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Barclay Academy

Barclay Academy

Classical Civilisation

Head of Department: Dr K Mawford

At Barclay Academy, students have the opportunity to study Classical Civilisation at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. This subject allows them to explore life in ancient Greece and Rome over a wide time period, and to see the impact these civilisations have had on our own culture. The study of these civilisations, including their literature, myth, culture, beliefs, history, and archaeological remains, builds on students’ study of Latin and Roman history at Key Stage 3, allowing them to develop their own interests in the subject and pursue a highly academic, multidisciplinary, and engaging subject.


In GCSE Classical Civilisation, students follow the OCR specification, a rigorous and varied course which challenges students and allows them to gain in-depth knowledge of the ancient Mediterranean. At GCSE, students begin their study of the ancient world by exploring the Greek and Roman gods and religious practices, including sacrifice and temples; over the course of Year 10, students develop their appreciation of these cultures by studying the presentation and significance of heroes such as Heracles and Theseus, ancient festivals, and myths and beliefs surrounding death and the afterlife. In Year 11, students begin to explore the Mycenaean period of Greek history, learning about the archaeological remains of this fascinating culture and its Linear B language; at the same time, we read Homer’s Odyssey, one of the most important and exciting works of the ancient world, an epic which details Odysseus’ return to Ithaca from the Trojan War and his encounters with gods and monsters along the way.


An A Level in Classical Civilisation provides a broad, coherent, and rewarding study of the literature, drama, thought, and art of ancient Greece and Rome. At Barclay Academy, students can pursue A Level Classical Civilisation, following the OCR specification, in order to further develop their understanding and appreciation of the ancient world. This course gives students the opportunity to engage critically with and interrogate a range of sources, gain understanding of competing identities and their interaction, and to develop sophisticated cultural and political literacy. Students study Greek and Roman epic poetry in great detail, including its cultural and political significance, as well as exploring the conventions and practical aspects of Athenian drama, and attitudes to love and relationship held by philosophers and poets writing at the time. The broad focus of this A Level allows students to study Greek and Roman epic, drama, philosophy, and history, and to develop highly-sought-after skills of critical thinking and analysis.


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