Sixth Form (A Levels)

Online A Level Classical Studies

Description

Our CAIE A Level Classical Studies online course is designed as a multi-faceted learning experience that cultivates a myriad of transferable skills. The comprehensive online classical A Level syllabus encompasses disciplines such as Literature, History of Art, and History, facilitating a robust understanding of the interconnectedness of different intellectual pursuits. The course thereby encourages learners to forge meaningful connections between these areas of study.

This A Level classical online course not only hones your analytical and evaluative skills but also empowers you to develop and support well-founded arguments in your essays. Its multidisciplinary nature makes it a perfect complement to A Levels in English Literature, History, Philosophy, and Politics. The course equips you with a solid skill set that is valuable for further studies in Classics, Archaeology, English, History, History of Art, Politics, Philosophy, or Drama at the university level.

Homework, Assessment and Reporting

In the sixth form, our A Level classical course online requires students to complete at least one piece of homework per subject each week. To excel, it is imperative to dedicate an equal amount of independent study for each hour of instruction, including comprehensive note revision after every lesson.

Structured assessments, which include Level 5 internal assessments in June and Level 6 internal mock assessments in November and March, offer students regular opportunities for self-improvement. Detailed reports, featuring grades for attainment and effort along with comments from Success Coaches and the Head Teacher, are issued at the end of the Autumn and Summer terms for Level 5, and after mock assessments for Level 6.

Parental Involvement

We encourage parents to maintain an active dialogue with teachers throughout the academic year via a dedicated family Teams account. This online tool offers the unique advantage of more granular tracking of student progress, exceeding the insight provided by a standard annual parent consultation evening.

Dive into the rich tapestry of classical studies with our online classical A Level course and prepare yourself for a future filled with intellectual exploration.

Click here to see this year’s Assessment and Reporting schedule

The course will follow the current CAIE syllabus.

The aims of the course are to:

  • provide students with an understanding of Greek and Roman civilisation, and to encourage an appreciation of the Classical world;
  • enable students to understand the core foundations of Western traditions of architecture, art, history, literature, and political thought – traditions which have had major influences on the shape of the modern world;
  • develop students’ awareness of diversity in civilisations by understanding cultures, values and assumptions, which are different from contemporary views;
  • encourage students to develop a personal response to a range of material from the Greek and Roman world.

The course will be based on the textbooks recommended for the CAIE A Level.

Candidates for CAIE A Level Classical Studies study the following topics:

  1. Greek Civilisation – Alexander the Great
  2. Roman Civilisation – Virgil’s Aeneid
  3. Classical History – Emperors and Subjects: Claudius, Nero, Domitian and Trajan
  4. Greek Literature – Homeric Epic

These topics will be taught in Years 12 and 13 to prepare students for their CAIE A Level examinations.

Classical Studies is defined as the study of the civilisations of Greece and Rome in the Classical period. All sources are studied in English and no knowledge of Classical Greek or Latin is required.

Paper 1: topic A, written paper 1 hour 30 minutes, 50 marks, 25% of A Level

Paper 2: topic B, written paper 1 hour 30 minutes, 50 marks, 25% of A Level

Paper 3: topic B, written paper 1 hour 30 minutes, 50 marks, 25% of A Level

Paper 4: topic B, written paper, 1 hour 30 minutes, 50 marks, 25% of A Level

Topic A – Alexander the Great

This topic focuses on the life and career of Alexander the Great as seen through the eyes of his biographers.

Students will be expected to have a knowledge of the main events of his life, success and relationships, with a focus on his impact and his legacy. This topic will develop candidates’ historical analysis skills, requiring them to offer critical evaluation of the life of Alexander the Great and the character, career and success of Alexander in context.

Learners will study a selection of biographical works and other sources on Alexander the Great with particular reference to his: family, childhood and upbringing, campaigns and travels, military achievements and the reasons for them, rule of his empire and Persian influences on Alexander’s relationships with others, attitude towards religion and mythology, personal and imperial legacy.

