Classical Studies


In classical studies we shall be looking at a variety of topics relating to the culture of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Students in Year 8 have two lessons per fortnight in which we study several areas including mythology, architecture and daily life. We use the lessons to enhance and develop literacy skills and students are encouraged to do further research as well as being given the opportunity to be imaginative and creative. The Year 8 curriculum provides a taste of the sort of topics included at GCSE level as well as A-level. The skills being developed such as knowledge recall, discussion, understanding, evaluation and analysis will benefit students across all subjects and key stages. 




Gods and goddesses: names and powers  

Draw symbols, diagrams in books, posters, rote learning

What is classical studies?

Spider diagram of ideas

When were classical times? Timeline.

How long did the classical period last?

Table of names and symbols

Learning for class test

Preparing an advert (literacy task)

The Titans and Olympians

Story of the Titans and Olympians. Adjectives: vile, gruesome, grotesque, hideous, disgusting, savage, terrifying etc

Family tree of Cronos and Rhea: pictures and description



Theseus and the Minotaur

Theseus and the Minotaur key names: Athens, Aegeus, Medea, Crete, Minos, minotaur, labyrinth, Ariadne

Pictures with ship, string, key and sword


Designing and making a labyrinth

Daedalus and Icarus

Daedalus and Icarus key names: Icarus, Daedalus, Talus, Athens, Mediterranean sea, Crete, Minos


Designing and making a medallion

Perseus and the Gorgon

Perseus and the Gorgon key names: Acrisius, Danae, Delphi, Zeus, Perseus, Medusa, Seriphos, Dictys, Polydectes, Graeae

Questions/comprehensionGolding’s illustrations

Discovering Greek mythology

Find a picture of Medusa Find a map showing places mentioned in the myths so far, including the Atlas Mountains

Greek architecture: temple design, layout and decoration; influence on modern architecture

Group work observing postcards and pictures

Diagrammatic and illustrative work

Poster display of classical architecture in modern times

Observations of pictures in discovering the Greeks

Identify Doric, Ionic and Corinthian

Look at classical architecture in Norwich

Kinaesthetic practice

Collect pictures of classical architecture

Produce a poster

Roman gods and goddesses

Diagram / symbols of names and powers

Learn for tests

The Roman Empire

Where was the Roman Empire?

Use Rome the Empire
Which goods were produced where in the empire?

Use time traveller book

Find a map of the Roman Empire

Write about the importance of trade

Roman towns

The city of Rome

Use time traveller book and evidence sheet about life in Rome 
Typical features of a Roman town

Use Roman towns power point, map of Roman Norfolk and plan of Caistor St Edmunds


Roman roads

Roman technology: use Rome the Empire and power point to look at aqueducts

Diagram about the advantages of height/gradient and distance

Spider diagram

True/False statements

Roman baths

Caldarium, using Rome the Empire

Look at what Seneca says about the baths

Hypocaust heating system

Order of rooms in a bath house

Find and label pictures of Roman baths

Diagram of heating system

Diagram of order of rooms in a bath house

Fill in the blanks worksheet

Roman entertainment: chariot racing

Use Powerpoint and Rome the Empire and time traveller book

Observations and spider diagram

Focus on using evidence

Watch part of Ben Hur and do fact and fiction

Find and label a plan of the Circus Maximus


Time traveller book and power point

Diagram of eight main points

Independent learning task to use ICT and sheet in student resources

Deviations from the planned curriculum occasionally include watching and discussing the accuracy of films such as Percy Jackson, clips from Harry Potter and using the Greek Story Teller myth series or Horrible Histories. 

GCSE Classical Civilisation

Examination Board: OCR


The course is designed to inspire an interest in Greek and Roman Culture through the study of mythology, literature, and daily life; the course enables students to enrich and expand their cultural awareness. The course is designed to inspire an interest in Greek and Roman Culture through the study of mythology, literature and daily life; the course enables students to enrich and expand their cultural awareness. 

Why study classics?

If you are interested in the Greeks and Romans and their mythology and culture, you should consider doing classics. You do not have to have studied classics before; you only need to have an interest in the ancient world and how people lived. If you enjoy English, history, religious studies and art, there will be plenty to keep you interested and motivated throughout the course. Classics is all around us every day, from architecture to language, and the study of the classical world helps you to understand and appreciate the world we live in.

Year 10

The topics studied in Year 10 are:

  • The Gods of Greece and Rome
  • The Universal Hero: Herakles/Hercules 
  • Religion and City: temples of Greece and Rome 
  • Myth and the City: foundation stories such as Athena and Poseidon and Romulus and Remus
  • Festivals of Greece and Rome
  • Myth and Symbols of Power
  • Death and Burial
  • Mythology: the journey to the underworld and the afterlife

Year 11

The topics studied in Year 11 are:


  • Roman Housing 
  • The Roman Home and Family
  • Roman Society
  • Leisure and Entertainment 


  • Satire and Fiction 
  • Pliny and his letters
  • Experiencing Roman City Life
  • Relationships and Roman Society 

How do you learn?

