The Smart Choice: German
Schools' Network

Schools' Network "The Smart Choice: German"

Schulnetzwerk: (c) Goethe-Institut The Goethe-Institut is now pleased to announce a new network of schools in the UK to promote the teaching and learning of German. If your school is interested in being awarded the status of a Smart Choice: German School, please check the application process below. The following guidelines apply:

The School

  • has a firm commitment to the teaching and learning of German
  • acts as a centre of training in co-operation with its feeder schools
  • will involve the Goethe-Institut when it concerns the training of teachers of German
  • is prepared to be active in the “Smart Choice: German” network and exchange examples of best practice with other schools or Goethe-Institut networks 
The Goethe-Institut will
  • offer training sessions for teachers of German for free
  • support the school with teaching and promotional materials
  • offer grants for teachers of German in Germany
  • offer cultural services for schools, such as theatre, music, film or literature events
  • run motivational sessions for students such as input for German on career days 
The number and the extent of these will be discussed with the Goethe-Institut.

Schools which fulfill the criteria and would like to be a partner in the new network can apply to the Goethe-Instituts in London (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and Glasgow (for Scotland).

In 2016 the Goethe-Institut has set up 19 Digital German Networks in the United Kingdom. It is now looking to build on this success and to identify further networks of secondary and/or primary schools that have the intention to start, facilitate and strengthen the teaching of German. At least three schools need to build a network. The lead partner can apply for the funding with the Goethe-Institut. It can be a secondary school supporting feeder schools or a cluster of primary schools reaching out to a secondary school teaching German. It can also be three primary schools in one area wanting to make a start with German or already having started with it.

The networks will receive substantial support and ear-marked funding in the reach of £3.000 each. The funding has to be used:
  • For sharing best practice examples on a digital platform. Short articles about their German experience during training and mentoring as well as examples from training or teaching materials are expected to be published once a month. Schools can take turns and will have a roster about their responsibilities.
  • The financial support is furthermore intended to be used for two events within 12 months. These events are to form the basis for the networks’ digital outreach activities and digital dissemination of best practice beyond the networks.The first event should be a German Day for the network’s own and other schools in the area as well as for attending or hosting a second event in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut. That could be to pay for travel subsidies to come to the Goethe-Institut or pay for an artist to come to the school.
  • Part of the funding can be used to buy digital teaching materials for German or materials that facilitate the digital teaching and learning of German.

The Goethe-Institut will support the networks with professional development or up-skilling courses.Primary schools in the networks are expected to commit for a minimum period of two years to a sustainable German programme embedded into the regular school hours (at least 1 lesson per week) and open to the idea of becoming a model school for others. Intercultural learning, literacy, arts, media education, music and sports are part of the Goethe-Institut’s new scheme of work and will guarantee a learning environment with lots of fun. Please refer to the new primary scheme of work in digital format.


If you are interested in joining the network, please return the application  to

Contact: Dr. Sabine Schlüter

Deadline for applications is 30.09.2017. 



Contact: Karl Pfeiffer

Deadline for applications is 6.10.2017.


Smart Choice: German - Network Activities

Painted Easter Eggs on shrub © Photo: Hatcham Temple Grove Free School
Schools of the network have already organised a range of activities to promote German at their school and you can find some examples of the events here. Hopefully they will give you impulses and ideas to use at your own school.

Speakers from Different Careers © Photo: Haberdashers' Monmoth School for Girls
On 16th November 2017 the Haberdashers’ Monmoth School for Girls welcomed six inspirational speakers from different walks of life (please see list below), who delivered speeches on the importance of languages. The school advertised at many of the local schools, including Monmouth, Chepstow, Caerleon and Hereford. As a result the event attracted a packed audience of over 250 pupils and their parents.
Bernadette Holmes MBE – Director of Speak to the Future, the National Campaign for Languages
Tim Penn – International Exports and Entrepreneur
Dr. David Clarke – Languages, International Studies, Politics at Bath University
Freya Lambert – Project Management (Kingfisher plc)
Marlies Höcherl – Law (Partner – Capital Law, Cardiff)
Major Charlotte Walsh AGC (ETS) who presented on language opportunities in the army
Coaster with German Theme Feeder School Morning | © Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls Year 6 girls from a wide variety of feeder schools sampled their first lesson of German during an activities morning at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls on Saturday, 12th November. Pupils enjoyed tackling German phonics, greeting each other in German and rapping to German numbers. A highlight included decorating porcelain coasters in a German theme.
Barton Peveril German Day Barton Peveril German Day | © Barton Peveril Barton Peveril invited Year 10 students from local schools to their very first German Day. By running the German Day, they hoped to promote the German language and encourage students to continue learning languages at a higher level. They wanted to get students more involved and enthusiastic about continuing their studies in the German language.

Over 100 pupils attended the day. The event ran from 10 am – 2.30pm with a timetable of German Language activities to engage students, and had them go away excited about the prospect of possibly using German in their future careers.

