Head of Department - Herr Stuart McIntosh
German is a very popular language choice at Trinity. In the Junior School, lessons focus on oral proficiency and the development of grammar skills. The textbooks present authentic German in interesting contexts with plenty of opportunity for writing and more advanced reading exercises which are both thorough and enjoyable. As well as the textbooks, we use a range of actual German websites and films, which expose our pupils to German music and culture and keeps them up to date with what is happening in Germany. We also organise a fun treasure hunt through Central London visiting a number of Germany-related sites of interest.
In the Third Form we begin preparing the pupils for the Edexcel IGCSE and the topics studied in the first two years of German are revised and dealt with in much greater depth. There is no coursework and the textbook used is Echo GCSE. It is a topic-based course which covers family, health, school, shopping, holidays, leisure, entertainment and daily routine. Pupils learn how to cope with everyday situations within these topics. They also learn how to manipulate and contrast the present, past, future and conditional tenses, and to express their opinions on a variety of issues. Work on five prepared oral topics is of fundamental importance to both the speaking and written tests. The concept of reading and listening for gist rather than detail is developed, and the culture and society of Germany and other German-speaking countries are encountered within the topic areas. The grammar of the German language is taught explicitly and pupils are encouraged to use these structures in order to use the language as creatively as possible. The broad objective of all language teaching for IGCSE is to enable boys to become proficient in the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.
At Sixth Form level, while consolidating their reading and writing skills, students are offered an insight into the culture and civilization of the country, and we always seek to encourage a positive attitude to language learning and to other cultures. The emphasis throughout is on the use of authentic language in practical situations, and class work consists of a variety of practical linguistic tasks, many linked to audio-visual material. In the AQA A level course these linguistic skills are developed to a more sophisticated level and there is an increasing focus on the institutions and contemporary life of the country, as well as the study of some literature and other art forms. All classes are conducted as much as possible in the foreign language, and all Sixth Form linguists have an opportunity to practise their spoken language in small weekly conversation classes with our Assistant.
The German Department makes considerable use of ICT facilities, including a digital laboratory, as well as more traditional methods. The Language Laboratory uses Sanako ICT software and all classes use it regularly for speaking and listening work.
The department also runs a wide range of trips. Each year we run a very successful joint Trinity and Croydon High School exchange with Clara-Schumann-Gymnasium in Bonn. We also run a Sixth Form trip to Dresden, Weimar and Berlin and organise regular visits to German films, plays and exhibitions in London and the surrounding areas.