This course is primarily aimed at recently qualified teachers, non-specialists, and those returning to GCSE Classical Civilisation after a break, but would be relevant to more experienced practitioners looking for insight and a confidence boost.

The course offers support and inspiration to successfully teach the GCSE specification,  tackle the key challenge areas, get to grips with the core skills required and examiner expectiions, and take away fresh approaches and effective practical strategies to ensure meaningful learning, understanding and therefore raised achievement.


  • Gain increased understanding of the ‘big picture’; the specification, standards, levels, marks,  and its strengths & challenges for students
  • Develop planning and teaching to build in examiner expectations
  • Know how to design and deliver a successful and engagingcourse.
  • Take away strategies for developing understanding of examination questions.
DATE & LOCATION Online | Wednesday 18 November 2020
  • Heads of department looking for “nuts and bolts” insight and rejuvenated practice
  • Teachers who have recently started teaching GCSE Classical Civilisation
  • Non-specialist Classics teachers looking for support and inspiration
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



Overview of the Specification

  • Latest Feedback
  • Key challenges, and demands
  • Explore the nature and structure of the specification and its papers
  • Gain an overview of the Assessment Objectives and their relationship to marking
  • Understand the benefits and challenges of the specification

 10.45 – 11.05am: Break

Planning for Successful Delivery 

  • Identify the key challenges of the course
  • Enhance focus on these areas to maximise outcomes for learners
  • Explore strategies to lay firm foundations in specification delivery
  • Consider how skills and content complement each other
  • Reflect on the twin aims of examination success and subject inspiration 


Teaching Component 1: Thematic Study 

  • Explore the core skills needed to achieve top GCSE grades
  • Consider practical strategies to inspire and motivate learners
  • Understand effective approaches to support students’ work with sources
  • Identify ways to embed technical vocabulary to streamline student answers
  • Focus on Assessment Objectives: balancing the demands of Literature and Visual / Material culture (AO1)
  • Examine question materials and examiner feedback 

Teaching Component 2: Literature & Culture

  • Explore the core skills needed to achieve top GCSE grades
  • Consider how to deliver content in a coherent scheme of work
  • Understand how relationship of components, so teachers work smart, not hard
  • Identify “easy wins” for student satisfaction and success
  • Focus on Assessment Objectives: addressing the increased AO2 demands in the classroom
  • Examine question materials and examiner feedback 


 Exploiting IT Opportunities to Access Assessment and Deliver Content 

  • Identify interactive IT to revitalise teaching and extend learning
  • Consider using IT to structure better lessons
  • Deploy annotation tools for enhanced teaching of literature
  • Streamline assessment models with technology


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 >