To discuss all things related to the AQA and OCR Specifications.

  • Hello,

    Looking for some advice! I’m an NQT English teacher, teaching the controlled assessment component for the AQA GCSE Classical Civilisation 40204.   We are doing the Iliad.   I’m trying to bring myself up to speed but AQA are only able to provide one model answer for the Iliad. They have suggested posting on here to see if there are any…[Read more]

  • Hi everyone, I’m new to teaching Classical Civilisation and (as with all subjects!) wondering how you were going to assess the new 9-1 in groups before the first exam? In History we have been doing a bit of statistical analysis of the 6 classes and some professional judgement but with one, small class and never having taught it before I am a bit…[Read more]

  • Hi, I am picking up from the threads that some teachers are starting the GCSE in Year 9. I would be interested to know how you have found/are finding it or whether, like me, you are considering doing the same starting this year? If you do/have done it, do you teach the GCSE specification exactly or an abridged version that you pick up with more…[Read more]

    • Hi, every GCSE at my school starts in Y9 so they are all going to do GCSE. So we start the actual GCSE content. New joiners would have to catch up just as with any other subject (via additional tasks, textbook and 1-1 tutorials.) It seems to work!

      • Thanks Lucy. I suppose my worry is regarding those children who are in my Latin set who then choose to do Classics at GCSE. With very limited room in my classroom it is difficult to move more than a few over. Equally, I can’t really swap children otherwise I will have non-Latinists joining a Year 9 Latin group. I suppose I just have to hope…[Read more]

    • Hi Kim,

      I started the new GCSE in Term 6 with my Year 9s (when our students move into their GCSE groups). I started with the Women component. I intended to do it in as much detail as possible but as the textbook hadn’t been released yet I went in a little bit blind, therefore I am going to tidy up a few loose ends when we are back in. In future…[Read more]

      • Thanks Adam. I only see my Year 9’s for an hour a week so I could start some of the content quite easily though I have the issue, as I mentioned to Lucy, of Latinists switching to Classics. Something to ponder on! :0)

    • We start GCSE at year 9, so if they’ve started they’re stuck with it (much to the dismay of a couple). We had a new boy start the school around March and he has been catching up. I finished Myth and Religion this year. It was taught on a bit of a wing and a prayer considering there was so little information early on. The plan is to do regular…[Read more]

      • Thanks Emma, interesting to read. If you have chance to read my comments to others (above) you will see my dilemma however reading your comments I think I am just going to have to take a tougher line and tell Y9 Latinists that they can’t change to Classics unless I have room at the start of Y9; it feels a bit harsh though! :0)

  • I am starting with the Myth and Religion section and am feeling slightly overwhelmed. After years of having no textbook and having to come up with my own resources, suddenly now there is a textbook and, while I am grateful, I find myself not knowing exactly how to teach in this way! So many questions are going through my mind – how to deliver…[Read more]

    • I know what you mean. I have never taught from a text book before and while they are better than the reader they are not as thorough as I had hoped. I have gone with PowerPoints using their info and some supplementary material.
      It is a bit patchy at the moment.

      • It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in feeling this way! A couple of other teachers have emailed me about this. If you want to join in, do email me at djd@rgshw.com – maybe we can bounce ideas off each other!

  • How are people planning to teach the new Myth and Religion – Greek first then Roman, or in parallel? I have been teaching the new spec for a year and have done the Greek stuff first, then will start Roman in September and use comparison to the Greek equivalents as a form of revision. What is everyone planning to do?

