Scheme of work: The history of the ancient Olympic Games

Sporting Heritage scheme of work for primary history (Key Stage 2)

By Sporting Heritage, published 8th September 2022

The history of the ancient Olympic Games

This unit produced by Sporting Heritage is designed flexibly as either a chronological or a thematic study. As such, its editable core PowerPoint resources can be used as a depth or extended overview topic in relation to:  

  • Ancient Greece – a study of Greek life and achievements and the Greeks’ influence on the Western world. This is the core element of the study, but can also potentially be linked to or integrated with:
  • The legacy of Greek culture for later periods in British history, including the present day. 

The unit is structured around the central activity of designing a museum exhibition in the classroom, corridor or hall to tell the story of the Olympic Games from their origins in Ancient Greece and, if and as desired, to integrate this with other elements of study in relation to the legacy of Greek culture, by drawing comparisons and contrasts with the modern Olympics. Pupils will make ‘curatorial’ decisions around the organisation of their knowledge and understanding in relation to chronology; themes; comparisons and contrasts. 

The unit is structured around three enquiry questions:

  1. Why did the Olympic Games start originally in Ancient Greece?
  2. What do the Olympic Games tell us about life in Ancient Greece and what was their significance then and today?
  3. What are the similarities and differences between the ancient and modern Olympic Games?

This scheme of work has been put together by Sporting Heritage, a not-for-profit community interest company working specifically to support the collection, preservation, access, and research of sporting heritage in the UK and wider.

Please note: while the schemes of work on the HA website contain resource suggestions, they are not all fully resourced schemes of work. They are designed to support your planning and should be moulded and adapted to fit the context and needs of your own school. To view a free sample scheme of work, please refer to our Anglo-Saxons unit.

We regularly check the hyperlinks included in the schemes but unfortunately every now and again some links may go out of date. If you spot a broken link, please let us know on  

Every effort has been made to ensure images are copyright free, but please do get in touch if you have any enquiries or information relating to use of any images.

Please note that the 'Enquiry' PowerPoint below is a very large file (53MB) and may take some time to download on slower connections.  

This resource is FREE for Primary HA Members.

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