Physical Education

Why study Physical Education?

Physical Education helps students to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies to live healthy and physically active lives at school and for the rest of their life. By learning ‘through and about’ movement, they will gain an understanding that movement is integral to human expression and can contribute to people’s pleasure and enhance their lives. Physical Education teaches students to critically inquire into the social and cultural significance of movement, so that they can better understand what influences people to engage and participate in physical activity and it provides authentic contexts in which to learn. Pupils challenge themselves to develop their physical and interpersonal skills required for working with and relating to others; this subject provides the learning opportunities to develop these skills. The specification offers breadth and balance – giving students the chance to study a wide array of theoretical areas that underpin physical education, whilst also getting the chance to experience and develop an interest in a variety of roles and activities. Under the three main titles of Physiology, Psychology and Sport and Society, the theoretical aspects of the AQA specification allow students to build on their knowledge from previous study and learn about factors that optimise performance.

Studying Physical Education facilitates a variety of career pathways and recent pupils have progressed to such careers as PE teaching, physiotherapy and sports journalism as well as less directly related careers such as engineering and military officer.

Pupils will study the following topics in class using a variety of up to date resources: text books, video clips and e-resources.

Heads of Department: Miss L Scott (Girls), Mr A Jones (Boys)

Course content

Board: AQA   A level Syllabus Code: 7582

  • Applied anatomy and physiology – Energy systems
  • Skill acquisition – Memory models
  • Exercise physiology – injury prevention and the rehabilitation of injury
  • Biomechanical movement – linear motion, angular motion, projectile motion, fluid mechanics
  • Sports psychology – Achievement motivation theory, attribution theory, self-efficacy and confidence, leadership, stress management
  • Sport and society and the role of technology in physical activity and sport – concepts of physical activity and sport, development of elite performers in sport, ethics in sport, violence in sport, drugs in sport, sport and the law, impact of commercialisation on physical activity and sport and the relationship between sport and the media.

Method of assessment

Component 1 – Paper 1:  Written exam paper (2 hours) worth 35% of A level.

  • Factors affecting participation in physical activity and sport
  • Applied anatomy and physiology
  • Skill acquisition
  • Sport and society

Component 2 – Paper 2: Written exam paper (2 hours) worth 35% of A level.

  • Factors affecting optimal performance in physical activity and sport
  • Exercise physiology and biomechanics
  • Sports psychology
  • Sport and society and technology in sport

In addition, pupils will be assessed as a performer or coach in the full sided version of one activity and produce a written analysis and evaluation of performance which equates to 30% of A level marks.