Curriculum – KS5 Classics (Classical Civilisation)

Examination Board: OCR

Units Taken: F382 CC2; F384 CC4

Link to Specification: Click here.

Course Content

Component 1: The World of the Hero (40%)

Homer’s Odyssey: The poems of Homer were considered by the Greeks themselves to be a foundation of Greek culture, standing as they do at the beginning of the Western literary canon. This component provides learners with the opportunity to appreciate the lasting legacy of the Homeric world and to explore its attitudes and values. The epics of Homer, with their heroes, gods and exciting narratives, have been in continuous study since their conception, and remain popular with learners and teachers today.

Virgil’s Aeneid: This component also provides learners with the opportunity to appreciate Virgil’s Aeneid, a cornerstone and landmark in Western literature. Drawing inspiration from Homer, as well as from his own cultural and political context (he wrote the Aeneid in the first years of a dictatorship), Virgil explored what it was to be a hero in the Roman world and created a work which has proven enduringly popular.

Component 2: Culture and The Arts (30%)

We currently offer option 2.1: Greek Theatre.

Texts: Oedipus the King (Sophocles), Bacchae (Euripides). Frogs (Aristophanes)

Component 3: Beliefs and Ideas (30%)

Students will study one of the following options:

  • Greek Religion
  • Love and Relationships
  • Politics of the Late Republic
  • Democracy and the Athenians

All of these components include the study of classical thought; from ideas about politics and correct governance, to what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ when it comes to love and desire, to the nature of the gods and their relationship with mankind. 

Skills Gained from Taking this Course

  • Analytical skills: literary, cultural and historical.
  • Reading skills: texts with challenging content and language.
  • Written expression and ability to plan and write essays.
  • Independent enquiry skills.
  • Understanding of moral, social and political structures which are foundations of our own.

St Marylebone Entry Requirements

To gain entry into the sixth form at St Marylebone School, students must gain a minimum of five 9-6 grades at GCSE and a 5 grade in English and Maths GCSE.

Subject Specific Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in English Language GCSE.

Entry Suggestions

To study Classical Civilisations, students should be genuinely interested in the classical/ancient world. While it is a good sign if you enjoy lessons like English literature, since the course does include some analysis of ancient literature, you should also be keen on studying something a bit different. Successful students will have intellectual curiosity, will be motivated and inspired by the study of ancient sources, will not be put off by unusual and sometimes difficult texts and will actively develop their knowledge through wider reading. Students with an interest in the origins of literature, theatre and civilisation are encouraged to take the course.

If you are made an offer, you will be expected to complete the following before your first lesson in September:

At least one of the following:

  • Find at read at least four Greek myths.
  • Visit the Greek and Roman rooms at the British Museum.
  • Read/Watch a Greek Tragedy
  • Choose something to read from our wider reading list (here).

Resources Needed for this Course:

  • The Three Theban Plays: ‘Antigone’, ‘Oedipus the King’, ‘Oedipus at Colonus’ (Penguin Classics) (link here)
  • Euripides: Bacchae (Cambridge Translations from Greek Drama) (link here)
  • Aristophanes: Frogs (Cambridge Translations from Greek Drama) (link here)
  • Homer, ‘Odyssey’ translated by E. V. Rieu, revised translation by D. C. H. Rieu (Penguin) (link here)