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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Year 9 German

Guidance for parents

What will students be studying in German this year?

Building on the foundations laid in Y8, students will broaden their vocabulary and learn a wider range of structures, so that they can build extended sentences, refer to past events and future plans and ask and answer questions. Specific topics covered include describing a past holiday, talking about favourite films, TV programmes and books, discussing the pros and cons of modern media, food and healthy living, attitudes to fashion and clothing. Whatever the topic, the aim is to

equip students with the tools to confidently form language of their own now and in the future. We will be also learning about cultural aspects such as carnival in German-speaking countries, German films, music and cooking.

Expectations of Students in German

There are 2 one hour lessons and one homework per week, which may be a reading comprehension, written exercise, preparation for an oral, learning vocabulary or grammar, or practice of a grammar point. It is important to see learning homeworks as just as important as written ones. Students should be prepared to 'have a go' in lessons and not worry about making mistakes, as that is an important step in the learning process. Written work is marked with the department's marking codes, which indicate to students how to improve it rather than the teacher simply writing in the correction, and students are expected to redraft their work using these. They will normally be given the opportunity to do this and to ask any questions in lesson time.

What are the major assessments this year?

There will be an assessed piece of speaking or writing every half term which will help to chart your daughter's progress. Regular vocabulary and grammar test specific points, following a learning homework. The end of year exam includes listening and reading comprehension and writing and speaking tests which are each worth 25% of the total mark.

What will the current performance grade be based on and what do the levels mean?

Students have been issued with descriptions of what they are expected to achieve by the end of the year, based on the revised Programme of Study issued in 2014. They are invited to self- assess their progress towards these targets once a term and discuss this with teachers, who also look at unit test marks, homework and performance in class when deciding the termly assessment ,using the schools new EP,1,2 or 3 grading system. The end of year exam will play an important part in the final grade, but the teacher will look at the year's work as a whole when deciding. Please note that, although this is only the second year of learning German, by the end of the year your daughter will be fully equipped to proceed to GCSE should she wish.

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

She should not be afraid to speak about any concerns to her class teacher, who will give targeted support and advice and may suggest extra resources and strategies. Remember it is a normal part of the learning process to experience difficulties sometimes. Above all, don't give up!

How can I support my daughter in Year 9?

Taking an interest in what she is doing and showing that you value what she is learning makes a tremendous difference. It is not necessary for you to know any German yourself, although obviously it's great if you do. Otherwise asking her to explain what she has been doing in class, testing her on the vocabulary she has learnt, and looking through her book with her will help her consolidate her learning. Do encourage and praise her for her efforts.

What kind of independent work should my daughter be completing?

It is good practice to spend a few minutes looking through the lesson notes as soon as possible after the class, and then again a few days later, rather than forgetting all about it till the next lesson! This is particularly true when it comes to learning new vocabulary. It does not need to take a long time but will help to keep the language fresh in the mind. We recommend a range of websites which your daughter can use to help with grammar and vocabulary, and she will have access to the online version of the text book Stimmt 2. Above all, we recommend that she joins us on the trip to the Christmas market in Aachen in December to try out her German for real!

Whom can I contact for further advice and information ?

Please feel free to contact the Head of German, Mrs Thomas, on

athomas@newsteadwood.bromley.sch.uk