Sources for study:

Literary sources:

  • Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander Books 2, 3, 7
  • Plutarch, Life of Alexander

Visual and material sources:

Images of Alexander:

  • mosaic from the House of the Faun, Pompeii (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples)
  • the Alexander sarcophagus (Archaeology Museums, Istanbul)
  • marble copy of head of Alexander from a statue by Lysippos

Images of Alexander on coins:

  • silver decadrachm of Alexander c.324 BCE
  • silver tetradrachm (Lysimachus) showing Alexander with horns, Zeus Ammon and Athena

Students will be expected to understand the nature of the visual and material sources, and the problems in their use as evidence.

Topic B – Virgil’s Aeneid

Virgil’s Aeneid had a pivotal place in the canon of Roman literature. This topic provides students with the opportunity to consider both the inspiration Virgil drew from Homer and the influence of Virgil’s own cultural and political context on his portrayal of what it was to be a hero in the Roman world.

This topic will develop the learner’s literary analysis and appreciation skills, requiring them to offer critical analysis and personal response to the literary achievements of Virgil. This will include the religious, cultural and social values portrayed in the text and the historical and political context of when it was written.

Students will study a selection of Books from Virgil’s Aeneid.

Sources for study:

Virgil, Aeneid: Books 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12

Candidates are expected to know what happens in the whole epic as wider reading.

Topic B – Emperors and Subjects: Claudius, Nero, Domitian and Trajan

This topic focuses on the development of the principate during the first and early second centuries CE in the broad historical context of unfolding events and issues. This topic involves the study of the emperors and the actions which impacted on the lives of the citizens of Rome and the wider Empire. The focus is the relationship between ruler and subjects and the response of citizens and non-citizens to the rule of the four specified emperors.

This topic will develop learners’ historical analysis skills, requiring them to offer critical evaluation of the relationships between emperors and their subjects, including the interplay between political, social, religious and economic factors.

Students will study a selection of historical, biographical and other sources on the four specified emperors, both in Rome and in the provinces with particular reference to:

  • the power and position of the emperors
  • the emperors’ relationships with the people of Rome
  • the social structure of Roman society
  • the emperors’ relationships with the people in the provinces.

Sources for study:

Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars

  • Claudius 10, 12–13, 17–22, 25, 26–29, 34, 43–45 Nero 8–12, 16, 18, 30–32, 33–5, 37, 38, 47–49
  • Domitian 1–5, 7–8, 10–11, 13–14, 17, 23

Tacitus, Annals

  • 11.1–3, 26–29, 33, 37–38
  • 12.1–3, 9, 25–26, 41–2, 53–4, 63–69
  • 13.1–5, 12–18, 25, 31–32, 45–46
  • 14.1–3, 12–16, 20–1, 38–39, 42–45, 51–2, 57, 60–64, 65 15.32–33, 37, 38–45, 48–51, 71–72, 74
  • 16.5–6, 18–19, 33

Tacitus, Agricola 2–3, 5–9, 15–21, 29, 39–45

Pliny, Letters

  • Book 1: 1.6, 1.9, 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, 1.18, 1.21, 1.23
  • Book 2: 2.6, 2.8, 2.20
  • Book 3: 3.1, 3.5, 3.14, 3.16, 3.21
  • Book 4: 4.8, 4.11, 4.13, 4.19, 4.21
  • Book 5: 5.16, 5.19
  • Book 6: 6.4, 6.7, 6.24, 6.34
  • Book 7: 7.4, 7.5, 7.19, 7.24
  • Book 8: 8.10, 8.16, 8.21, 8.24
  • Book 9: 9.6, 9.17
  • Book 10: 10.3a, 10.5, 10.18, 10.19–20, 10.29–30, 10.31–32, 10.33–34, 10.52, 10.65, 10.70–71, 10.75, 10.90–91, 10.96–97, 10.100

Dio Cassius, Roman History

  • 61.5–9
  • 62.16–18
  • 63.11–12, 22–23
  • 67 Domitian
  • 1, 3, 4.3–5, 13–14
  • 68 Trajan
  • 3–7, 10, 15–16, 23, 32

Juvenal, Satire

  • 3 1–20, 58–96, 126–163, 190–231, 232–267, 268–304 Satire 6 60–81, 82–113, 114–135

Petronius, Satyricon

  • 31–38

Martial, Epigrams

  • 9.1, 10.72, 12.57

Topic B – Homeric Epic

The epic poems of Homer were considered by the Greeks to be a foundation of Greek culture, being the earliest surviving Greek literature. This topic provides students with the opportunity to study both of the epic poems of Homer.

