Physical Education

Course Introduction

Anyone who has an enthusiastic interest in sport and is a keen participant or performer will enjoy the challenges that an A level course in PE will present. It is an ideal subject to allow you to develop the skills in your specialist practical areas while at the same time making you aware of all the other factors that contribute to improving performance. The subject has a well-respected theoretical foundation and will give you many of the skills required to enhance your career aspirations.

The course is delivered by experienced staff, a blend of youth and experience who understand what is needed to maximise the potential of the student.

Course Video

What will I Study?

You will study three theory sections and one practical section:

  • Physiological factors affecting performance (30% of final assessment)
  • Psychological factors affecting performance (20%) of final assessment)
  • Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport (20% of final assessment)
  • Performance in Physical Education (30% of final assessment)

The theory component develops a range of skills involving: the study of anatomy and physiology e.g. the cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular systems and how these respond to exercise; some psychological aspects e.g. motivation and arousal; and also sociological aspects which include issues such as violence and drugs in sport, the Olympic Games and the nature of sport and culture in Britain

Where possible staff will try to deliver sections of the course practically but you will be expected to be performing in your chosen sport / activity regularly especially if you hope to challenge strong marks in this section of the course.

How will I be assessed?

You will have a total of four hours of written assessment split over three examination papers. (1 x 2 hour paper and 2 x 1 hour) taken at the end of the two years. This will involve a wide range of question types including: single mark, short answer and extended response questions.

There is also a Non-Exam Assessment where you will be assessed in one practical performance either as a performer or coach. This section of the course will also involve a performance analysis task that is required to be recorded. Students may need to attend a moderation at a central venue for the practical section of the course.

Overall, the coursework (practical and verbal) comprises 30% of the total marks with the remaining 70% based on your performance in the examinations.

Additional activities

The course tutors endeavour to deliver the modules as practically as possible and use vocational scenarios so that each of the assignments is relevant to the real world. There will be a range of trips and visits offered during the course such as to the Stadium of Light and Northumbria University. Through the enrichment programme students will also be able to make the most of the fantastic sports facilities and take part in both recreational and competitive sport.

Where does the course lead?

On successful completion of the A-level PE course students can progress on to a range of sports related courses such as sports science, sports studies, sports development, recreation management, physical education and physiotherapy at degree level. You can also progress on to FE courses in sport and locally Gateshead and Newcastle College provide a good pathway which can lead to a foundation degree. It can also count towards applying to non-sport related courses but each course will have specific requirements that will need to be checked carefully. The course is widely accepted as a method of gaining UCAS tarif points and you are able to search specific institution requirements using the UCAS website ( – course search). Certain courses will stipulate that you require a specific A-level course to be studied alongside A-level PE such as A-level biology for sports science or physiotherapy courses.

The following universities have a very strong reputation for sports related courses: Loughborough, Exeter, Edinburgh, Durham, Birmingham, Bath, Leeds, Glasgow, Stirling, Sheffield Hallam.

For examination board link, click here.

Key Staff

Mr L Smart :
PE Teacher / Head of Year 9

Name: Mr L Smart

Role: PE Teacher / Head of Year 9


Mr R Burroughs :
Assistant Head Teacher - Sixth Form

Name: Mr R Burroughs

Role: Assistant Head Teacher - Sixth Form


Mrs L Murphy :
Subject Leader

Name: Mrs L Murphy

Role: Subject Leader