Mrs L. Probodziak - Head of German
The study of German at St. Olave’s is not just a study of the language; students also learn about the culture, traditions, and history of Germany, and other German-speaking countries. By sixth form, students have a strong grasp of speaking and writing skills and are able to understand complex written and spoken texts on a variety of topics, as well as literary extracts.
Boys start in Year 7 (or Year 8 fast track) and many choose to continue to GCSE and A-Level. We are proud of the various trips offered at various stages, and students relish the chance to hear from other native speakers and try out what they have learnt in the classroom. Year 8 pupils have the opportunity to participate in a trip to the Aachen Christmas market. The theatre company Onatti performs a German play to students in Years 9 and 10. In Year 10, students can take part in our exchange with the Integrierte Gesamtschule in Wilhelmshaven, and there is a 5-day trip to Berlin in the Sixth Form. Indeed, in the sixth form, and in year 11, there are various day trips to the British Film Institute, the Goethe Institut, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and more.
From the moment they start, boys are encouraged to speak in German with their teacher and each other, and they are able to listen to their teacher using a large amount of German in lessons. Lessons are interactive, and most classes have regular lessons in the IT suites where they can visit language-learning websites to progress in their German at their own pace and focus on their own personal targets. Songs, films, literature, and other authentic materials are used in German lessons for all year groups. Attention is drawn to the shared linguistic history between English and German, so that vocabulary can be learnt with ease and confidence is boosted. At GCSE and in the sixth form, students have regular lessons with our language assistant, who is a native speaker, when they focus on speaking skills. We also offer support sessions for exam year groups and have a mentoring programme between A Level students and Year 11s.
The nurturing and engaging atmosphere in lessons, alongside rigorous academic standards and ample opportunity to participate in trips and competitions promote a genuine love of German language and culture.
Wider reading suggestions for Students of German