Last week’s ancient history trip to Greece was a huge success. Twenty-nine students from Years 9 to 11 went on a five-day tour that included visits to eight key ancient sites where events they are studying took place.
The packed itinerary meant early starts and late finishes, but the group had a good base in their Athens hotel, and an excellent coach company and guide to show them round.
History teacher, Mr Clayton, reports on the trip below:
The tour started with the Acropolis in Athens, with its impressive entrance, temples and theatres. We arrived late in the afternoon, so most of the crowds had gone, and we were able to get a really good look at the Erechtheion and Parthenon.
Our study of the temples was extended by a visit to the Acropolis Museum, which preserves the many statues and sculptural friezes taken from the monuments.
Saturday was taken up with a trip to Olympia, the home of the Olympic games. We toured the site and, in the footsteps of the ancient athletes, some of the group ran the 177-metre long stadium.
The following day, we made our way to Thermopylae, the site of the most famous last stand in history, where 300 Spartans held off the vast Persian army, allowing their Greek comrades to escape. We saw a state-of-the-art 3D presentation, then visited the battlefield and, more specifically, the hill of the last stand.
Next was Delphi, the highlight of the trip, with its beautiful mountainside location. We saw the Temple of Apollo, where the Pythian priestess gave her enigmatic prophecies of the future, perhaps under the influence of the hallucinogenic gas, ethylene, which seeps out from the earth on this geological fault line.
DAY 4 & 5
Over the next two days, we visited Marathon, Salamis and Plataea, the sites of the great battles between the Persians and the Greeks during the Persian invasions of 490 and 480-479 BC.
All in all, it was a busy and extremely enjoyable trip, which has left some great memories and a much deeper knowledge of the history of Ancient Greece.
Seeing the actual places can significantly increase the students’ understanding of the events that took place and help them to connect with the topics.
The teaching staff and our fantastic guide, Aris, were able to fully explain what happened at the sites, which provides the pupils with greater insight, as they study and revise the GCSE course content.