The course is mainly theoretical with 70% of the final mark being exam orientated. The remaining 30% is derived from practical coursework.
It will be expected that all students have a keen interest in sport and the issues surrounding it, as well as being accomplished sportsmen. You will be expected to be competing in regular fixtures/performances in at least one sporting activity from the practical activities listed by the exam board, either at School or at a local club.
Why study this subject at A-Level?
An excellent platform – Students receive a well-rounded and full introduction to the world of PE, sport and sports science. This complete grounding in the subject provides a fantastic base from which to build when they move on to higher education, employment or further training.
Open up the world of sport – The course encourages students to immerse themselves in the world of sports and PE with the chance to perform or coach a sport (through the non-exam assessment component), and delve into the how and why of physical activity and sport.
Skills for a modern world – Students can develop a range of practical skills, including communication using appropriate language, dealing with pressure, split second decision-making, analysing and evaluating performance, and more.
Summary of the course
A Level PE includes the compulsory study of: Applied Anatomy and Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanical Movement, Skill Acquisition, Sports Psychology, Sport and Society and the Role of Technology in Physical Activity and Sport. Alongside this are the skills of PE which are assessed practically on performance.
1. Physiological Factors Affecting Performance
This group of topics focuses on key systems of the human body involved in movement and physical activity. Candidates will develop their knowledge and understanding of the changes within these body systems prior to exercise, during exercise of differing intensities, and during recovery. Application of this theoretical knowledge will enable candidates to understand how changes in physiological states can influence performance in physical activities and sport.
2. Psychological Factors Affecting Performance
This component focuses on the psychological factors affecting physical activities and sports, including: models and theories that affect learning and performance in physical activities; how different methods of training and feedback work and why their effectiveness differs from person to person; group dynamics and the effects of leadership and stress on performers.
3. Socio-cultural and Contemporary Issues
This component focuses on the sociological and contemporary factors that influence and affect physical activity and sport for both the audience and the performer and how sport affects society. It includes the emergence and evolution of modern sport and how social and cultural factors shaped the characteristics of sports and pastimes in pre-industrial and post-industrial Britain. The impact of the modern Olympic Games will be understood as well as the impact on society of hosting global sporting events. The ever-evolving modern technology and its influence on sport performers and spectators will be understood and practical examples will be used by candidates to show the effect of modern technology.
4. Performance within Physical Education
Students will be required to undertake two parts within this component. Part 1: Performance/coaching of a sport or activity. Part 2: The Evaluation and Analysis of Performance for Improvement (EAPI) of a sport or activity. This does not have to be the same sport or activity that was undertaken in part 1.
Applicants will require at least a Grade 6 in GCSE Physical Education.
Students who have not studied GCSE PE can still be accepted onto the course, but should have achieved a Grade 6 in GCSE Biology and a Grade 6 in GCSE English Language or Literature.
Assessed via 2 written examination papers, each 120 minutes long.
Coursework (both practical and written) and is internally assessed, externally moderated.