A-Level German

Studying a language in the Sixth Form requires a solid grounding in vocabulary and grammar, the motivation and determination to work hard, and, above all, the curiosity to learn more about the language and culture!
We follow the AQA German specification in year 12 and 13 using a variety of books, articles, clips, and other resources to spark students’ interest, and we encourage students to borrow materials (novels, plays, short stories, DVDs etc.) or use websites 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. In year 12 these sessions are usually in pairs, and in year 13 usually one-on-one. 
At least a Grade 7 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 (including translation), at a higher level.  Additionally, the ability to summarise audio extracts and short articles forms part of the exam, and the film Das Leben der Anderen is studied.  
Work in terms of vocabulary, grammar and structure also continues in the following two broad topic areas:
  1. Aspects of German-speaking society (changing forms of family and relationships, the digital world, youth culture)
  2. Artistic culture in the German-speaking world (festivals and traditions, German expressionist art and the German modern art movement, Berlin cultural life)


Paper1: Listening, Reading, and Writing

Paper 2: Writing

Paper 3: Speaking

Listening,Reading, Summary, & Translation into English

45% of AS-Level

1hr 45 


1 Essay on the film + translation into German

25% of AS-Level

1hr 30


2 Stimulus Cards from 2 sub-themes 

30% of AS-Level

12-14mins + 15 mins preparation 

April or May

External Examiner

Language work continues at a higher level, across all skills practised in Year 12, and additionally focuses on the following topic areas:
  1. Multiculturalism in German-speaking society (migration, integration, racism)
  2. Aspects of political life in the German-speaking world (Germany and the EU, Youth politics in Germany, reunification and its consequences)
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), which forms the majority of their speaking exam (paper 3 – see below). 


Paper 1:

Listening, Reading & Writing

Paper 2:


Paper 3:


Listening, Reading, Summary & Translation into German and Translation into English 

50% of A-Level

2hrs 30mins


1 Essay each on the literature and the film

20% of A-Level



1 Stimulus Cards from 1 sub-theme & Individual Research Project (IRP)

30% of A-Level


April or May

External Examiner

Further detail can be accessed via:   http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/as-and-a-level


The residential trip to Berlin is offered to both year 12 and 13 students.  This is a usually five-day long cultural trip, visiting the Reichstag and museums, such as the unusual and renowned Jewish Museum, the memorable and striking Topographie des Terrors or the hands-on DDR Museum. Furthermore, we spend time looking at historic sites, such as the remnants of the Berlin Wall or the War memorials in the Tiergarten, as well as receiving a moving guided tour through the former Stasi prison Hohenschönhausen, and visiting more unusual museums such as the converted brewery, the Kulturbrauerei, the world’s largest camera, and attending an evening show. The trip is 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. Furthermore, the experience is invaluable when it comes to cementing their understanding of the Berlin year 12 topic, and both the film and text studied in year 12 and 13. 

We attend German conferences or film study days in London when appropriate and possible, and students have the chance take part in the UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) and the Juvenes Translatores competition run by the EU Commission. We also attend the German Open day at the University of Oxford, and we invite guest lecturers from the University of Warwick and King’s College London to school. 

We run MFL Society at lunchtimes open to all year groups, when students can watch German films with English subtitles, listen to talks given by sixth formers, do language quizzes, among other activities. Our sixth form prefects recently launched the European Journal, in which students wrote articles on a variety of current affairs topics in an impressive array of different languages. 

German degrees offer the chance to study the language, history and literature of one of Europe's most influential cultures. Opportunities for German graduates are excellent, driven by the continuing centrality of German business and politics within the European Union.  Most graduates in fact do not go into language teaching! The most popular industry for those with a German degree is media, followed by business and finance. Graduates do of course go on to specialist work as translators and interpreters, as well as putting their linguistic and analytical skills to use in the wide fields of business and finance, journalism, the law, the civil and diplomatic services, publishing, advertising, the tourism industry, and teaching. 


Miss Laura Probodziak, Head of German
Email: lprobodziak@saintolaves.net

French & German:  Please note that further to the release of our VI Form Information Booklet (for external  candidates) in which we stated that French and German could not be taken as an AS Level, we have received confirmation from the exam board, AQA, that both French and German will now be offered as an AS Level.  If you wish to amend your subject choices in light of this, please email admissions@saintolaves.net as soon as possible.