70 GCSE and A Level students attend the hub’s first Classical Civilisation study day
23 March 2017
On Monday 20th March, we were delighted to welcome 70 students and 15 teachers to a Classical Civilisation Study Day in the Wills Memorial Building.
Dr Shelley Hales began the day with a fascinating lecture on the topic of ‘Sex and Gender in the Ancient World’ in which students were given the opportunity to offer their own insightful contributions to a discussion about the visual representation of men and women in antiquity.
In the second session of the day, Dr Genevieve Liveley delivered a lecture to students on Augustus and 'The Aeneid' while Alex Orgee from OCR ran a training session for teachers about the new Classical Civilisation specifications for GCSE and A Level.
The afternoon sessions were organised slightly differently: Dr Emma Cole and Dr William Guast delivered short lectures in which they explored some key ideas about the presentation of Medea and Odysseus respectively - Further reading on the Odyssey (Office document, 35kB). These ideas were then discussed in more detail during the following interactive sessions, ably led by University of Bristol undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Department of Classics and Ancient History.
Tabitha Hurry, one of our student volunteers, reflects on her experiences:
I am a first year undergraduate studying Classical Studies and I was one of the volunteers for the GCSE and A Level Classical Civilisation Study Day.
Coming from a state educated background, there were no classical subjects on the curriculum at my school. This meant that by the time I got to college I had no idea what Classics was or what the study of classical culture might involve. However I ended up being part of the first cohort to take Classical Civilisation at my college. Although I didn’t really know what to expect when I started the course, thankfully I loved it! I had a fantastic teacher who really brought the subject to life, and here I am now studying Classical Studies at my first choice university. Having been fortunate enough to study Classical Civilisation at college, I volunteered for this event because I am really keen to raise the profile of the subject and to encourage others to pursue their interests in Classics.
Prior to the first training session, I felt slightly apprehensive about what I had signed myself up for, but Charlie’s enthusiastic approach instantly put me at ease. The training sessions leading up to our mini workshops gave me a real insight into how much work actually goes into planning a lesson, and with Charlie’s guidance I was very confident with my final workshop plan. Charlie and Will made these sessions fun and interactive (always supplying yummy snacks to keep us going), and I met some lovely people along the way.
On the day of the conference we were all feeling quite nervous, but seeing the intent looks on all of the students’ faces during the lectures helped to calm our nerves and we started getting very excited. My workshop was on Greek Tragedy, focusing on Euripides’ ‘Medea’. The students were eager to participate and the session ended up being far more interactive and fun than I could have imagined. We posed the question ‘Do you think Medea was a wicked witch or a heartbroken woman?’ and this instigated a vibrant debate at the end of the workshop. It was brilliant to hear the students share their views with such passion and excitement, and I felt that I also learnt a great deal from facilitating the discussion.
I hope that the study day has helped to broaden students’ understanding of these topics and that it may even have inspired some of them to consider studying classical subjects at university!
More information about the classical courses on offer at the University of Bristol can be found here Studying Classics at Bristol (Office document, 4,607kB) or on the departmental website.
For further information about this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org