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Schools' Network
The Smart Choice: German

A core focus of the Goethe-Institut is to support school leaders and teachers in helping learners of German to achieve their aims, whether this is introducing German to the curriculum for the first time, increasing the number of learners studying German at GCSE and A-Level, or helping school leaders to re-introduce German into the curriculum. Take a look at our Smart Choice initiative, which shows why German is an excellent and valuable choice for young people wanting to enhance their work and life prospects.   

DVD Case @Goethe-Institut London

The Smart Choice: German at Primary Schools in the UK

A 10-minute film shows how easy it is to include German in the timetable. In addition we have an information brochure for school leaders available.

School pupils in classroom © Goethe-Institut London

The Smart Choice: German at Secondary Schools in the UK

Why should British students actually learn German, if English is "lingua franca" already? This video makes the case for learning German and includes a range of identifiable brands as well as prominent figures from the UK.

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.

Christmas Workshop © Saint Bede’s Catholic High School As part of the Smart Choice: German initiative, Saint Bede’s Catholic High School was aiming to provide in-house German teaching to 4 of their feeder primary schools in 2018.
On December 14th the school therefore invited some of these pupils to a German Christmas Workshop. The workshop lasted an hour per school and took place in two of Saint Bede’s language classrooms. All three MFL teachers from the school participated and assisted in this event.

The workshop was split into two parts. In the first half, the pupils learned something about German Christmas traditions and were taught some vocabulary. In the second half, each of them were given some euros to spend in the German Christmas Market.

The pupils enjoyed every minute of the workshop and their enthusiasm and exuberance made the day extra special.

After the success of this event, Saint Bede’s is planning to invite their primary feeder schools back. This time for an interactive German Theatre and Workshop Day on 6th February 2019.
Best Practice from The John Warner School, Hertfordshire © The John Warner School, Hertfordshire We have received £5500 in two instalments from the Goethe-Institut to fund digital teaching of German in our primary schools. With this, we have purchased 20 iPad Minis, a trolley to transport them, numerous apps to use in the sessions as well as refreshments for our host/showcase events. The club is currently running for year 5s at both Cranbourne and Roselands and this will continue for these 10 pupils in each club to year 6. We plan to launch the programme for the next cohort of year 5s in the Winter term. This half term, pupils are using the app ‘Book Creator’ to create their own e-book of a topic they have enjoyed the most for example body parts or animals. The pupils are still thoroughly enjoying the sessions and we have much interest from pupils coming through to join the clubs.

Eleanor Golland
Subject Leader for German
On Saturday 17 March Lady Manners School organised the Easter Egg-stravaganza. A dusting of snow in Bakewell, in the heart of the Peak District didn’t deter the Easter bunny’s followers who took part in the German-themed event, supported by the Goethe-Institut.
Primary school aged guests were invited to make German themed Easter cards, baskets and painted eggs. They could learn some German; run off some energy in an egg and spoon race; have a go at a musical instrument; test their mental agility in a maths treasure hunt; build a balloon powered car or have a go at a series of scientific egg-speriments. Chocoholics were able to make mini chocolate eggs, in a purpose made bunny-shaped bag, and join the Easter egg hunt.
The school was a hive of activity as families threw themselves into all of the activities, whilst learning something of the German language and culture along the way.
St Edmund Campion Primary School © St Edmund Campion Catholic Primary School St Edmund Campion Primary School in Nottingham have recently taken 45 Year 5 children on a memorable trip to Berlin.
The school teaches German alongside French in upper Keystage 2 and the topic of “Breaking down barriers” forms part of the school’s Year 5 history work.
In preparation for their trip, the children visited the Goethe-Institut in London, where they took part in a workshop about the division and reunification of Germany. The Goethe-Institut had composed a very engaging and interactive session, which the children thoroughly enjoyed.
Whilst in Berlin, the school visited the Reichstag, DDR Museum, Eastside gallery, Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust memorial in order to put the work they had done in the classroom into a realistic context.
The children also spent a day at their partner school, which allowed them to experience school life in Germany compared to England.
Anita Blake, Headteacher at St Edmund Campion School said: “The children were simply amazing and made the whole experience worthwhile. Their smiles and genuine enthusiasm made the time in Berlin something we will all cherish.”
“Deutsch-AG mit Felix und Franzi” at Kyson Primary School in Woodbridge, Suffolk © Farlingaye High School “During my internship at Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge, Suffolk, once a week I went to Kyson Primary School as a German teacher to offer a voluntary Deutsch-AG after school. The group consisted of ten very active pupils who were eager to learn their first German words.
In a mixture of fun and games, the pupils learned German every week starting with greetings like “Hallo” and “Auf Wiedersehen” as well as fruits and vegetables like “Kirsche” and “Gurke”. In a short repetition at the beginning of the 45 minutes teaching unit, the students proved every time how well primary pupils can memorise the words they have already learned. This was facilitated through hand gestures and of course their “German teachers” Felix und Franzi as well as a large amount of visual aids. The interactive games in the middle of the unit not only reinforced the newly learnt vocabulary but also made everything fun and created a feeling of togetherness of the group.
As a project, we created a wanted poster
which we filled in every week with new German sentences and, eventually, proudly exhibited in the library. At the end of every unit each student chose a sticker for her or his own card of praise. This was not only used to for the register but also to show the students at the end of the time spent together how much they had already learned in such a short time.
The Deutsch-AG was not only a super and very recommendable experience for the pupils but also for me as their teacher. I strongly recommend this format to other teachers of German!"
Grundisburgh Primary © Grundisburgh Primary On Monday the 9th of July year 6 students from Grundisburgh Primary School visited Farlingaye for a German taster afternoon. Anna and Annalena, originally from the University of Wuppertal in Germany and currently on a work placement at Farlingaye, taught the most important phrases you need to know when starting out in a new language. Students then tested two language learning apps to evaluate their effectiveness and appeal to learners. Later they were joined by year 9 students of German at Farlingaye, who had prepared a number of interactive activities and games to teach the year 6 students basic vocabulary, such as numbers, colour and animals. The year 6 students thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and were engaged and enthusiastic throughout. Grundisburgh Primary would like to thank the Goethe-Institut London for their financial support and the year 9 students for their hard work and commitment when preparing and delivering the activities.

Some great feedback from year 6 included: “Really fun and best lesson ever.”, “The activities on the iPads were really fun” and “My favourite thing was the memory pair game with year 9.”
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:

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:  
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.
Photograph: Goethe-Institut/Bernhard Ludewig Photograph: Goethe-Institut/Bernhard Ludewig

Courses for Young Learners

Exam preparation courses for GCSE and A-Level from A2 level for young learners (14+)