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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Year 10 German

Guidance for parents

What will students be learning in German this year?

2015 is the start of the final year of the current GCSE specifications for Modern Languages. We will be following the syllabus of the WJEC examination board. There are 4 broad topic areas: Personal and Social, Local Community, the World of Work and the Wider World. We will be consolidating and building on all the language students covered at KS3. Assessment takes the form of listening and reading comprehension tests which are taken at the end of Y11 and account for 40% of the final grade, and controlled assessments in writing and speaking which are taken in class  over the 2 years of the course and account for 60%. Students will learn more about the language and about German culture . Video clips, film, music, and computer resources help to bring the language to life.

Expectations of students in German

There are 2 one hour lessons a week and one 45 minute homework. Homework may be reading comprehension, vocabulary or grammar learning, grammar practice, writing, or preparing for an assessment. It is important for students to see learning homeworks as important as steadily building up their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge is critical to their success.  To get the most from the course, students are expected to take an active part in lessons, especially in speaking German at every opportunity.  Written work is marked using the department's marking codes, which enable students to work out for themselves how to improve their work, thus helping them to learn more effectively. They are expected to redraft marked work and will usually have the opportunity to do this and ask questions in lesson time.

What are the major assessments this year?

There will be formal assessments roughly termly as outlined in the assessment summary. Ongoing vocabulary and grammar tests assess the extent to which students have assimilated the new language. As part of the end of year exam, students will undertake one written and one spoken Controlled Assessment. If these reach a sufficient standard, they may be 'banked' and counted towards the final GCSE grade the following year. The end of year listening and reading comprehension papers will be based on old exam papers. While these cannot count toward the GCSE , they are important practice for the real thing.

What will the current performance grade be based on and what does it mean?

The current performance grade will be in the range A-E, reflecting the current GCSE grading.  A target minimum grade for each student will be determined at the start of the Autumn Term. They will have the opportunity to review their progress at termly intervals in consultation with their teacher and to set personal targets. The grade given at the end of the year will be influenced by the end of year exam but will also take into account work over the year. It is an indication of the grade the student might expect to get at the end of the course if she continues to work as she has in Y10.

What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?

It is important for students to let their teacher know of any concerns promptly, so that support and advice can be offered, before she starts to fall behind. Finding something challenging at first does not mean that one cannot do it: indeed it is often in overcoming problems that we learn most!

How can I support my daughter in Y 10?

It is by no means essential to know German in order to support your daughter effectively. Simply by taking an interest, asking her to show you her work and explain it, and encouraging her, you can make an enormous difference to how she feels about  the subject . You can also encourage her to do her best in the Controlled Assessments at the end of the year as these can count towards the GCSE.

What kind of independent work should my daughter  be completing?

It is a good idea for her to review her lesson notes and the relevant resources as soon as possible after the lesson, to help it sink in. There are a range of websites including the exam board's  own (wjec.co.uk) which she can use if she wants to do extra practice. And of course, we recommend that she take part if the Y10 exchange trip to Starnberg.

Whom can I contact for further advice and I formation?

Please feel free to contact your daughter's class teacher in the first instance, but Mrs Thomas as Head of German is also available on athomas@newsteadwood.bromley.sch.uk