Physical Education

Physical Education:

In physical education we aim to develop students’ competence and confidence to take part in a range of physical activities in the hope that such activities will then become a central part of their lives, both in and out of school. Within the curriculum we aim to develop students’ physical literacy skills, enhancing their ability to link generic skills and apply them throughout different activities. Each student receives his or her own individual target, focusing on what they need to do to improve. As the key stage progresses, students seek to refine core skills and enhance complex movements. We provide students with opportunities to evaluate and improve their own and others’ work so that they can provide a detailed analysis of performance by the end of Year 9. Throughout KS3 we have a consistent focus on independent learning which enables students to develop leadership capabilities as well as confidence and resilience. They take on different roles and responsibilities, learning how to be effective in competitive, creative and challenging situations.


Extra-curricular activities and visits:

Students are given the opportunity to practise activities at lunchtime and after school, with a variety of activities on offer including football, netball, table tennis, rugby, handball, basketball and badminton. Students can also represent their house in Interhouse competitions, taking part in five different sports competitions throughout the year, culminating with our whole school sports day. There is an emphasis on inclusion with no restriction to the number of players each team can have. Boys’ sports include, football, handball and cricket. Girls’ sports include dance, netball and rounders. Both boys and girls compete in cross country events and an annual swimming gala. School teams are entered in all the South Ribble Schools’ tournaments and competitions.

Every half term pupils receive a copy of lunch and extra-curricular activities during form time. These are then pinned on form notice boards. Each week the extra-curricular timetable is updated and uploaded to the school website and twitter page so pupils, parents and carers are able to keep up to date and plan accordingly. If there are any changes, the schools PE twitter account sends out notifications.

At St Mary’s, we believe that educational visits form a significant role in the overall development of a young person. Visits provide opportunities to participate in, and benefit from, a range of activities and experiences that serve to extend and consolidate students’ academic learning as well as promoting their social and emotional development. We offer sports tours every two years with a specific sporting focus. Out most recent tour will depart in April 2018 to Malaga for football and netball.


Practical aspects of physical education are taught in our full size purpose built sports hall or dance studio. Outside we have various football and netball pitches and an all-weather astro-turf pitch. In the summer term we also use our 200m athletics track, two rounders pitches and two purpose built long / triple jump pits. For theory lessons we have a designated classroom with ICT facilities.


In KS3 students are assessed on their practical ability, knowledge surrounding the sport such as rules and tactics as well as basic theory, which allows us to integrate knowledge required by the GCSE PE syllabus into the KS3 curriculum. Continuous assessment is used to award students with levels in a range of sports throughout the course. Students are set targets to aim for throughout the year, giving them a sense of what will be required at GCSE.

In KS4 students are not assessed unless they have taken the option of GCSE PE. PE now becomes less about attainment and more about ensuring students are taking part in physical activity, promoting healthy, active lifestyles.

KS3 Core PE:

In Key Stage 3 all students receive two one hour lessons per week during which they will cover a range of activities including football, netball, badminton, handball, health & fitness, table tennis, athletics, rounders and cricket. Many classes are taught as single sex groups with some classes being taught in mixed gender groups. In Year 7, because a number of sports are new to students, several lessons are taught with an emphasis on ‘Teaching Games for Understanding’ (TGFU). This allows students to learn from their mistakes by teaching games through games. As students progress to Year 9, a ‘Sport Education’ approach to lessons is adopted whereby students are given roles and responsibilities, promoting independent learning.

Students are also taught basic theory from the GCSE PE syllabus. This will allow us to test pupils on their theoretical understanding as well as their practical progress, so that students can advance onto the KS4 GCSE course from a sound foundation.

KS4 Core PE:

In Key Stage 4 students in Year 10 receive two one hour lessons of core PE per week, with the exception of those taking separate science who receive one hour of PE. Students in Year 11 receive one lesson of core PE per week.

Students are taught in a mixture of single sex and mixed gender classes, with GCSE PE students taught in a separate mixed gender group, where possible. For those students not taking GCSE PE a range of sports are covered including - football, netball, badminton, handball, health & fitness, table tennis, athletics, rounders, cricket. Students also participate in primary liaison activities. Once in KS4 students are given more choice to promote attainment.

