Ancient History

Specification: OCR

Why study Ancient History?

Ancient History is a well-respected subject that is very much in demand by employers seeking evidence that you can think about issues, judge the value of evidence and come to reasoned conclusions. The aim of this course is to develop these skills by studying some of the momentous events of the Classical World that still have an impact on the way we live our lives today. We hope to enthuse you by looking at a range of literary and archaeological evidence that provide us with a story where truth and fiction are often difficult to disentangle.

What will I study?

You will study aspects of both Greek and Roman History in each year. The Greek units cover the nature of conflict in Ancient Greece from the Persian Wars to the end of the Peloponnesian War and its social and economic impact. In Year 13 you will complete an in-depth study of the Spartans and their unique military system.

For the Roman History units, you will study the rule of the Julio-Claudian Emperors. This includes Augustus, the first emperor; Tiberius “the black tyrant”; Gaius the “mad emperor”; Claudius “the fool” and Nero.

In Year 13, you will study Roman Britain from the invasion of the Emperor Claudius to the building of Hadrian’s Wall. This will also look at the establishment of Roman rule despite resistance from the British under Boudicca, the Warrior Queen and the impact of Roman rule on life, culture and art in Britain.

How will I be assessed?

All units are assessed by exams which include essay questions and source analysis, using prescribed literary sources or archaeological evidence. There is no coursework.

Entry requirements

C or better in English Language and History or an equivalent humanities subject at GCSE. A knowledge of Latin is not required.

Course expenses

There is a one day visit to Roman remains that will cost about £10. A more general History trip is organised for the Easter holiday but is not compulsory. We are encouraging all students to purchase a book, costing £16.99, to support the course.


The Gryphon School is CLOSED today due to icy conditions on site.