GCSE Physical Education

Over the course of two years, pupils will study a variety of topics in both practical and theory lessons in preparation for the written theory examinations. These topics are related to sport and include anatomy and physiology, sport psychology, sociocultural influences, diet/nutrition, training, fitness testing, commercialisation and the media, fitness and wellbeing. Pupils will also be expected to regularly attend co-curricular clubs both in and outside of school to assist with their practical performances in three chosen activities from the lists below.

Individual Activities

Amateur boxing, Athletics, Badminton, Canoeing, Cycling (track or road), Dance, Diving, Golf, Gymnastics, Equestrian, Kayaking, Rock Climbing, Sculling, Skiing, Snowboarding, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Trampolining.

Team Activities

Association Football, Badminton, Basketball, Camogie, Cricket, Dance, Gaelic Football, Handball, Hockey, Hurling, Lacrosse, Netball, Rowing, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Squash, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball.


Controlled assessment – practical performance in three different activities in the role of performer/player from the list above. At least one in an individual activity, one in a team activity and a third in either individual or team. (30% final grade)

Controlled assessment – verbal or written analysis and evaluation of performance to bring about improvement in one activity. It involves the identification of strengths and weaknesses with the use of theoretical principles to aid improvement. (10% final grade)

Written paper 1 – pupils will be tested on their knowledge and understanding of anatomy and physiology, movement analysis (lever systems, planes and axes of movement), physical training and use of data (30% final grade)

Written paper 2 – pupils will be tested on their knowledge and understanding of socio-cultural influences and wellbeing, sport psychology, sociocultural influences, health, fitness and wellbeing and use of data. (30% final grade)


Pupils have the opportunity to:

  • attend co-curricular clubs in a variety of activities to extend their knowledge, skills and fitness
  • represent the school in local, regional and GDST sporting fixtures and competitions in a variety of activities
  • attend residential trips such as the bi-annual international netball tour and Bath hockey trip
  • supervise and coordinate co-curricular sports activities for younger pupils to develop their leadership skills

Next steps

GCSE PE is an excellent course that prepares pupils for PE A Level. It also crosses over with several other subjects, especially Biology, History, Physics, Psychology and Sociology. Pupils will develop skills in communication, organisation, problem solving, discussion, debating and teamwork. This course is ideal for pupils who have a passion for sport and physical activity, and who enjoy learning through practical, as well as classroom based lessons.

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