Students who are taking GCSE PE will complete the practical aspect of the course during their core PE lessons. Students form a separate group enabling them to concentrate in more detail on the assessment criteria, and to build a range of skills ready for their practical moderation. Lessons taught include a range of sports included on the OCR practical assessment list (see below).


Specification = OCR GCSE (Grades 9-1)

This is an OCR academic course and as much time is spent on the theoretical aspects of sport (60%) as on practical performances of sport (40%). It is aimed at students who are strong sporting performers i.e. at least school team performers. It is also aimed at those students who have a real interest in: The physiological and psychological effects of exercise on the body; How the body biomechanically produces movements and; the impact sport has on society as a whole both nationally and internationally.

Students in Year 10 will have two options lessons per week to cover the theory content and two core lessons per week to cover the practical content. Students in Year 11 will have three options lessons per week to cover the theory content and two core lessons per week to cover the practical content. A variety of GCSE PE only extra-curricular activities will be offered to develop the necessary practical skills.

Students will sit all of their exams at the end of the course.

Subject content

  • Applied Anatomy and Physiology
  • Physical Training
  • Sports Psychology
  • Socio-Cultural Influences and Health
  • Fitness and Wellbeing.

 Alongside this are the practical skills of PE which are examined via practical assessment within school.


Theory Content 60%, Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) 10%, and Practical Assessment 30%. Students will sit two written exams for GCSE PE at the end of Year 11.

Component 1: Physical Factors Affecting Performance (30%)

What’s assessed

  • Topic 1.1 – The structure and function of the skeletal system.
  • Topic 1.2 – The structure and function of the muscular system.
  • Topic 1.3 – Movement analysis.
  • Topic 1.4 – The cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Topic 1.5 – The effects of exercise on the body systems.
  • Topic 2.1 – Components of fitness.
  • Topic 2.2 – Applying the principles of training.
  • Topic 2.3 – Preventing injury in physical activity and training.

How it’s assessed

  • Written examination: 1 hour
  • 60 marks
  • 30% of GCSE PE


  • Section A – 30 marks
    • 20 questions ranging in size/mark allocation across the topics
  • Section B – 30 marks
    • 3 x 10 mark questions, 2 on A&P and 1 on physical training
    • Questions broken down into part questions.

Component Two: Socio-Cultural Issues and Sport Psychology (30%)

What’s assessed

  • Topic 3.1 – Engagement patterns of different social groups in physical activities
  • Topic 3.2 – Commercialisation of physical activity and sport.
  • Topic 3.3 – Ethical and socio-cultural issues in physical and sport.
  • Topic 4.1 – Characteristics of skilful movement and classification of skills.
  • Topic 4.2 – Goal setting.
  • Topic 4.3 – Mental preparation.
  • Topic 4.4 – Types of guidance and feedback.
  • Topic 5.1 – Health, fitness and well-being.
  • Topic 5.2 – Diet and nutrition.

How it’s assessed

  • Written examination: 1 hour
  • 60 marks
  • 30% of GCSE PE


  • Written examination: 1 hour
  • Section A – 30 marks
    • 20 questions ranging in size/mark allocation across the topics
  • Section B – 30 marks
    • 3 x 10 mark questions, 1 on each topic
    • Questions broken down into part questions.

Component Three: Performance in Physical Education (40%)

What’s assessed

Part One: Practical Assessment - (30%)

  • The assessment consists of learners completing three physical activities from a set list.

How it’s assessed

  • 60 marks. Each activity is out of 20 marks.
  • One must be a team activity.
  • One must be an individual activity.
  • The final activity can be a free choice.

Team Activities

Association football                                



Blind cricket




Gaelic football

Goal ball              


Hockey – Field Hockey only




Powerchair football


Rugby League

Rugby Union

Table cricket

Table tennis



Wheelchair basketball

Wheelchair rugby


Individual Activities

Amateur Boxing





Cycling: Track or road only.








Rock climbing   






Table Tennis





What’s assessed

Part Two: Analysing and Evaluating Performance (AEP) - (10%)

  • Non-Exam Assessment (NEA)
  • Coursework based formed of two parts: Performance

How it’s assessed

  • 20 marks
  • Internally marked and externally moderated
  • Performance analysis of a sport or activity from the approved DfE list. This does not have to be the same sport or activity that was undertaken in part one, although it can be.