Die Sprache verkleidet den Gedanken.Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) Austrian-British philosopher

Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiss nichts von seiner eigenen.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German writer

The second most widely spoken language in Europe, the main language of Germany, as well as an official language of Austria and Switzerland, and sharing common roots with English, German is an excellent choice of language to study. In addition to being a useful language in the world of business and technology – Germany is the fourth largest economy in the world – German is also the medium through which some of the greatest works of music, literature and science have been created.

The German Department's team of 6 staff are great enthusiasts for both the language and the countries in which it is spoken, which ensures German is taught in a dynamic and fun way throughout the School. All members of the Department have spent considerable time in Germany, Austria or Switzerland (some are natives of the countries) and know a huge amount about the German language, people and culture. Our well-resourced Department is further enhanced by our native speaker conversation class teacher.

Pupils can begin studying German in Form 2 and take the subject right through to A-level and the International Baccalaureate. It is a popular subject, with over 40 students studying it in the Upper School.

To develop our pupils’ cultural and linguistic knowledge beyond the classroom, we run Middle School trips to Munich and in Form 3 there is an exchange program with the Werner Heisenberg Gymnasium in Weinheim, Germany.

Enthusiasts can also enjoy the activities of the German Society, which is aimed at the students in Forms 6 and 7, providing cultural enrichment outside the usual curriculum.

Phillipa Sykes

Phillipa Sykes

Head of German

I joined the Languages Department as Head of German in September 2017 from Churcher’s College in Hampshire, where I taught German and French and coached an U12 netball team. Prior to that I taught at Exeter School and King’s College, Taunton. My love of German stems from the summers I spent with a German family in a small town near Hannover. This gave me a real insight into the language and culture of Germany. I then went on to work as an au pair near Frankfurt before studying German and Swedish at university.Prior to taking up a career in teaching, I worked for Bosch in Stuttgart and for the British Consulate. I was in Berlin the year the Berlin Wall came down and also spent a year working in Sweden and then Munich. I still travel regularly to Germany; it is an amazing country with so many hidden gems and a rich language and literature. I love teaching German and try to bring the language to life be it through music, food, literature or film. In my free time I enjoy cycling, swimming, the outdoors and spending time with my family.

German Exchange Trip to Weinheim

Form 3 pupils travelled to Weinheim in Germany during the first week of the Easter holidays to stay with their German exchange families and experience first-hand the language and culture of Germany.

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