Ancient History

Ancient History: Greece and Rome

The Dreaming Spires Ancient history courses are the tutor's labor of love: Alison lives, breathes, eats -- and even sings! -- Classics.

How Dreaming Spires Ancient History Courses Work

As in all Dreaming Spires courses, the Ancient History courses use an online secure environment called Coursesites where the course materials are uploaded for 24/7 access. It's here that a student can find links to previous webinars, pdf documents, homework assignments, and additional materials to enhance one's learning experience. It's also here that students will submit their homework for Mrs Samuels to evaluate.

The live portion is launched from the Coursesites page. We make use of Powerpoint presentations where the tutor speaks live using a mic, while the students use the chatbox to type comments, questions, and observations.

Weekly time commitment is approximately 4 1/2 hours . This includes attending the one-hour live webinar, reading the weekly assignments, and submitting a written summary and answering short discussion questions.

Ancient Rome

In Dreaming Spires Ancient History: Rome, students trace the origins of the Roman Republic from the founding fathers and mothers, then dabble in the era of Caesar (and his little dabble with Cleopatra!), explore its literature, architecture, and philosophy, and delve into issues of warfare and and worship.

Here's a glimpse at the kind of assignments you'll see on the weekly syllabus.

One student has this to say about the Ancient Rome course:

It's a unique course because it made me obsessed with Rome afterwards. I got a good understanding of society, the class system, the family, and the military, plus a lot of the Roman literature. I took the extension to learn how to write essays about ancient objects, and that was useful because it helped me understanding how archaeologists date objects, and what they say about the culture they come from. Mrs Samuels has a quirky teaching style that adds interest to the subject - she'll frame a subject like Octavian's exile in such a way to make it seem humorous/ridiculous, and that helps you remember it really well.

Ancient Greece

Almost everyone who starts with the Ancient Rome class will be the first to sign up for the Ancient Greece course the following year.

The syllabus covers wars, myths, drama, the role of women, and of course, Homer. In fact, just about everything you'd find in any IGCSE or A-level syllabus, but taught by a lecturer at the Open University who knows all the background that revision guides don't have time to include.

Here's a sample from the syllabus:

If you are intending to use the Dreaming Spires Ancient History courses for exam preparation, please contact us via the contact form for a document we've prepared to show where our courses overlap all the available exam boards, whether at GCSE/IGCSE level or A-level.

Writing Extensions

It is recommended that anyone who is aiming for exams in the UK should undertake the additional Ancient History writing extensions as well.

Each add-on writing course will occur straight after the main webinar, and last approximately 20 minutes as Mrs Samuels take students through various units about architecture, coinage, pottery, and other ancient artefacts, guiding them how to write about them as per exam expectations, and finally, marking the essays. 

The homework commitment for add-on writing is approximately 2 extra hours a week.

For days and times of Dreaming Spires Ancient History, see the current timetable here:

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