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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Year 11 German

Guidance for parents

What will students be learning in German this year?

The students will continue to follow the current syllabus of the WJEC examination board. WE will focus on the topics holidays, the environment, and the World of Work.  We will be consolidating and building on all the language students covered in year 10, especially the verb tenses. 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 and account for 60%. Students will learn more about the language and about German culture.

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. We will test vocabulary and grammar regularly, as steadily building up the students' 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 and completing homework to the best of their ability, as this will help them with the preparation of their controlled assessments.  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 correct or 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 on-going vocabulary and grammar tests to assess the extent to which students have assimilated the new language. However, the focus of assessment this year will be the completion of the two oral and written controlled assessments. During mock exam week students will undertake an oral assessment, and the written assessment will be completed in lesson time a couple of weeks later. The last written and oral controlled assessments take place in February/March in the spring term. The students’ two best pieces in each skill (including those done at the end of Year 10) will be submitted to the exam board.

The mock listening and reading comprehension papers will be based on old exam papers. While these cannot count toward the GCSE, they are good practice and inform the students how far they still have to go in order to achieve their target grade.

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. The students will have the opportunity to review their progress at termly intervals in consultation with their teacher and to set personal targets. The Autumn current performance grade will be mainly influenced by the mock exam and grades achieved in controlled assessments so far, but will also reflect work done during the year.

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 as soon as possible after the beginning of term. It is not too late to address issues and perseverance usually pays off. There are plenty of extra materials available for practice in the student shared area of the school’s computer system, on Moodle and the Internet. Websites such as languagesonline.org.uk or memrise are ideal for further practice of all four skill areas.  We will offer lunchtime revision sessions and conversation practice with the language assistant, especially before the major assessments.

How can I support my daughter in Y 11?

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 use the above mentioned revision activities and do her best in the Controlled Assessments, as these count for the majority of the GCSE grade.

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. Apart from the above mentioned websites she could also consult the exam board's  own (wjec.co.uk) if she wants to do extra practice.

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