This course is aimed at supporting current teachers of OCR A-level Ancient History to further develop their understanding of the specification, the course, and the challenges of preparing students for the exam. Similarly to Classical Civilisation, many students embark upon a study on Ancient History with no prior knowledge of the period or skills required to navigate the specification.

This course will help both new and experienced teachers of Ancient History reflect on their induction period, as well as identify ways to structure the course in a way that is the most accessible to students.  We will consider the key challenges in the teaching of A-level Ancient History and consider strategies that can be put in place in order to boost student performance and stretch our high achievers. Finally, the course will consider the issue of student recruitment and induction in order to ensure longevity and success.


  • Find out how to tackle the induction period when students are entirely new to the ancient world.
  • Learn how to promote and grow your course
  • Explore the best ways to structure and organise the course.
  • Takeaway ideas for creating new resources to supplement student learning
  • Develop ways to help all students reach their potential
  • Find out more how to successfully raised attainment in the Period and Depth Studies
  • Discover how to give effective feedback in large group settings
  • Take away fresh ideas, approaches and methods that keep students confident and motivated
DATE & LOCATION Online | Monday 15 November 2021
  • Heads of Classics
  • All teachers of OCR A-Level Ancient History
  • 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

10.00 – 10.20am: Examination Messages, Reflections and Approaches

  • What are the key messages from the exam board, and most recent feedback?
  • How to engage students in the content of the course, and how to maximise their focus on what brings the most reward in examinations

10.20 – 10.50am: How to tackle the induction period with students entirely new to the ancient world and ancient history

  • Addressing ways to quickly engage students who have never studied ancient history before.
  • Identifying the type of background content students require before they can successfully move on to the set OCR modules.
  • 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 ancient history and how to raise student awareness of inherent biases within the field.


10.50- 11.10am: Morning Break


11.10 – 11.50am: Effective Ways to Plan and Structure your A Level Ancient History Course.  

  • Sequencing content over the course span of two years to allow opportunities to re-visit material and embed deeper knowledge with retrieval practice techniques.
  • Producing resources that are accessible and support the learning of all students.
  • Tackling the challenge of how to stay flexible in changing times and deliver the A Level course in a blended learning environment or solely online.


11.50 – 12.50pm: Greek Period Study: Developing Students’ Skills Maximising Attainment

  • Examine the content and nature of the Period Study (Greek and Roman papers);
  • Identify the problem-areas; exploring approaches to improve student attainment – reflecting upon the issues of source analysis, corroboration and deployment.
  • Moving students onto A/A* and B grades
  • Addressing questions and question types: why do students sometimes write mediocre essays and how can we help them to improve?
  • Secondary Academic Literature: engaging pupils with the challenge and how to respond to the 20-marker.

12.50 – 1.50pm: Lunch


1.50 – 2.50 pm: Roman Period Depth: Developing Students’ Skills Maximising Attainment

  • Examine the content and nature of the Depth Study (with a special focus on the Roman ‘Republic’ option and Greek ‘Macedon’ option)
  • The key challenges in teaching the Depth Study and ideas, approaches and strategies to raise student attainment cross the full ability range
  • Maximising marks for the lower ability range in responding to the precise terms of the question and producing structured responses.
  • Discrete Source Analysis: how to respond to the 12-marker.

2.50 – 3.20pm: Providing effective feedback and ensuring all learners act on it.

  • Tackling the challenge of giving timely and effective feedback in a whole group setting.
  • Encouraging students to act on the feedback given.
  • Addressing ways to incorporate peer and self assessment.

3.00– 3.40pm: Promoting and Building Up Your Student Numbers

  • Encouraging prospective students to take up A Level Ancient History
  • Utilising social media to raise awareness of your course
  • Creating a Classics community and ‘brand’
  • Suggestions for outreach
  • Working with partner schools

3.40 pm: Depart

Peter Wright

Peter Wright has taught Classical Civilisation, Ancient History and Modern History for the past 15 years. Previously an examiner for the AQA Classical Civilisation course. SLE for History and coordinator of the Blackpool Classics for All hub. NPQSL.