Students will be expected to have an understanding of the historical and mythological background of the poems. Learners should be aware of the oral nature of composition and transmission of the poems which were later written down in their current form. As such, the poems reflect not just the time in which they were composed but also contain traces of earlier societies and culture.

This topic will develop students’ literary analysis and appreciation skills, requiring them to offer critical analysis and personal response to the literary achievements of Homer, and the religious, cultural and social values portrayed in the poems.

Learners study a selection of Books from the epic poems of Homer:

  • Iliad: Books 1, 3, 6, 9, 16, 18, 19, 22, 24
  • Odyssey: Books 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 19, 21, 22, 23

Passages for comment will only be set from this selection of books. Candidates are expected to read the rest of the books of the poems as part of their wider reading.

Sources for study:

Where a passage is printed on a question paper it will be from the following translations/editions:

  • Homer, The Iliad, trans. Rieu, E V, and Jones, P, 2003, Penguin
  • Homer, The Odyssey, trans. Rieu, E V, 1991, Penguin

Extracts printed on the question papers will continue to be taken from these editions even if they go out of print, as centres may use any complete translation.

Our lessons prepare students for June Series examinations only – at A level, not AS level.

It is the parents’ responsibility to arrange their child’s examinations; our teachers will provide all the support required. Most students will sit their examination papers at a school or college who accept private candidates. Some students sit their examinations at private examination centres.

Assessment, apart from the final A Level exam, will be carried out continuously throughout lessons, via homework or short tests.

If you are intending to study A Level Classical Studies, we recommend that you spend some time in the summer holidays preparing. Here are some suggested activities:

Watch:

YouTube channel – Stupid Ancient History

YouTube channel – Introduction to Ancient Greek History

YouTube video – Plot Summary – The Aeneid by Virgil

YouTube video – CLEAN Classics Summarized – The Aeneid

YouTube video – TED-Ed – What makes a hero? – Matthew Winkler

YouTube video – TED-Ed – Why should you read Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’? – Mark Robinson

Read:

The Latin Library

Perseus Project

The Iliad, Homer – Available here

The Odyssey – Homer – Available here

Listen:

Podcast library – Archive of Performances of Greek & Roman Drama (APGRD)

APGRD Podcast – Reimagining Ancient Greece and Rome

BBC Sounds – In Our Time – Alexander the Great

BBC Sounds – In Our Time – The Aeneid

BBC Sounds – Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics – Homer: The Odyssey

BBC Sounds – Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics – Homer: The Iliad

 

 

What is the focus of the A Level Classical Studies online course?

The CAIE A Level Classical Studies online course aims to equip students with a set of transferable skills by studying a range of disciplines like Literature, History of Art, and History. It provides a comprehensive understanding of how these disciplines interconnect, enabling students to apply what they learn across different intellectual fields.

What skills will students acquire in the Classical Studies A Level course?

This A Level course sharpens students’ analytical and evaluative abilities. It teaches students how to construct and back independent arguments in essays. These skills form a solid base for further studies in various fields such as Classics, Archaeology, English, History, History of Art, Politics, Philosophy, or Drama at the university level.

What is the structure of the online Classical Studies A Level course?

The course follows the current CAIE syllabus and will cover topics such as Greek Civilisation, Roman Civilisation, Classical History, and Greek Literature. These subjects are taught over Years 12 and 13 to prepare students for their CAIE A Level examinations.

How is student progress tracked in the Classical Studies A Level online course?

Parents can utilise their family Teams accounts to regularly communicate with teachers about their child’s academic progress. This offers a more detailed tracking system compared to the traditional annual parent consultation evenings.

What is the homework and assessment structure for the Classical Studies A Level online course?

Students are expected to complete at least one homework assignment for each subject every week. For successful outcomes, students should also revise notes and undertake an hour of independent study for each taught hour. Internal assessments are conducted in June, November, and March, with reports being issued at the end of the Autumn and Summer terms and after mock assessments.

How to apply

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