If you like to run you own German Day their schedule for the day might give you an idea how to possibly structure a day like this:  
Sweets House Sweets House | © Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls At the start of December Year 9 pupils designed their own gingerbread houses, but this time with a difference; they wanted a Christmas decoration which would last longer than gingerbread, but also be as tasty and attractive.  Pupils therefore constructed a house out of cardboard, lined it with coloured paper and covered it with sweets, which they ‘glued’ on with an icing sugar paste. From start to finish the project was great fun and, with the aid of candles, the houses looked delightfully festive!

Plätzchen Plätzchen | © Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls
As December progressed, Year 8 pupils baked delicious Plätzchen in preparation for Christmas. The basic gingerbread recipe is very easy to follow and, if time allows, can be iced.
All of Year 8 pupils were invited to take part in a competition to design a German Christmas card. All entrants received points for their houses and the winners had their cards displayed around the school and received a personal prize.

Winning Postcard Winning Postcard | © Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls In preparation for the annual trip to the Christmas markets in Aachen and Cologne, it was felt they should set up their own classroom Weihnachtsmarkt, so that they could practice shopping vocabulary. Pupils thoroughly enjoyed buying festive treats form Kinderpunsch to Handschuhe.
Here you can find some recourses for the activities:

Pupils tasting German food German Food Sampling | © Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls As part of the scheme of work for Year 8 pupils Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls does food and drink and they like to do a food tasting activity with all of their pupils. Pupils sample the foods and then circulate, asking each other what they thought of the various goodies. They use German bread, cheese, sausage, gherkins, salami, leberwurst, German chocolates and biscuits.
It is a simple activity, but very well-received!
Have a look at their worksheet for the activity here:
Habs-Sachs-Club Badge Habs-Sachs-Club | © Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls The Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls’ German assistant, Stephan, has been very pro-active and successful in working on a partnership with their school and one in Sachsen.
The girls had great fun in finding a name for their club and eventually settled on the Habs-Sachs Club. They had badges especially made for them and the photos show the girls proudly wearing them, made all the more exclusive, because only a limited number of girls in the whole school are awarded them!

Food Parcel Habs-Sachs-Club Food Parcel Habs-Sachs-Club | © Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls Great excitement ensued when the school in Sachsen sent a food parcel of typical German foods for the Haberdashers’ pupils to sample. They sent one in return, including typical Welsh goodies such as Welsh Cakes. The girls brainstormed their ideas for things to send.

Pupils making Reibekuchen Self-made Reibekuchen | © Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls The club members were sent a recipe for Reibekuchen which they made themselves, ate for lunch and then wrote a critique for their partner school. Very enjoyable!

If you would like to try the Reibekuchen recipe with your pupils you can find the recipe here:
On the occasion of the German Teacher Award 2017 organised by the German Embassy London, the Goethe-Institut London offered a best practice seminar on successful networking for German in schools in the UK. By now an impressive number of educational institutions and schools across the country have established successful partnerships as German networks ranging from primary schools to university German departments in co-operation with German and British partner organisations.

Representing the various networks, speakers talked about funding opportunities, achieving high attainment for their students and giving examples of the many activities that can support German in schools.
Here you can download the speakers’ presentations:

Over fifty students from Bohunt School Liphook, The Petersfield School and Priory School Southsea came together in June 2017 to celebrate the inaugural BET German CLIL Day in partnership with the Goethe-Institut London. This saw students immersed in German for a day in classes of PE, Art and Culture Studies, learning about handball, stencilling and German music - to name a few!
The day was modelled on the unique, highly successful CLIL programme at Bohunt Liphook in which students choose to study a third of their timetable in a foreign language. The German CLIL day gave students the opportunity to understand the challenge and rewards that speaking another language in this environment can bring, especially given the importance of the German language in today's world. Some of the students were surprised to hear that German is the most in-demand language among businesses in the UK, or that it is the second most-used language in Science globally, after English.
Everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed the day and all students were fantastic ambassadors for their respective schools, rising to the challenges with which they were faced with positivity and impressive teamwork.
Painted Easter Eggs on shrub © Photo: Hatcham Temple Grove Free School The children of the Hatcham Temple Grove Free School learned about the traditions and cultural similarities and differences in how Easter is celebrated in England and Germany. Every child in the school then each decorated an Easter egg. Once they had been decorated by the children they hung them up on trees and branches around the school, just like they do in Germany! Many of the parents weren't aware of the Easter traditions in Germany so they learned something new, too! It was a very successful event.
Grimm's Fairy Tales Display - Haberdasher's Monmouth School for Girls © Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls The fairy tales of the brothers Grimm never fail to capture our imagination. With this in mind, one of the Haberdasher's School's displays this term has featured some of the most popular stories and sought to contrast the original, sometimes horrific, German versions with the gentler Disney versions, intended for today’s younger audiences.