By Dr Michael Loy, Assistant Director (BSA)

The British School at Athens (BSA) is proud to have been supporting the work of UK school teachers for the past forty years.

In 1979, the then Assistant Director of the BSA Tony Spawforth (now professor emeritus of Ancient History, Newcastle University) organised the BSA’s first 14 day residential course for UK school teachers in Ancient History. Following the success of that first course, the BSA has offered biennially a similar CPD course for UK-based teachers of Ancient History and Classical Civilisation. The details have changed a little —the course is now ‘intensive’ and four days long, reflecting how difficult it is for teachers to take time away from their busy teaching loads— but the ethos remains: to give teachers first hand experience of sites and artefacts from Greek antiquity, and to bring them to Athens to network both with one another and with Greece-based historians and archaeologists.

The next BSA Intensive Course for School Teachers will run Friday 3rd–Tuesday 7th April 2020, and will be co-led by Dr Michael Loy (Assistant Director, BSA) and David Hogg (Head of English and teacher of Latin and Greek, Kelmscott School). Participants will be guided around the Acropolis (including the interior of the Parthenon), the New Acropolis Museum, the Athenian Agora, Mycenae, and the National Archaeological Museum. There will also be an opportunity to handle ancient artefacts from the BSA’s museum collection. The course is tailored closely to the current OCR and SQA syllabus, and will include workshops on resources and lesson plans: teachers will leave the course with an excellent first-hand knowledge of the topography of Athens, and will have developed their own set of resources immediately ready for use in the classroom.

The BSA is also proud to have worked with UK Classics teachers and Classics for All hub co-ordinators to create GCSE Classical Civilisation Image Banks, now available through Classics Library. We know how hard it is for teachers to find appropriate teaching material for the new GCSE topics, particularly when many do not have a background in visual culture or archaeology. So we have gone through our library, trawled the web, and assembled folders of images (organised by syllabus points) ready to be dragged-and-dropped onto worksheets and PowerPoint slides. Image Banks for A Level topics are currently being prepared, and will be released soon on the Classics Library website.

More information and the application form for the 2020 BSA teachers course can be found here.

For details of an upcoming talk by Tony Spawforth on the first BSA teachers course, click here.


Participants of the 2018 Teachers Course, at the Parthenon.