This NEW course will demonstrate how to guide your best students to achieve Grades 8 & 9 in future OCR GCSE Classical Civilisation examinations. Led by our experienced and successful presenter Alastair Thorley, the course will demonstrate teaching and learning ideas for both the Thematic Study and the Literature and Culture papers which will stretch and challenge able students and develop their higher level skills. The course will explore what is expected of high ability students and outline ways to build your teaching practice around this.


  • Focused on identifying the demands of Grades 8 & 9 and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
  • The course will look in detail at the different demands of the wide variety of question types in the new GCSE
  • Questions will be analysed for “command words” which inform the students what will be expected of them
  • Mark schemes and model answers provided by OCR will be analysed to identify and clarify the requirements of the highest levels
  • Sample answers at Grades 8-9 will be discussed and marked
  • Materials and teaching ideas 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 Online | Monday 15 June 2020
London | Monday 09 November 2020
  • All teachers of GCSE Latin
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 – 11.05am

Grades 8-9: what do they involve?

  • Key attributes of Grade 8-9 students in the classroom – how do we identify which pupils are capable getting the top grades?
  • Key attributes of Grade 8-9 students in the examination – how do we ensure that they are approaching the subject in the most effective way?
  • Identifying the key aspects of the GCSE exam which will determine the highest grades and how to ensure that our pupils are prepared for these
  • How can we boost Grade 6-7 pupils?

11.00 – 11.20am
Discussion: coffee break

11.20 – 12.40pm
Teaching Paper 1: Thematic Study: key challenges for Grade 8-9 students

  • Creative approaches to learning the content-heavy course and keeping Grade 8/9 students motivated
  • Considering the sort of feedback we give to high ability pupils
  • Exploring responses, feedback, marking, analysis
  • Analysing extended response questions in the thematic study paper: where is an 8/9 achieved or lost?

12.40- – 1.40pm Lunch

1.40 – 2.40: Teaching Paper 2: Literature and Culture: stretching and challenging able students

  • Creative approaches to learning the literature in the close detail required for full marks
  • The advantages of looking outside the prescription – how stretch and challenge activities can inform responses
  • Writing developed responses on literary style, how to build imagination
  • A particular focus on the extended response questions and looking at the demands for the top levels or the marking grid

2.40 – 2.45pm Afternoon Tea

 2.45 -3.30 pm
The Exams: tactics for achieving the highest grades

  • Looking closely at the different demands of each question
  • Tactics and timings for different questions and question types
  • Ensuring that candidates produce coherent responses which include enough detail
  • Reviewing, marking and feeding back on specimen scripts from Grades 8/9 pupils
  • Revision tips to ensure top level students succeed in the exams

Alastair Thorley

Alastair is the Head of Classics at Stockport Grammar School. The school has a department of four full-time Classics teachers. He teaches Latin and Classical Civilisation at all levels of the school. After its introduction 14 years ago, Classical Civilisation remains strong at the school with around 100 pupils studying the subject at GCSE and 40 continuing to AS/A Level. Alastair has taught GCSE Classical Civilisation for 17 years. In the last three years 76% of his pupils have achieved either A* or A.

He currently marks the Epic and Myth paper for OCR and AS Classical Civilisation for AQA. Alistair contributed to two of the Bloomsbury/OCR A Level Classical Civilisation text books: “Invention of the Barbarian” and “Love and Relationships”.

View all courses led by Alastair Thorley >