Class work will consist of a variety of approaches including group work, individual assignments and projects, and shared tasks. You will also have the chance to do role play and class presentations using IT. Previously we have been able to visit the British Museum to see the artefacts, as well as visiting closer archaeological sites at Colchester and Caistor St Edmunds in order to study Roman Britain. Visits have also taken place to Provence.

How are you assessed?

It is assessed by examination in two papers covering Mythology and Religion, and Roman Daily life. We follow the OCR GCSE Classical Civilisation course Route 1. Together with other recommended resources we use the examination book Myth and Religion recommended by the examination board and published by Bloomsbury. Homework is set weekly and low-stakes assessment pieces are done fortnightly.   

Where will this take me post-16?

We have one of the few sixth forms that offer classical civilisation at A-level. Some students have gone on to study ancient history, classical languages (such as Latin), and archaeology after their A-levels but you don’t have to be thinking of careers in classics in order to find the subject useful. This subject will help you to develop your writing and thinking skills, just as any other GCSE would, and it tells people that you are interested in a topic that’s a little bit out of the ordinary.

A-Level Classical Civilisation

Examination Board: OCR 


Course Summary

The course is designed to inspire an interest in Greek and Roman culture through the study of mythology, literature and daily life; the course enables students to enrich and expand their cultural awareness. The A-level is assessed by examination in two papers covering Greek Theatre and Society and Greek Religion and Mythology. We follow the OCR Classical Civilisation course. Together with other recommended resources, we use the examination books Greek Theatre and Greek Religion, recommended by the examination board and published by Bloomsbury. We also use the Massolit lectures to support wider reading and to prepare students for study beyond A-level. Homework is set weekly on a lesson-by-lesson basis. Enjoyment of the subject is enhanced by visits to museums and lectures. 


The study of ancient civilisations is most likely to appeal to those who have an interest in history, philosophy, literature and art and it is not necessary to have any prior knowledge of the classical world. Our aim is to discover what it was like in the times of the great philosophers, writers, sculptors, artists and historians. We uncover the past through source material such as plays, artefacts and epic poetry.

Year 12 Topics

  • Drama and the theatre in ancient Athenian society 
  • The nature of tragedy: Sophocles and Euripides 
  • The nature of comedy: Aristophanes 
  • Literary techniques, structure of the plays, dramatic conventions 
  • Social, political and religious themes in tragedy 
  • Social and political themes in comedy

Year 13 Topics

  • Religion and worship 
  • Religion and society  
  • Religion, politics and society 

The World of the Hero

  • The Odyssey: Homer
  • Aeneid: Virgil


The A-level is assessed by examination in two papers covering Greek Theatre and Society, and Greek Religion and Mythology.

Careers and Progression

Classical civilisation is an arts subject and therefore opens doors to many types of university courses and careers without being an essential qualification for many. University courses are available in classical civilisation/studies, and there are joint honours courses involving classical subjects. The skills and knowledge developed throughout this course are transferrable and of value in a wide variety of non-subject specific careers such as accountancy, management, local government, teaching or the civil service as well as the more obvious paths into archaeology, tourism or museum work.

Entrance Requirements:

Minimum requirement: 6 GCSEs Grades 9-4 (or equivalent), including Grade 4 or above in English and maths

Strongly recommended: Grade 5 in English

Recommended: Grade 5 in classics (if taken)

Classics Assessment and record of progress







Thorough (tests, written work, oral feedback)

Sound (good tests, accurate written work)

Sometimes satisfactory tests, written work mostly accurate


Greater application and accuracy needed


Regularly contributes

Occasionally contributes

Rarely contributes (only when asked)

Hardly ever contributes (even when asked)


Confidently expressed in written work

Developing through discussion and written work

Written answers need expanding and explanation

Written work includes some main points


Confidently expressed in written work, demonstrating an understanding of the bigger picture

Developing through discussion and written work

Written answers need expanding and explanation

Written work includes some main points


I am curious and observant and I can recall and talk about information (e.g. names/places)


Key Stage 3


I can give examples when I answer questions and use subject specific terms



I can select information and sources. I can choose examples and describe events



I can discuss, explain events, observe and analyse evidence



I can investigate and use evidence to support ideas. I can make comparisons


Key Stage 4


I can demonstrate understanding of events and actions by appraising and predicting outcomes



I can evaluate the usefulness of evidence



I can synthesise skills of analysis and evaluation




At GCSE and A-level, we visit museums, such as the British Museum and Fitzwilliam in Cambridge and archaeological sites in Colchester and Caistor. Mrs Barker regularly organises a visit to Roman sites in Provence for all pupils studying classics from Year 8 and above.

British Museum, Fitzwilliam and Colchester