Mr R Irvine

Mrs A Hudson

Mr N Ponte

Miss E Hand

German is the most widely spoken language in Europe and has been taught and promoted at Gillespie’s for many years. Through learning German, pupils will enhance their communication skills in both English and German and gain self-confidence whilst developing a global outlook. Gaining a qualification at Nat 5, Higher or Advanced Higher German is an indication that you are able to use the language independently in confident and flexible ways.


You will develop your skills in speaking, reading, listening and writing to a level of some sophistication.  You will also develop a broader vocabulary, knowledge of language structures and develop cultural awareness of the countries where the language is spoken.

Our Courses

Broad General Education

All S1 and S2 pupils study two languages. Unless studying Mandarin, your child will receive 1 hour of German alongside their main language, which they will have studied at primary school (French or Spanish).


Throughout S1 and S2, pupils will become more aware of life in Germany, increasing their general knowledge and language skills. Pupils will be encouraged to adopt the identity of a person from Germany and give personal information, including family, physical descriptions, age, where they live and pets. Pupils will develop an awareness of the differences between schools, cities, food and music in Scotland and those in Germany. Pupils will also learn to talk about hobbies and leisure pursuits and will be encouraged to investigate the preferred leisure pursuits of young Germans.

National German

In S3 and S4 pupils will build on their skills developed in the BGE. This course is taught over two years and covers a wide range of themes including; tourism, health, education, relationships, technology, transactional language, environmental issues and global citizenship.


Pupils that have not studied German before will have the opportunity to study ‘beginner’s German’ which will cover the same content as the national course, aiming to achieve a National Qualification, in line with the other non-beginners classes.

Higher German

Entry requirements: A minimum of a B pass at National 5 level in the language.


Higher German enables learners to read, listen, talk and write with more fluency in German. Learners also develop language skills of translation, and apply their knowledge and understanding of German. At Higher level pupils will develop their language skills through accessing more challenging materials and covering the following contexts and topics, amongst others:


Society: Family relationships, marriage, gay rights, social media, bullying, health

Learning: higher education, taking a gap year, living and studying abroad

Employability: careers, interviews

Culture: German cinema, travel and living abroad

Advanced Higher German

Entry requirements: A minimum of a B pass at Higher level.


In Advanced Higher German learners will develop advanced skills of reading, listening, talking and writing. Learners also develop advanced language skills of translation, debate a range of current affairs and practise their language skills across a range of topics, such as:


Society: gang culture, marriage, gay rights, technology, immigration, environmental issues

Learning: Higher education, lifelong learning, taking a gap year

Employability: unemployment, careers, higher education

Culture: German cinema and literature, multiculturalism and the importance of languages


At Advanced Higher pupils must also complete a Specialist Study and a Portfolio dissertation, the focus of which will be a German Media or Literary text or Languages in Work.

Languages Baccalaureate

At Gillespies, strong linguists have the opportunity gain a further qualification in S6 by studying for The Scottish Baccalaureate in Languages. The course is designed to provide a challenging and rewarding experience for candidates in their sixth year of secondary school. It is based on a coherent group of subjects at Higher and Advanced Higher level (three languages required to have been studied across Higher level, for example, English, French and Spanish) with the addition of the Interdisciplinary Project, which offers added breadth and value and helps to equip the candidate with the generic skills, attitudes and confidence necessary to make the transition into Higher Education and/or employment.

To access German course resources on SharePoint, click here.

Please note, this is only accessible to JGHS staff and students with their school log-in information.