This course combines practical performance with the study of the theoretical background to sport and exercise. The knowledge gained enables pupils to develop an understanding of effective and safe physical performance while also fostering enjoyment in physical activity.
At GCSE, 60% of marks are allocated to physical performance and its analysis. Pupils select four sports or activities from at least four of the six categories in the six National Curriculum Areas of Activity. Candidates will be encouraged to improve their ability to plan, perform, analyse and evaluate physical activities, and develop their knowledge, skill and understanding. The analysis of performance is now a large part of this section of the course and the pupils have to work on technical models, improvement drills and training programme development.
The remaining 40% is examined through two written papers. These cover three broad areas.
Factors affecting performance - Human biology, Skill, motivation, Mental preparation, Sociology and Physical Education in schools
Relationship between health, fitness and practical activities - Fitness components, Assessing fitness, Principals of training, Training methods and Training effects
Prevention of injury, Potential hazards and Injury treatment.
Physical Education at GCSE offers an opportunity for many candidates to pursue their interest and ability in sport to the benefit of their public examination performance.
Sixth Form study
Practical work accounts for a significant part of the syllabus at both AS and A2 level. For the AS practical pupils are assessed in two activities chosen from the different activity profiles. The assessment is divided into the selection and application of acquired and developed skills and a Personal Performance Portfolio. For the A2 practical pupils are assessed in two activities chosen from two different activity profiles. At this level, the assessment is divided into the selection, application and performance of skills in an open environment and the evaluation and appreciation of performance through observation and synopsis of knowledge.
The theoretical part of the AS course is divided into two units, the first being Physiology and Psychology which encompasses anatomy and physiology and the way in which skill is acquired and the influence of the mind on performance. Unit Two is Contemporary Studies, which looks into the provision of leisure and recreation and the role of various associated organisations.
The theoretical part of the A2 course is also divided into two units, Unit Four being the optional topics of History and Psychology. The History of Sport covers topics such as popular sport and the development through public school education, while the Psychology course is an in-depth look at areas related to motivation and group dynamics. Unit 5 covers Exercise and Sports Physiology.