London | Wednesday 03 November 2021


Code: 8236


The focus in this webinar will be on bringing the content together, tackling a long text and helping the pupils to remember details from two very different subject areas.  The webinar will also look at the different demands of the examination questions – what are the common misunderstandings and how to avoid them and where students make common errors. We will examine exemplar student responses to identify what success looks like, targeting the top grades and how to write outstanding answers to the extended response questions.


  • Perfect students’ learning of the key details of the prescribed books of the Odyssey using proven and highly successful techniques
  • Break down the Mycenaean World specification into manageable, achievable and coherent units and then making links between them so that students will retain confidence and motivation throughout
  • Build confidence in understanding different source types and then developing a framework for analysis
  • Quickly develop the precise question analysis skills needed in the examination


4.10 – 4.15pm Welcome and Introduction

4.15-4.35 Learning the information

  • Consider how they will learn the story of the Odyssey in the requisite detail
  • Look at how the pupils learn the information about the Mycenaean World in the content-heavy course – which sections are easier to remember than others and why?
  • Building familiarity with unfamiliar material and encouraging the pupils’ imagination skills
  • Trying to avoid the feeling that “here is another topic…” – bringing the Mycenaean World topics together effectively
  • Working out exactly what information the student will need to know and then building in revision strategies throughout so that students embed their knowledge

4:35- 4:55: Source analysis                          

  • Focusing on literary analysis skills and typical questions in the exam
  • Developing “ownership” of the content so that the pupils are arguing for themselves and not only what they have learned – how can we encourage the pupils to feel excited by Homer and empathetic with the Mycenaeans?
  • Using modelling and scaffolding techniques to help the students feel confident in their ability to frame their answers 

4:55-5:10pm: Taking the exam                                  

  • Learning how to respond quickly and effectively to the different question types
  • Decoding exam questions so that students can establish what the examiner wants and avoid familiar pitfalls which examiners see every year
  • Considering how to make best use of marking and offering feedback
  • Examples of best practice in students’ work – understanding why high marks have been awarded


Alistair 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”.