Physical Education at Key Stage 4

At Polesworth, all Key Stage 4 pupils take part in 3 core PE lessons per fortnight and all pupils have the option to study GCSE Physical Education.

Core Physical Education

Pupils select their preferred pathway of activities, mostly taking part in one main activity, combined with other activities throughout the 3 year period. GCSE PE students will also take part in these lessons, that will form the basis of the (40%) practical component of their GCSE course. The course is entirely practical – pupils are assessed on their performance in each activity following the GCSE PE guidelines and criteria. Our aim is to help students develop their physical, mental and social skills within the activities they take part in, while creating a range of experiences to help them foster healthy attitudes and behaviours towards physical activity for life.

GCSE Physical Education (Full Course)

GCSE PE pupils have an additional 5 lessons of PE per fortnight on top of their PSPA lessons. The course takes place over two years and consists of practical and theoretical components in the following format:

  • Practical Component – 40%

Pupils are assessed in three assessment activities. One must be a team activity, one an individual activity and the third assessment can be from either.

Team activity list

Individual activity list

Association football, Badminton, Basketball, Camogie, Cricket, Dance, Gaelic football, Handball, Hockey, Hurling, Lacrosse, Netball, Rowing, Rugby League, Rugby Union , Squash, Table tennis, Tennis, Volleyball Amateur boxing, Athletics, Badminton, Canoeing/kayaking (slalom), Canoeing/kayaking (sprint), Cycling , Dance, Diving, Golf, Gymnastics (artistic), Equestrian, Rock climbing, Sculling, Skiing, Snowboarding, Squash, Swimming, Table tennis, Tennis, Trampolining


In school, pupils will be assessed in a range of activities within PSPA and GCSE PE lessons. Candidates can also be assessed in sporting activities not offered within school via video evidence. Pupils and teachers will work together to establish each pupil’s three strongest sporting activities.

For practical assessments, candidates will be assessed on a variety of criteria:

– Acquiring and developing skills and techniques;
– Evaluating and adapting their own performance;
– Demonstrating an understanding and practical application of the rules/laws and conventions of the physical activity;
– Demonstrating an understanding of health and safety issues and their practical application.

Not only will candidates develop and improve their skills, fitness and understanding within the sporting activities covered, they will also acquire vital life skills such as communication, cooperation, leadership and teamwork.

  • Examinations – (60%)


Paper 1: The human body and movement in physical activity and sport Paper 2: Socio-cultural influences and well-being in physical activity and sport
Applied anatomy and physiology
Movement analysis
Physical training
Use of data
Sports psychology
Socio-cultural influences
Health, fitness and well-being
Use of data
1 hour 15 minutes 1 hour 15 minutes
78 marks 78 marks
30% of GCSE 30% of GCSE

A mixture of multiple choice/objective test questions, short answer questions and extended
answer questions.


Click on the images below to learn more about some elements of the course!

Have a go at this interactive quiz to see how much you know about GCSE PE already!

The knowledge that candidates gain will be invaluable for those choosing to follow a Physical Education related career. Here are just a few careers paths you could follow:

Physiotherapist; Referee/Umpire; Sports Manager; Sports Medic; Fitness instructor; Personal Trainer, Dietician/Nutritionist; Coach; Teacher; Lecturer; Choreographer; Sports Administrator; Sports Psychologist; Professional Sportsperson; Sports Journalist; Biomechanist; Sports Photographer; Marketing (Leisure or Sport); Healthcare professional; Massage Therapist

Click this link to find out some of the current jobs available within sport and physical activity:

Also, employers from different sectors (business, medicine, law, science, media) see a PE qualification as important to have because of the skills learnt through PE; teamwork, communication, respect, desire to succeed are all sought after skills that are developed through GCSE PE. Candidates will also gain invaluable knowledge and understanding that will enable them to lead a healthy life.

GCSE PE is open to all pupils. Please come to speak to any member of the PE department if you want to know more about GCSE PE or the PSPA.