  • Paul Holt posted an update in the group Group logo of GCSE Classical CivilisationGCSE Classical Civilisation 4 months ago

    Dear all,
    About to embark on the new Class Civ OCR GCSE (Route 1: Myth and Religion + Homeric World)
    I rang the publishers today to see where the books are, and it appears the books won’t be ready for the next few weeks! Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone have any tips or useful resources to get me started in September? I have made the…[Read more]

    • The somewhat “staggered” release of the new textbooks (all due to be published on 13th July, none of them actually appeared then…) has been somewhat frustrating. Four of the seven Class Civ textbooks have made it out (only one out of the four Ancient History so far). I spoke to Bloomsbury this morning to change my delivery to a different…[Read more]

      • It’s pretty ridiculous. They change the syllabus (I have no problem with that – I have taught it for years and could do with a change) and then don’t provide the promised materials. OCR seem to be getting more useless by the day. I am just starting to prepare now. I think I will start on the Myth and Religion and then move on to Homer with the…[Read more]

    • Just to update on this – all the Class Civ textbooks are now out, and it’s only the A Level Ancient History Paper 2 (Rome) book that’s not been published yet (and the new edition of Greek Beyond GCSE for A level linguists), so if you haven’t ordered any now would be a good enough time to do so!

      The GCSE ones are particularly good – a little…[Read more]

      • ‘Myth & Religion’, at least, is being held up by finding and correcting worse mistakes, too: ‘Chronos’ for Cronus, ‘Pallentium’ ‘Anthony’ and ‘Aegeas’ used consistently, ‘Julius’ for Iulus (Ascanius), and (unforgivably) ‘Coliseum’. Amazing errors from an author, really. I read ch. 1-4 on a (bought) pdf and sent some comments to the editors, who…[Read more]

    • I have had the ebook version of the textbook for a week or two now and it does indeed contain a number of typos, but at least it’s out now. I have uploaded some resources for teaching about the Centauromachy and Amazonomachy sculpture for Myth and Religion on here, as I have been teaching the course for a year (we start GCSE in Year 9). I will…[Read more]

      • Whilst I know this makes it no easier, please don’t blame Bloomsbury or OCR for the textbook timing. The reality is that the time-frame of redevelopment, which is set by the government and regulator, is just incredibly tight. The specs were accredited just under a year before first teaching, which means poor Bloomsbury have less than a year to…[Read more]

    • *OCR/Bloomsbury New Textbooks*

      Dear all,

      I’ve just been contacted by Alice Wright at Bloomsbury, who tells me that 10 of the 11 titles were available in July. So it looks like the situation has improved dramatically since this first post. Please contact Monica at Hellenic Bookservice or Bloomsbury directly to order!

      I hope that helps!

      Steve

  • Hi all, has anyone collated any commentaries/ background reading to help with preparing to teach the new Prescribed Sources for Roman City Life? Doesn’t seem to be anything yet on the OCR website…
    Many thanks,
    Crispin

    • Hi Crispin,
      OCR’s textbooks should be out within the next fortnight or so which (I’m hoping!) should be a massive help in terms of moving forward and planning a scheme of work. There are separate textbooks available from Bloomsbury depending on whether you’re planning on going down the ‘Myth and Religion’ route or ‘Women in the Ancient…[Read more]

  • What did people think about the OCR Roman Life paper and the questions? I thought the question on the gods were particularly baffling – b) explain why the Romans had more than one female god? This seems more a question on the origins of Roman religion (not on the specification) than the various attributes of the gods? Or am I overthinking it?

    • One of my pupils came up with a better answer than I did when we discussed this – she thought it gave lots of positive female role models to reflect the number of different roles women could have, as well as to create a family feel for the gods (rather than, if you’ll excuse the phrase, a giant sausage fest) to parallel Roman family life. We all…[Read more]

    • There were pretty negative comments about the same question in the Greek equivalent of the exam on Twitter #ocrclassics

  • Hi! I’m half way through teaching the OCR old spec Class Civ for the first (and last!) time. I would really benefit from seeing any marked past papers which people may have so that I can moderate my marking. I’m also slightly unclear about the exact expectations of the CA unit (Olympic Games), especially with regards to number of sources which…[Read more]

    • Hi, Ayesha. I have some marked scripts and controlled assessment advice / materials on the Olympics. Send me your email address and I will pass them on.

      • Dear Martin, I am also teaching Class Civ old spec for first time and would love anything you have got on the Olympics. I have never done a controlled assessment and am slightly concerned for my poor students!

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