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Students during a lesson


Curriculum Intent:

In Classical Civilisations we seek to unearth the treasures of the ancient past and encourage our students to enjoy them for their own sake as well to teach them how to analyse them in order to gain a greater understanding of the past. These treasures include Homer’s epic poetry, Roman architecture and Ovid’s poetry. Students master the skills of analysis, evaluation as well the ability to explain why key events in ancient history happened, and why they are important in our modern world.

Classics is offered as

  • GCSE Options Year 10 & 11

Key Stage 4 Classics

At the end of Key Stage 4 students will take the OCR AS examination for Classical Civilisation. The modules taken are The World of the Hero and The Imperial Image allowing students to gain knowledge of both the Greek and the Roman World.

Curriculum Overview

Students at Key Stage Four have two lessons a week following the OCR Classical Civilisation AS qualification.

  Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Year 10 The Imperial Image: Caesar’s legacy and his heirs The Imperial Image: Octavian versus Antony The Imperial Image: Octavian’s Reign The Imperial Image: Augustus’ Legacy The World of the Hero: Ancient Greek Culture The World of the Hero: Reading The Odyssey
Year 11 The World of the Hero: Key Themes and Literary Technique Revision: The Imperial Image Revision: The Imperial Image Revision: The World of the Hero Revision: The World of the Hero

 Year 10

We begin year 10 by studying The Imperial Image. This module focuses on the Emperor Augustus’ rise to power and his creation of his image. To do this we will study Julius Caesar and the fall of the Roman Republic, the battle between Augustus, Mark Antony and Cleopatra and Augustus’ reign. Within this module we will analyse a variety of prescribed sources covering Roman architecture, poetry, coinage, and statue to ascertain what impression they made and the role they played in creating and preserving the image of Augustus. By term 5, students will begin their study of The World of the Hero in which they will read Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. In order to best understand The Odyssey and place it in its correct cultural context, students will first study the Mycenae culture as well as the story line and significance of The Iliad.

Year 11

Students will continue their study of The Odyssey and will analyse the role of gods, the importance of xenia, the role of family, marriage and gender, and the issue of slavery in the ancient world. By term 3 students will begin to revise in lesson in preparation for their examination in the summer.

Assessment at GCSE

Throughout year 10 and 11 students will undertake a variety of formal and informal assessment. The formal assessment will be based on examination questions so as to master the examination skills. These examinations are made up of a variety of questions from low tariff knowledge questions, 8 mark analysis questions and 16 and 25 mark evaluation questions. These will all be based on the sources studied within the course. In order to ensure that students can retrieve the knowledge so essential for examination success, students will be assessed weekly on short, mid and long-term content.

For more information on the examination please see:

Further Reading/Resources


Mythos, Stephen Fry

Heroes, Stephen Fry

SPQR, Mary Beard


Mary Beard’s Meet the Romans (BBC)

Mary Beard’s Ultimate Rome: Empire without Limits (BBC)

Bettany Hughes Minoans (Channel 5)

Bettany Hughes Eight Days that Made Rome (Channel 5)

Bettany Hughes Mars Uncovered (Channel 5)

Clash of the Gods (History Channel)


British Values:

British Values in Classics

Mutual respect: Respect for the culture and belief systems of the ancient world. Encouraging the consideration of different perspectives of the ancient world and the perception of key events.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs: Studying the beliefs of the ancient and pagan past, including the Greek Gods and the role of religion in the Roman Republic.