The Smart Choice: German
Schools' Network

Call for Applications

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 please return the application form below to Karl Pfeiffer at

Deadline for applications is 15 Mai 2017.

Smart Choice: German - Network Activities

Coaster with German Theme Coaster with German Theme | © Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls
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.

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:

Schools' Network "The Smart Choice: German"

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 get in touch with us.

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 and Glasgow.