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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School

GCSE & A Level

Curriculum Intent and Overview
The PE curriculum allows students to experience a range of sports in the hope that they will develop a lifelong participation in sport. In PE we aim to develop students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness as well as highlighting the benefits of a healthy active lifestyle for both physical and mental wellbeing. We also encourage students to take part in extra curricular activities and take exam classes in PE to encourage further learning in our subject.  




The Department

Curriculum Leader: Miss M Stephens


Exam Board: OCR

Specification No: J587

What will be studied?

The GCSE PE course has been designed to allow students to study Physical Education in an academic setting, allowing them to critically analyse and evaluate physical performance whilst applying their experience of practical activities in developing their knowledge and understanding of the subject. The theory requirement of the course means students will gain knowledge of anatomy and physiology, physical training and fitness and well-being. Students will also gain an insight into sports psychology and the socio-cultural influences of sport.

Learning Methods

Students will experience a mixture of practical sessions and theory lessons. During practical lessons they will be developing their analysis and observational skills as well as their skill and fitness levels.

We offer practical lessons in the major school sports such as netball, trampolining, badminton and athletics. However, it is possible for students to be assessed in a wide range of other activities including horse riding, skiing, dance, football and gymnastics as well as many others.

During theory lessons, students will produce presentations on different aspects of the course and learn to apply their theoretical knowledge to practical situations.

Students will be required to make their own notes and complete home learning tasks during the course.

How is the course assessed?
Students will be assessed in three activities in the role of performer. One of these assessments must be in a team sport/activity, one assessment must be in an individual sport/ activity, with the third assessment being from either a team or individual sport/activity. Students can only be assessed once in any sport or activity. Students will also complete an Analysing and Evaluating Performance task. These marks combined count for 40% of the final grade.

There are two written exams which cover the theory content of the syllabus and include a variety of question types including multiple choice, single mark, short answer and extended response. This accounts for 60% of the final grade at GCSE.

What texts are recommended?

OCR GCSE Physical Education: Student Book by Matthew Hunter

What websites are recommended?

BBC Bitesize

OCR examination material


What equipment is needed?

A calculator, ruler, pen and pencil are essential at all times. Full and correct PE kit.

A Level

Exam Board: AQA

Specification Number: H155 / H555

Course Content:

Students will consider how they can become involved in sport whether as a career, or incorporating it into their own lives. They will develop knowledge and skills reflecting the dynamic changes taking place in contemporary sport and PE. This course takes a multidisciplinary approach, encouraging the development of different methods of enquiry with the focal point being the performer and the performance.  The course is based on the interaction between the theory and practical of physical education.  Units covered include Anatomy and Physiology, Acquisition of Skill, contemporary issues including History and Politics of Sport, Biomechanics and Sports Psychology. You will learn the reasons why we do things, why some people out perform others, mentally and physically. You will also delve into the ethical considerations behind the use of drugs and also the influence that modern technology is having in and on physical activity and sport.


  • Non-Exam Assessment (NEA). One practical performance, as either a coach or a performer in an activity
  • NEA, One Performance Analysis task
  • A total of four hours of assessment split over two examination papers (2x2 hour papers) taken at the end of the two year course.

Why PE at St Albans Girls’ School?

As well as promoting their involvement in sport, students are given as much responsibility as possible for their own learning and assessment. The course will be delivered through a variety of activities including practical lessons, giving students the opportunity to apply knowledge to practical examples, as well as case studies and teacher led lessons. We have extensive sporting facilities that include a Sports Hall, Gym, outdoor swimming pool, new refurbished tennis and netball courts, 4G gastro turf and Dance Studio. We have developed partnerships with Arsenal Ladies and Townsend Tennis club which offer Post 16 Coaching and Leadership opportunities which can support A Level PE studies.

Expectations of students:

A high degree of competency in two practical areas as either participant or coach.

The aims of these specifications are to encourage students to acquire:

  • An understanding of the factors influencing performance and the ability to apply these to a range of physical activities
  • Knowledge and skills of selected physical activities
  • The skills necessary to analyse, evaluate and improve performance
  • An appreciation of social, moral and cultural issues which affect participation and performance in physical activity
  • The capacity to think critically about the relationships between the different factors influencing performance
  • A capacity to explain current provision for participation in physical activity in the context of social issues and global trends

What websites are recommended?

NGB websites such as The FA (, The RFU (

OCR A Level assessment materials

What equipment is needed?

A calculator, ruler, pen, pencil, A4 lever arch file and lined paper are essential at all times in addition to full and correct sports kit.

Career Paths:

PE provides an excellent foundation for students who wish to pursue careers in teaching, coaching, sports development, and professional sport. The leisure industry, recreational management, and the health and fitness industry all require the knowledge that can be gained through this course. A Level PE students have perused university courses that include sports science, physiotherapy, psychology and leisure studies.

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans



(To request a paper copy, please contact our Administration Department)

01727 853134