This NEW course will demonstrate how to guide your best students to achieve Grades A & A* in future OCR A-Level Latin examinations. Led by our highly respected and successful presenter Henry Cullen, the course will demonstrate teaching and learning ideas for both language and literature options which will stretch and challenge able students and develop their higher level skills. Using feedback from 2018’s first year of examinations on the new specifications, the course will outline what is expected of high ability students and explore ways to build your teaching practice around this.


  • Focused on identifying the demands of Grades A & A* and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
  • A detailed look at the different demands of questions across the language and literature papers
  • Mark schemes will be analysed to identify and clarify the requirements of the highest levels
  • Sample answers at Grades A & A* will be discussed and marked
  • Materials will be provided that will allow teachers to cover the content effectively in innovative and student-friendly ways that push the highest ability students
COURSE DATE In-school only
  • All teachers of A-Level Latin
  • Heads of Classics
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00 – 10.45am
Grades A & A*: what do they involve?

  • Structure of the new specification A-Level Latin exams and what they require of the best students
  • Feedback and grading analysis from the 2018 papers and what this tells us about the standards which top students are expected to meet
  • Analysis of mark schemes – what are the examiners looking for?
  • Grades A & A*: what are the differences between these?
  • Key attributes of Grade A & A* students in the classroom
  • Avoiding potential hazards: what can cost a top student their A grade?

10.45 – 11.05am
Discussion: coffee break

11.05 – 12.30pm
Teaching language: key challenges for Grade A/A* students

  • Analysing the Unseen paper: where is an A/A* achieved or lost?
  • Building vocabulary and developing skills for spotting cognate words
  • Tackling the toughest sentences: developing the skills needed to unpick hard Latin
  • Stretching top students with your choice of verse unseen passages and scansion questions
  • Approaches for the Comprehension paper: preparing for different authors and question styles
  • Using prose composition and grammatical analysis to stretch able students
  • Revision tips to ensure top level students succeed in the exams

12.30 – 1.30pm
Lunch and informal discussion

1.30 – 2.20pm
Teaching literature: stretching and challenging able students

  • Moving on from GCSE approaches – how to make able students into independent readers
  • Using wider reading to prepare for and complement the set texts
  • Deep examination of context – using who?/what?/when?/why? questions to push students
  • Different approaches to discussing and writing about style
  • What makes a strong A-Level commentary? How can we build up to this?
  • Working up to full essay questions, and using them to stretch students

2.20 – 2.35pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

2.35 – 3.15pm
Literature exams: tactics for achieving the highest grades

  • The shorter questions: what are the potential pitfalls?
  • Focus on the 15-mark questions and essays: what does a grade A/A* candidate need to do?
  • Varying commentary practice to stretch the most able
  • Revision ideas to help students produce high grade essays
  • Working to the standard: reviewing and marking specimen scripts

3.15 – 3.30pm
Plenary, discussion and depart

Henry Cullen

Henry is Head of Classics at Colfe’s School, London, and prior to that taught at Tonbridge School and Winchester College. He has experience of preparing students for A-Level, Pre-U, GCSE, and IGCSE examinations in Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation. He is co-author (with John Taylor) of Latin to GCSE (Bloomsbury, 2016), which is designed to cover the requirements of the new OCR GCSE (9-1) specification, and co-author of Latin Stories: A GCSE Reader (Bloomsbury, 2nd edition 2017). He has regularly delivered CPD sessions for Keynote and for Classics For All. He has been a tutor at the JACT Greek Summer School (held at Bryanston School) since 2011, and the course’s Director of Studies since 2014.

View all courses led by Henry Cullen >