We are delighted to offer our GCSE Greek course for 2020, which offers teachers of GCSE Greek and others involved in promoting Classics a special, informative, stimulating and enjoyable day.

Presented by Greek teachers Matthew McCullagh (Head of Classics, St Paul’s Girls‘ School) and Katy Waterfield (Head of Classics, St Paul’s School)

Teachers will explore the impact of the pandemic on Greek teaching, considering approaches to mitigate for the reduction in teaching time, as well as to teaching in general; and receive practical advice and guidance on some of the current and future set texts, taking away a range of teaching ideas and background information on these to inform their approaches to studying these texts.

The emphasis will also be on how to guide your best students to achieve Grades 8 & 9 in future GCSE Greek examinations.

The 2022 Greek Day is aimed for all teachers of Classics at KS3 and Greek at GCSE .


  • Explore the impact of the pandemic on Greek teaching, considering ways that what we have learnt from this can be incorporated into regular classroom practice.
  • Consider the content of the language and literature papers, focusing on approaches to teaching grammar and the set texts.
  • Allow teachers to take away suggestions about how to structure and cover the course so as to engage the higher ability pupils and elicit higher-level answers.
  • Focus on identifying the demands of Grades 8 & 9 and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
DATE & LOCATION London | Friday 21 January 2022
  • Heads of Classics
  • Teachers of GCSE Greek
  • Teachers of KS3 Classical Greeks
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • 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

10.00-10.45am:  Key issues raised by pandemic

  • explore the issues raised by remote learning
    • what impact has this had on teaching and learning?
    • what did we learn from marking the end-of-course scripts?
  • consider strategies for remote learning: how can this be made effective, especially if pupils do not have access to devices which allow them to handwrite?
  • new approaches to in-classroom teaching following our experiences of remote learning.

10.45 – 11.30am:  The Language Paper

  • relentless grammar: supporting pupils overloaded by Greek to GCSE 1+2, particularly with limited lesson-time.
  • key difficulties: the definite article, the middle, and the optative
  • principal parts: tips and tricks for helping pupils
  • dealing with longer passages and complex sentences (little words!)

11.30 – 11.45am Break

11.45 – 12.30pm  Option Strand 1: Prose Texts

1A:  GCSE Greek: Set Text Success

  •       Analysing why students often find this the trickiest aspect of the examination
  •       How to get students on board: fostering enthusiasm for and enjoyment of literature
  •       Teaching the set texts to students of all abilities: ideas and sharing practice
  •       Exam technique: teaching students how to approach the different styles of questions in the exam room

1B Prose A: Herodotus: Psammetichus, Crocodiles, Mycerinus, Pygmies

  • Considering the context of Herodotus as a historian and story-teller.
  • Psammetichus, Crocodiles, Mycerinus, Pygmies: what, if anything, do we know about the background to these stories?
  • Herodotus’ style? – how to help pupils identify this beyond τε… καί and incorporate it into their answers.
  • Psammetichus, Crocodiles, Mycerinus, Pygmies: approaching the disparate stories in the 10-marker section of the paper.

12.30 – 1.30pm: Lunch

1.30 – 2.15pm Option Strand 2: Verse Texts

2A Verse A: Homer Odyssey 7.184-297

  • Introduction to the peculiarities of Homeric Greek for teachers and students.
  • Odysseus and the Phaeacians: Odyssey 7 within the wider context of the poem
  • Homeric narrative techniques and style, and how to write about them at GCSE.
  • Writing effectively about verse texts at GCSE and the characteristics of high-level answers

2B:  Verse B: Euripides, Bacchae  434–508 & 800–838

  • the positives of studying tragedy at GCSE.
  • historical background to the worship of Dionysus.
  • the Dionysus-Pentheus dialogues within the wider context of the play.
  • discussing the style of stichomythia in a GCSE answer.

2.15 – 2.45pm: Option Strand 3:

3A:  Promoting the uptake of Classical Greek

  • Building confidence through familiarity and fun.
  • Extension beyond the curriculum, while still focusing on Greek.
  • Greek beyond the classroom: ideas for co-curricular engagement.
  • Should you introduce Gratin? The pros and cons.

3B : Language teaching at GCSE and beyond – new perspectives

  • Comprehensible input vs grammar and translation – pros and cons
  • Ways to use more Greek in the classroom – going beyond prose composition
  • Intensive and extensive reading – theory and resources
  • Language activities to take away and use in the classroom


2.45-3.00pm: Afternoon Tea

3.00 – 3.30pm  Accessing Grades 8/9 in GCSE Greek

  • The differing boundaries: what distinguishes the top students at each level
  • Fostering care, competence and confidence in the Language paper
  • How to gain top marks on the Literature papers: appreciation, understanding and successful expression

Matthew McCullagh

is Head of Classics at St Paul’s Girls’ School. He previously lectured and taught at Cambridge University and Royal Holloway, and taught at St Paul’s School. His publications include a commentary on the OCR A-Level Antigone prescription and articles on classical philology. He has experience of preparing pupils for A-Level and GCSE examinations in Latin and Greek.

Katy Waterfield

is Head of Classics at St Paul’s School, and before that taught at Winchester College and Tonbridge School. She has experience of preparing pupils for A-Level and GCSE examinations in Latin, Greek, and Ancient History.