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GCSE Classical Civilisation: High Impact Strategies To Access Top Marks

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An in-depth course exploring high impact strategies that raise attainment and support students to access top marks in the GCSE Classical Civilisation examinations. The course will share ideas and accompanying GCSE Classical Civilisation materials that you can take-away and use immediately in the classroom. You will leave equipped with knowledge of the latest evidence-informed teaching, learning and assessment practice as well as feedback from the most recent Classical Civilisation exams. In addition the course includes access to a range of resources and practical strategies that will enable you to meet the needs of your most able students and ultimately increase attainment at grades 8 and 9. The course will also place the students’ learning in the context of the next step with suggestions of how to engage the most able by opening the door on to studying Classical Civilisation further at A-Level.


  • Increase awareness of what success looks like for the most able Classical Civilisation students
  • Gain the latest evidence-informed practice that challenges grade 8/9 students
  • Develop greater understanding of what examiners are looking for in grade 8/9 responses
  • Challenge your students with problem solving, modelling and questioning to stretch pupils’ thinking processes
  • Take away a range of innovative teaching ideas and resources to impact your pupils’ learning of Classical Civilisation immediately
  • Deepen your understanding of assessment criteria and mark schemes
  • Bring back concrete strategies and ideas to share with other Classical Civilisation teachers
  • Explore how to maximise success levels for your students in the GCSE examinations
  • Learn how to develop resilience so that talented Classics students achieve their potential


Key grade 8/9 skills: Mastery and Metacognition

10.00 – 11.15am
  • Strategies to construct outstanding GCSE exam responses, looking at example grade 8/9 exam responses
  • How to tackle the stickier GCSE Classical Civilisation exam questions and gain top marks
  • Creating room for success: Training students to ‘Mentally step back’ and to develop ‘head space’ for clearer thinking under pressure
  • Economic Implications and Concluding paragraphs – strategies to boost efficiency. Some of the most able GCSE students often ‘overwrite’, these strategies will help them ‘zone’ in to maximise top marks, with minimum effort



11.15 – 11.30am

Key grade 8/9 teacher skills: Feedback and Feedforward

11.30 – 12.30pm
  • Scaffolding as a key elements of high quality instruction, even the most able GCSE students need to have clear structures.
  • Providing higher order skills practice and model responses for students. Showing grade 8/9 students what top mark exam responses look like, how to develop their own answers.
  • Addressing key impact factors – ‘Teacher Credibility’ and ‘Student Expectations’ – research evidence suggests these are vital and I will share tips on how to address these.



12.30 – 1.30pm

Key grade 8/9 characteristics: Resilience and Wellbeing

1.30 – 2.15pm
  • How to support GCSE Classical Civilisation students with high expectations from falling backwards under the pressure – new research on perfectionism and healthy striving
  • Strategies to support mental health and motivation
  • Strategies to build grit and resilience
  • How to use practical mindfulness training to promote awareness and wellbeing, whilst teaching key concepts at the same time: practical session

Key grade 8/9 Exam Skills: Getting top marks in A02/A03 questions

2.15 – 2.45pm
  • What does a grade 9 AO2/3 response look like?
  • Strategies to improve application skills for writing in Classical Civilisation
  • What does evaluation in Classical Civilisation look like?



2.45 – 3.00pm

Key curriculum insights for grade 8/9: Less is More strategies

3.00 – 3.45pm
  • Avoiding misconceptions by re-routing student expression – including phrases to solve common errors
  • Use of ‘Threshold concepts’ and ‘Hinge questions’ – a way to challenge top end GCSE Classical Civilisation students and mid/lower end ability simultaneously
  • Teaching translation for depth of understanding
  • How to deal with the large content in GCSE Classical Civilisation – selectivity and re-cycling top tips for overlap key-studies that can re-signpost high end students across topics





London | Monday 06 November 2023

Please select your preferred date

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Alastair Thorley is a Teacher of Classics at Stockport Grammar School. Classical Civilisation is strong in the school, with over 30 pupils studying the subject at GCSE and 20 at AS/A-Level, with 76% of pupils achieving A*/ A. He is a senior Classical Civilisation examiner for a major awarding body.  Alastair developed the Love and Relationships specification at A Level and contributed to the A Level textbooks for Love and Relationships and Invention of the Barbarian.  He has also been involved in creating resources for GCSE Classical Civilisation for the Classical Association.


  • Teachers of GCSE Classical Civilisation
  • Heads of Classics


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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