Course Overview

Studying German in Higher Line will give you access to more courses at better universities and to a wider range of more interesting careers. By the end of your language course, you will have increased confidence in your ability to understand and express yourself fluently when conversing or writing about a wide range of topics. The more contact that you have with the country where the language is spoken, the better and at Stonyhurst we arrange exchange opportunities for students. This means that not only will you find the listening and speaking parts of the examinations easier but you will also learn a lot about yourself and your own identity too.

Language courses go well with almost any other subject.


Key stage 3 (year 9)

Key stage 3 German is introduced in Figures (year 7) at Stonyhurst St Mary's Hall and continues through to Lower Grammar at the College (year 9). The core course book is Stimmt! for KS3 German, building key language skills ready for GCSE and packed with content pupils enjoy learning. With a strong cultural focus and a wide range of differentiated resources for all abilities, Stimmt! opens the window to the German-speaking world.

There is a pupil-friendly approach to grammar, so we can be sure pupils are ready to progress when they move to GCSE. We help pupils to establish good German pronunciation and spelling and key sounds of German are introduced using phonics. 

Pupils are given a real taste of German culture with with up-to-date resources that brings language learning to life. 

GCSE (Years 10 & 11)

At KS4 we prepare students for the AQA GCSE German. The objective is to enable students of all abilities to develop their German language skills to their full potential, equipping them with the knowledge to communicate in a variety of contexts with confidence. 

This qualification is linear which means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. 

Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based. 

Theme 1: Identity and culture 

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest 

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment 


GCSE German has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series.  

Paper 1: Listening - understanding and responding to different types of spoken language  

Paper 2: Speaking - communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes  

Paper 3: Reading - understanding and responding to different types of written language  

Paper 4: Writing - communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes 

A Level (sixth form)

A Levels have moved away from the traditional AS/A2 structure to a two-year linear course with all examinations at the end of the two years.
The themes studied address a range of social issues and trends, as well as aspects of the political and artistic culture of Germany and German-speaking countries.

Assessment is through three examinations at the end of the course:
Paper 1 – Listening, reading and writing (includes translation)
Paper 2 – Written response to artistic works (literature and film)
Paper 3 – Speaking (stimulus card and independent research assignment)

IB (sixth form)

At Stonyhurst you also have the opportunity to study German at a range of levels within the IB.

  • Language B is for students with a good working knowledge of German (GCSE grades 7, 8 or 9 ideally). You will study communication and media, global issues, and social relationships together with two additional topics. At higher level you will also study two works of literature.
  • Language A is for students with a native level of the language. You will cover a range of German literature.

Our IB Diploma Programme is designed to produce highly-educated all-rounders who embrace social responsibility, intercultural awareness, and a duty to local and global communities to make an increasingly complex world a better place.