GCSE German


German is an important language with many speakers world-wide: it is important in business and on the international political stage and has a wealth of interesting literature, philosophy and history.

Why study German at Ashbourne?

The study of languages opens up opportunities to study, work and travel abroad. It encourages students to develop confidence and learn to appreciate a culture other than their own. A greater understanding of grammar often improves competence in English.

Which syllabus do we follow?

We follow the EDEXCEL specification for GCSE German.

How many topics are there?

There are five topics in total for German GCSE

What is each topic about?

Topic 1Topic 2Topic 3Topic 4Topic 5

Identity and cultureVisitor information

  • Who am I? : interests, friends and family
  • Daily Life : food and drink, shopping, technology
  • Cultural life : celebrations, sport, music, reading, and films
Local area, holiday and travel

  • Holidays: destinations and experiences
  • Travel and tourist transactions: travel and accommodation, asking for help and directions, activities and attractions
  • Town, region and country: weather, places to see and things to do




  • What school is like: types of schools, a typical school day, subjects and rules
  • School activities: school trips and events
Future aspirations, study and work

  • Using languages beyond the classroom: forming relationships, travel and employment
  • Ambitions: further study, volunteering and training
  • Work: jobs, professions and careers

International and global dimension

  • Bringing the world together: sports and music events, campaigns and good causes
  • Environmental issues: access to natural resources, being ‘green’

How is each unit examined?

Unit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4

Each examination draws on vocabulary across all topics.

Unit 1 – Listening and understanding in German

It is externally assessed and takes place in May.

Students will respond to multiple-response and short-answer open response questions based on a recording of standard spoken German, featuring a range of public and social settings.

45 minutes for higher tier

50 marks, 25% of GCSE

Speaking in German

It is internally assessed under controlled conditions and it takes place at the beginning of May.

It is marked by the school and moderated by Edexcel.

Students must speak German to communicate effectively for different purposes and in different settings.

There are three tasks:

Task 1 – a role play

Task 2 – questions based on a picture stimulus

Task 3 – conversation based on two themes

10-12 minutes, 12 minutes preparation time.

70 Marks, 25% of GCS

Reading and understanding in German

It is externally assessed and takes place on the same day as the listening and understanding. Students answer multiple-response and short-answer questions based on a range of texts, including advertisements, emails, letters, articles and literary texts.

1 hour for higher tier

50 marks, 25% of GCSE

Writing in German

It is externally assessed and takes place at the beginning of May under controlled conditions.

Students must produce responses of varying lengths, expressing ideas and opinions for different purposes and audiences.

1 hour 20 minutes

60 marks, 25% of GCSE

When do the exams take place?

The exams take place in June

Which Ashbourne teacher teach this course?

Louise Forster
BA Hons German and Italian (University of Reading)

Louise is half-German and read German and Italian at Reading University. She also speaks French. She joined Ashbourne fourteen years ago as a German tutor and now teaches Italian and EFL in addition. She has lived in Berlin, studied at Munich and Bologna as part of her degree and often visits friends and relatives in Bavaria. She is also a member of the Goethe Institute. Louise enjoys opera, art history and working creatively with textiles.

Beyond GCSE for students

German GCSE is a perfect basis for German A Level, which itself is suitable if not essential for those going on to study Modern Languages or European Studies. It could also lead to a combined degree alongside, for example, Business, Management, Law or Linguistics. Languages are important in many careers and walks of life.