Physical Education

Head of Department: Mrs C McHale
Department Staff: Mr B Ackland, Mr S Brodie, Mrs N Kotze and Mrs S Tuke
Level of teaching: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5

The aims of Physical Education are to develop each student’s full potential, focusing on their moral, social, spiritual, intellectual and physical attributes and to help each to become a responsible member of the community.  Physical Education is that aspect of education that specifically employs psycho-motor activities to achieve these aims.

Through regular and frequent participation in a carefully planned and balanced programme of activities each individual is encouraged to develop his/her physical capabilities to the full and increase confidence, competence and achievement in movement.

Our aims are:

  • To provide situations in which all students can experiment, consolidate and practice in an enjoyable manner
  • To widen the range of activities of the students and to promote interest in modern recreation pursuits
  • To develop existing and newly acquired skills in the pursuit of excellence.
  • To develop an awareness of the uses and limitations of technological developments in Physical Education.
  • To develop qualities of determination, conscientiousness, consistency, fairness and honesty.
  • To foster leadership, social relationships, co-operation, self-discipline, tolerance and self-esteem.
  • To accept responsibility for making decisions and deal with consequences positively.

Within Physical Education, students are presented with opportunities to develop personal qualities and social skills such as co-operation, perseverance, tolerance, independence and leadership.  Students are encouraged to continue participation in physical activities in leisure time.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Physical Education at Key Stage 3 will help to develops students’ competence and confidence in a range of physical activities that become a central part of their lives, both in and out of school. The high-quality physical education curriculum at Saint Gregory’s will enables the students to enjoy and succeed in many kinds of physical activity. They will develop a wide range of skills and use tactics, strategies and compositional ideas to perform successfully. When they are performing, they will think about what they are doing, analyse the situation and make decisions. They will also reflect on their own and others’ performances and find ways to improve them.

Topics covered in KS3:
Fitness, orienteering, minor games, trampolining, basketball, tag rugby, netball, rugby, football, hockey, lacrosse, athletics, cricket, rounders, tennis, table tennis, indoor athletics, badminton.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Core PE

During Year 10 students continue to be taught in their teaching groups and complete a range of activities with a view to each student finding an activity they can enjoy when they leave Saint Gregory’s. This progresses into Year 11 where the students can pick from 3 or 4 options 6 times per year. This enables students to have more choice and ownership over their learning and allows for mixed gender participation.

Topics covered in KS4:
Fitness, orienteering, minor games, trampolining, basketball, tag rugby, netball, rugby, football, hockey, lacrosse, athletics, cricket, rounders, tennis, table tennis, indoor athletics, badminton.

Course Code: GCSE Physical Education 8582
Exam Board Specification:

GCSE Physical Education is a course that will not only teach students about the practical elements but also the theoretical aspects of sports and activities.  This course can be a stepping-stone to further education in this field or to areas of work such as leisure, recreation, coaching and teaching.

How is the course assessed?

  • 40% of the course will be from three practical assessments from at least two groups/ways of thinking: at least two as player/performer (one in a team activity, one in an individual activity and a third in either a team or an individual activity). There will be a mixture of multiple choice/objective test questions, short answer questions and extended answer questions.
  • 60% of the course will be assessed via two final theoretical exams taken at the end of year 11 (2 x 1hr 15mins). Paper 1: The human body and movement in physical activity and sport. Paper 2: Socio-cultural influences and well-being in physical activity and sport.
  • Students will have five GCSE PE lessons per fortnight, three of these will be theoretical lessons in a classroom and the other two will be practical.

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Course Codes: AQA 7582
Exam Board Specification:

Students who take this course will need a Grade 6 in GCSE PE and a grade 6 in GCSE science. If GCSE PE has not been studied, it is essential that the candidate has gained a grade 6 or above in Biology or Science at GCSE level.

An interest in the theoretical aspects of Physical Education and Sports Science is essential as the A-Level is majority theory based. To have studied GCSE PE is highly recommended.

The specification prepares students well for further study in various fields, for example social and natural sciences, health and social care, leisure and tourism. An A-Level qualification is rapidly becoming essential for specialist study in PE and Sports Studies in Higher Education and is also a suitable qualification for other areas of study, including physiotherapy and nutrition.

Course Description:

The course is predominantly theory with a practical element. In the practical element the students can perform as a coach or a performer in a chosen sport and students will study theoretical content behind a wide range of topics which are detailed below. The breakdown is 30% practical and 70% written examination.


Topic 1: Applied anatomy and physiology
Topic 2: Skill acquisition
Topic 3: Sport and society
Topic 4: Exercise physiology
Topic 5: Biomechanical movement
Topic 6: Sport psychology
Topic 7: Sport and society and the role of technology in physical activity and sport

A level assessment: You will have three assessments. The first and second will be a written paper which covers the study topics of the two years. This paper accounts for 70% of your marks for the final year. The third assessment is a practical exercise where you will be marked as a player or coach depending on your personal goals. This practical assessment is based on the second study topic of the year and accounts for 30% of your marks for the year.

Paper 1: Factors affecting participation in physical activity and sport

  • Written Paper, 2 hours, 35% of total A-level marks
  • Section A: Applied anatomy and physiology.
  • Section B: Skill acquisition
  • Section C: Sport and society

Paper 2: Factors affecting participation in physical activity and sport

  • Written Paper, 2 hours, 35% of total A-level marks
  • Section A: Exercise physiology and biomechanics
  • Section B: Sport psychology
  • Section C: Sport and society and technology in sport

Non-exam assessment: Practical performance in physical activity and sport

  • Internal assessment with external moderation 30% of total A-level marks,
  • Students are assessed as a performer or coach in the full sided version of one activity
  • Students are assessed by a written or verbal analysis of performance.

For more information on A Level Physical Education, click here.

Enrichment and Links:

  • Open Club/Activities – Lunch time clubs in various sports including trampolining, cross-fit, basketball, indoor athletics, handball.
  • Intra-school Activities Competition – Our House system operates for the following events: Athletics, Soccer, Cricket, Rounders, Rugby, Basketball, Trampolining, Cross Country, Hockey and Netball.
  • Inter-school competition

Teams at various age groups play on a friendly or league/tournament basis in:-

  • Rugby
  • Hockey
  • Tennis
  • Football
  • Netball
  • Athletics (indoor and outdoor)
  • Cricket (indoor and outdoor)
  • Rounders
  • Cross Country
  • Basketball
  • Trampolining

School teams have practices after school and where possible during lunchtimes.

Physical Education News