ACE GCSE Classical Civilisation

Partner: Bishop Thomas Grant Catholic Secondary School, London
Partner type: Maintained School
Project category: Academic

Inspired  by the 'Advocating Classics Education' campaign, whose aim is to extend classical-subject qualifications across the secondary sector, this project offers pupils from local secondary schools the opportunity to study for a GCSE in Classical Civilisation. 

Aims of the project

This project aims to support the work of 'Advocating Classics Education' by providing pupils with the opportunity to study for a GCSE qualification in Classical Civilisation who would otherwise not be able to do so. 

According to ACE, 'Far too few British children are educated about the ancient Greeks and Romans at secondary level. Studying ancient Greek and Roman civilisation, history, thought, literature, art and archaeology is not only exciting and instructive, but confers profound advantages: it hones analytical and critical skills, trains minds in the comparative use of different types of evidence, introduces young people to the finest oratory and skills in argumentation and communication, enhances cultural literacy, refines consciousness of cultural difference and relativism, fosters awareness of a three-millennia long past, along with models and ideals of democracy, and develops identities founded in citizenship on the national, European and cosmopolitan, global level.' Unfortunately, qualifications at GCSE and A-Level in Classical subjects are hardly available outside the private education sector.

This project requires the support of the local state school, whose pupils are the immediate beneficiaries. 

Background and goals

Andrew Christie, Director of Co-Curricular Studies and Outreach at SCHS, is a member of the ACE advisory board and was keen to explore how independent/state school partnerships might be used to further the aims of 'Advocating Classics Education'. 

He contacted a number of local state secondary schools and Bishop Thomas Grant was keen to collaborate. This project has been running since September 2017. 


Lessons take place at SCHS and are taught by members of the Classics Department, who are supported by A-Level Classical Civilisation students. 

Lessons last an hour and take place 4-5pm every Thursday during term-time.

SCHS provides refreshments, text books and printed materials. 


Qualitative and quantitative assessment is ongoing and it is anticipated that pupils will achieve top grades in the GCSE Classical Civilisation examination at the end of the course. 

Pupil involvement

Six Year 9 pupils (5 boys and 1 girl) from Bishop Thomas Grant School are studying for the GCSE. They are supported by 6 A-Level Classical Civilisation students from SCHS.

Frequency and duration

Lessons take place every week during term-time. The course will be covered over three years culminating in the GCSE examination.