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Physical Education


Physical Education is at the heart of school life providing every student with the opportunity to fulfil their potential. The Physical Education curriculum offered at Key Stage 3 is designed with this in mind and serves to pique students’ interest and develop their skills, understanding and interest in a host of sporting experiences. Extensive and well maintained grounds and facilities enable a wide variety of sports to be taught following the National Curriculum for Key Stage 3. The department boasts five highly qualified and enthusiastic physical education teachers ably supported by a number of specialist sports coaches. This wealth of experience allows students to have the opportunities to compete at house, district, county, regional, national and even international level. At the heart of our philosophy is the desire to provide each of our students with the opportunity to access high quality physical education in an environment that allows everyone to progress, and also to understand the importance of an active healthy lifestyle and the value of working as part of a team.  


GCSE PE at Key Stage 4 is an extremely popular option at Gordon’s. It is taught by three highly experienced and qualified teachers and boasts an outstanding record of success in the results achieved by students. We follow the OCR specification which equips students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to develop their own performance in three chosen sports. They develop their understanding of socio-cultural influences on participation in sport, and the benefits of physical activity to health, fitness and well-being.

The course provides an excellent base to progress on to A Level Physical Education where our results are also extremely high. and numerous students have gone on to read Sport at university. Students are able to develop their practical performance for assessment, through the extensive extra-curricular programme as well as pursue their sports out of school. 

To encourage candidates to be inspired, moved and challenged by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study and to develop an awareness and appreciation of their own and others’ cultures in relation to Physical Education. Creativity and decision-making skills will be encouraged to enable students to plan effectively for performance and to respond to changing situations. Teachers should prepare candidates to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices. GCSE specifications in Physical Education must enable candidates to:

  • Become increasingly physically competent through being actively engaged in a range of physical activities
  • Become increasingly effective in their performance in different types of physical activity and roles, such as player/participant, leader and official
  • Develop their ability to engage independently and successfully in the processes of different types of physical activity
  • Develop and maintain their involvement in physical activity as part of a healthy active lifestyle.

Course details

The GCSE course consists of three components.

Component One: Physical factors affecting performance

  • Applied anatomy and physiology
  • Components of fitness and principles of training.
  • Risk assessment.

Component 02: Socio-cultural issues and sports psychology

  • Socio-cultural influences
  • Sports psychology
  • Health, fitness and well-being

Component 03: Performance in physical education

Students must choose three activities: One must be a team game, one must be an individual activity and the third can come from either.


AS and A Level PE at Key Stage 5 follows the AQA specification which allows our students to play to their strengths and gain dynamic theoretical and practical skills to gain qualifications for further education or work. The course we deliver builds on the knowledge and skills learned at GCSE, with the specification offering breadth of study (students are examined in Anatomy and Physiology, Biomechanics, Skill Acquisition, Sports Psychology, Technology and Societal and Contemporary Issues) and in-depth analysis to stimulate interest and engage students. In addition to this students focus on specialising at competitive level in one sport for practical assessment and complete a detailed analysis of their performance.  

It is important for students to have a real interest in learning about, and participating in, Sport and Physical Education. In addition a willingness to explore new ideas and an ability to communicate ideas effectively is vital.

For students who enjoy sporting activities the course will broaden their all-round knowledge of PE. At the same time it will develop an understanding of the theory behind the subject using student-related techniques.

The course will encourage students to:

  • Build on their experience from Key Stage 4 / GCSE to enhance their knowledge and increase their understanding of the factors that affect performance and participation.
  • Have the opportunity to experience and develop an interest in a variety of roles in sport such as performer, official and/or leader/coach at AS Level with opportunities to specialise in one aspect at A2 Level.
  • Apply appropriate techniques and principles designed to develop an improvement in performance.
  • Understand the physiological effects of exercise on the body, and how physiology can optimise performance in elite athletes.
  • Describe and explain the ways skills are learnt and applied in practice conditions to improve performance.
  • Address current contemporary topics in sport such as the impact in the use of ergogenic aids, technology and increasing commercialisation of sport.
  • Organise and present information, ideas, descriptions and arguments in a clear, logical and appropriate form, taking into account specialist vocabulary.
  • Analyse and explain relationships between the physical and skill determinants of performance with contemporary influences on Physical Education and Sport.
  • Evaluate critically and justify current provision for participation in physical activity in the context of social and cultural issues in the UK.             

Course details

AS Level

Paper 1: Factors affecting participation in physical activity and sport
Section A: Applied physiology
Section B: Skill acquisition and sports psychology
Section C: Sport and society and technology in sport
Non-exam assessment: Practical performance in physical activity and sport. Students assessed as a performer or coach in the full sided version of one activity.
Plus: written/verbal analysis of performance.

A2 Level
Paper 1:
Factors affecting participation in physical activity and sport
Section A: Applied anatomy and physiology
Section B: Skill acquisition
Section C: Sport and society

Paper 2: Factors affecting optimal performance in physical activity and sport
Section A:
Exercise physiology and biomechanics
Section B: Sport psychology
Section C: Sport and society and technology in sport
Non-exam assessment: Practical performance in physical activity and sport
Students assessed as a performer or coach in the full sided version of one activity. Plus: written/verbal analysis of performance

BTEC PE - Level 3 Diploma in Sport

There are six mandatory units:

  • Anatomy and physiology.
  • Fitness and training and programing for health, sport and well-being.
  • Professional development in the sports industry.
  • Sports leadership.
  • Instigating business in sport and the active leisure industry.
  • Skill acquisition in sport.

There are also three chosen modules:

  • Application of fitness testing.
  • Sport psychology.
  • Sport event organisation.

Entry Criteria

GCSE grade 6 in GCSE Physical Education if studied, or a grade 5 in Biology GCSE, or 5-5 in Combined Science GCSE.