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Teaching A-Level Classical Civilisation For The First Time

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This course is designed for teachers new to teaching A Level Classical Civilisation, whether new to the profession, coming to the subject from a different specialism, or returning to the subject. It offers a practical approach from which delegates can explore effective and successful ways of structuring the course, a clear understanding of the criteria, take away a range of highly effective teaching strategies, most notably regarding essay writing skills and ways of supporting all students with the scholarship requirement of the 30 mark essay. There will also be hints and tips along the way for how to keep students engaged and motivated, as well as how to promote and grow your course.


  • Explore effective ways to structure and organise the course.
  • Deepen your understanding of subject specific writing style, assessment criteria and marking by examining exemplar student work.
  • Take away a range of teaching strategies and methods to support students of all abilities to success
  • Find out how to access the highest marks for each component – achieving A and A* grades
  • Take away strategies for developing students’ understanding of examination questions and subject content
  • Take away hints and tips on how to promote and grow your course


Starting off Well: Tackling A level Classical Civilisation with students entirely new to the ancient world

10.00 – 10.30am
  • Addressing ways to quickly engage students who have never studied the ancient world before.
  • Identifying the type of background content students require before they can successfully move on to the set OCR components.
  • Learning how to diagnose student starting points on the course.
  • Ensuring induction periods are more inclusive, including finding ways to take a more global approach to the ancient world and how to raise student awareness of inherent biases within the field.

Structuring Your Course: The key elements of the specification.

10.30 – 11.10am
  • What is the best way to go about delivering this course?
  • The big picture – how to turn the specification into an effective course structure
  • Sequencing content over the course span of two years to allow opportunities to re-visit material and embed deeper knowledge with retrieval practice techniques.
  • Teaching the essential skills students need to have to achieve success in
  • Establish where the priorities and pitfalls lie in the course


Morning Break

11.10 – 11.25am

Teaching the World of the Hero

11.25 – 12.30pm
  • Identifying the key learning challenges
  • How to introduce the key themes in the World of the Hero
  • Effective teaching strategies for engaging with Homer and Virgil
  • Teaching strategies to address the historic context of Augustus and the Early Empire
  • Identifying and delivering key areas of scholarly debate
  • Questions and question types – what is the examiner looking for



12.30 – 1.30pm
Teaching Culture and the Arts

1.30 – 2.15pm

  • Effective strategies to teach Visual and Material Culture
  • Engaging students with innovative and interactive lessons
  • Cultural context of the texts
  • How to introduce the key “Beliefs & Ideas” elements
  • Questions and question types – what is the examiner looking for and how to support your students in applying the appropriate knowledge effectively


Afternoon Tea

2.15 – 2.25pm

Developing Students’ essay skills with a particular focus on structure.

2.25 – 3.10pm
  • Developing the structure of student essays
  • Moving students onto A/A* and B grades
  • Selecting appropriate scholarship that is broad and flexible, and getting students to recall and deploy it.
  • Embedding scholars’ views in the 30 mark essays to meet examiner’s expectations and show active engagement with the ideas.
  • Maximising marks for the lower ability students in essay writing

The Exams – what is expected

3.10 – 3.45pm
  • Overview of the papers, what are the examiners looking for?
  • Applying effective feedback and ensuring all students act on it.
  • Embedding question styles in your teaching
  • Focus on essay structure in exam, what grade responses look like





London | Monday 04 December 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.


Ben Tanner is Head of Humanities at RGS Worcester, with ten years experience as Head of Classics. He has significant experience of teaching both OCR and AQA Classical Civilisation specifications, in a range of educational contexts, and has recently been an AQA A Level examiner.


  • Teachers new to A level Classical Civilisation
  • NQTs
  • Subject non-specialists
  • Subject returners


  • 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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