Physical Education

Senior school > Curriculum > Physical Education

A level Physical Education is an increasingly popular subject choice at Gresham’s. The PE department has been recently restructured and has grown to six members of staff in the last two years. The department strives to create an environment which inspires, challenges and raises academic aspirations through a combination of academic study and physical performance.


Exam board: OCR

Year 9

In Year 9, pupils at Gresham’s participate in a 6 week practical PE carousel (5 lessons per fortnight) that includes the following:

  • Swimming lessons (1 per week)
  • Fitness, with access to the new Performance Gym and the Strength and Conditioning Coaches
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Indoor hockey

Although the carousel focuses primarily on practical performance, key terminology and concepts from the GCSE PE specification are used throughout the carousel to help prepare those students who opt for GCSE PE in Year 10.

Years 10 and 11

The GCSE Physical Education course we offer is the OCR specification.  The course is divided into the following components:

  • Physical factors affecting performance (applied anatomy and physiology and physical training).  Assessed by a 1 hour written paper worth 30% of the total GCSE.
  • Socio-cultural issues and sports psychology (socio-cultural influences, sports psychology and health, fitness and well-being.  Assessed by a 1 hour written paper worth 30% of the total GCSE.
  • Practical performances (3 activities from an approved list).  Non-exam assessment (NEA), 30% of total GCSE.
  • Analysis and Evaluation of Performance.  Non-exam assessment (NEA), 10% of total GCSE.

Entry requirements: Minimum grade 6 in GCSE PE, GCSE Biology or 6:6 in Combined Science, and the potential to play at First Team level in at least one sport.

The course is extremely diverse, it allows you to explore and enhance your own sporting ability, but also bridges the academic divide between the arts and sciences. Experience has shown that physical education can be combined with a wide range of other subjects.

The course is a natural extension from the GCSE with many similarities in the theoretical components covered. It has a good balance of practical and theory lessons with a slight emphasis on the theory. However, those pupils with a keen interest in sporty will be able to relate their practical experiences to the theoretical concepts. More specifically, the theory is based on modular units incorporating:

  • Anatomy and Exercise physiology
  • Sport and Technology
  • Acquisition of Skill
  • Sport and Society
  • Contemporary Studies
  • Psychology of Sport
  • Biomechanics

Exam board: Pearson

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Sport is intended to be an Applied qualification for post-16 learners wanting to continue their education through applied learning, and who aim to progress to higher education and ultimately to employment, possibly in the sports sector. The qualification is equivalent in size to two A Levels and has been designed as a two-year programme when studied alongside further Level 3 qualifications.

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. Employers and professional bodies have also been involved and consulted to confirm that the content is appropriate and consistent with current practice for learners who may choose to enter employment directly in the sport sector.

The mandatory content allows students to concentrate on the development of their practical skills and the broad knowledge required for entrance into higher education programmes in sport.

Learners will study six mandatory units:

  • Unit 1: Anatomy and Physiology
  • Unit 2: Fitness Training and Programming for Health, Sport and Well-being
  • Unit 3: Professional Development in the Sports Industry
  • Unit 4: Sports Leadership
  • Unit 22: Investigating Business in the Sport and Active Leisure Industry
  • Unit 23: Skill Acquisition in Sport.

Learners choose three units from a range of optional units that have been designed to support progression to a variety of sport courses in higher education and to link with relevant occupational areas. This allows learners either to choose a specific specialist area in which they wish to develop their skill, or continue on a broad programme.

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