This webinar will examine the key elements necessary for success when teaching ancient literature for Paper 2. The techniques for looking at ancient literature will be relevant for teachers following either the Homeric World, Roman City Life or War and Warfare options. There will be a focus on how to meet the AO2 requirement for the detailed and extended response questions. The webinar will also examine exemplar material, looking at how students can adopt useful techniques to boost their marks.


  • Gain a clear understanding of how to teach literary content and style
  • Look closely at how to assess pupils’ responses on the higher tariff questions
  • Take away best practice example answers


  • All teachers of GCSE Classical Civilisation


4:15        Introduction and aims

4:20        How to revise the specific details of each option: Women in the Ancient World and Myth and   Religion

Pupils will be given a 10 minute revision activity to do while we are covering the topic which they are not studying although much of the advice is applicable across both topics

This will include:

How to revise the content of the literature

How to write about themes in the different literature topics

Evaluating primary material culture

Key questions for each topic

4:30        How to respond to “key words” used in examination questions

4:40        Directed revision techniques: how to learn the information, how to use the information

4:50        Responding to the different question types

5:00        Understanding the differences between AO1 and AO2: what is the examiner looking for?

Looking at model answers

Responding to different extended response questions

5:10        Questions

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 >