjoyed them at GCSE. Also they presented me with new opportunities such as subject-relevant lectures, trips and events.

What I like about this course: I like how much freedom you are given in sixth form. You are given control over your own studies and time. It can be hard work at times but is very rewarding. I especially enjoy German as it has allowed me to explore the world more through trips and other experiences. It has also opened many doors for my future. Learning a foreign language has boosted my confidence and helped me overcome fears of speaking in a foreign lan-guage.

My advice: I would advise anyone who is interested in German or the country to consider taking German at A-level because it gives you the chance to expand future opportunities and explore a whole new country.

Before starting A-levels I wish I knew that you are constantly guided and assisted through your studies – you are not just thrown into the deep end. Sixth form is a lot of work, but it is important to bear in mind that you do have the freedom and independence to make it work for you.

My advice: Pick subjects based on what you enjoy. I would also recommend for people who are unsure of where they’re going in the future to try and keep their options fairly broad, as it means you have a wide choice of options (languages are always useful) and aren’t limiting yourself.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Nailsea School directly.

Last updated date: 01 December 2017

Key information