This course, new for autumn term 2021, is an advanced course, aimed at experienced teachers, offering in-depth training for teachers looking for ideas to help their students achieve at the highest level. Sessions will focus on interesting and inspiring ways to teach both the language and literature elements of GCSE Latin, focussing on the most challenging areas, offering detailed approaches and techniques for each, which will stretch and challenge able students and develop their higher-level skills

Emphasis will also be given to finding effective and enjoyable ways to extend able students beyond GCSE, while at the same time preparing, and enthusing, them for classical subjects at A-Level. Similarly, there will be focus on ways to build up and develop KS3 students for a smooth progression to GCSE.



  • Explore the demands of the grade 8 – 9 grades and develop strategies which will enable teachers to prepare pupils effectively
  • Consider the language and literature papers, and to increase the attainment of pupils across all of the Assessment Objectives.
  • Take away fresh ideas, approaches, and methods that challenge able students and support their further development
  • 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.


DATE & LOCATION Online | Friday 10 December 2021
  • Heads of Classics
  • Teachers of GCSE Latin
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 – 10.50am: Building a framework for top-grade GCSE success

  • Building a stimulating and inspiring pathway from KS3 through to GCSE and beyond to A-Level
  • The importance of students enjoying, and being inspired by, their study of Latin
  • Dealing with and addressing the perception that Latin is difficult
  • Planning a syllabus that engages, supports and challenges
  • The all-important question of recruitment
  • Practical approaches and strategies to implement the above

10.50– 11.10am: Break

11.10 – 12.30pm: Inspiring Teaching for Grade 8 – 9 Success – Language

  • What do examiners mean by a ‘consistently high degree of accuracy’ and what are 8/9 candidates required to do?
  • Engaging students in language teaching via a varied and diverse curriculum.
  • The different challenges presented by comprehension questions and unseen translation.
  • Effective use of English>Latin translation for GCSE and paving the way to A-Level Latin.

12.30 – 1.30pm: Lunch

1.30 – 2.30pm: Inspiring Teaching for Grade 8 – 9 Success in Literature – Virgil Aeneid 6

  • Teaching verse literature, with particular reference to the new Aeneid 6 prescription
  • Approaching Aeneid 6 – Virgil and his sources
  • Writing successfully about set texts at GCSE.
  • What is an 8/9 candidate expected to do in literature?
  • Extending and challenging the most able – activities, resources and texts outside the Aeneid

2.30 – 3.00pm: Literature exams: tactics for success

  • The key elements involved in high grades – accuracy, perception and sensitivity
  • Potential pitfalls in answering shorter questions and how to address them
  • Tackling longer questions 1: 8-mark commentary questions – the characteristics of top-band answers
  • Tackling longer questions 2: 10-mark essay questions – the characteristics of top-band answers

3.00 – 3.40pm: Between and beyond the curriculum – stretching and challenging able Latin students

  • Inside the syllabus – what can you do in the classroom?
  • Outside the syllabus: extending and challenging the most able – talks, clubs and beyond
  • Reaching beyond GCSE and preparing for A-Level

Matthew McCullagh

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.