Physical education helps students develop the knowledge, fitness levels, motor skills, and personal and social skills to obtain the ultimate goal of a lifetime of physical activity and health. The Physical Education Department at The English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College is dedicated to providing a broad, balanced and inclusive curriculum. We offer students the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports and physical activities in a number of roles (performer, coach, official, spectator, choreographer and organiser). A very hard working team of PE teachers and support staff offer these opportunities during curriculum lessons, extra-curricular clubs and trips.


Key Stage 4

In Year 10, students will undertake various activities with the same teacher. Each group will take a health and fitness module with the aim of gaining greater understanding of what is meant by fitness and how healthy living, combined with exercise, can be of benefit.

In Year 11, a pathways system operates whereby students can choose activities which interest them. At least two options must be chosen, covering both team and individual sports.

Examination (GCSE)

In addition to the compulsory double period of core PE, students will have the option of studying PE at examination level. Students should only choose this subject if they are in good health, enjoy current PE lessons and participate in sport outside of timetabled lessons. Students should also need to be aware that at least 50% of the extra time allocated will be spent in a classroom.

Students opting for this subject will have an additional five periods of PE per fortnight. The basic outlines of the courses are as follows and more information will be available at Options Evening.

Practical Activites

Assessment will take place in three practical assessments (GCSE) from a specific list of sports. You can only be assessed in the role of performer. In these activities pupils will be expected to perform to a high standard, analyse performance of themselves and others, and demonstrate good knowledge and understanding of rules and tactics.


A wide variety of units and issues will be covered in depth ranging from the body systems, (e.g. skeletal, muscular, and cardiovascular) to current topical issues such as drugs in sport, gender, and provision for facilities. This section of the course will involve regular homework and tests. GCSE PE final assessment is through a written exam – 60% and practical assessments – 40%.


The standard GCSE PE course is worth one GCSE grade.

Sixth Form

A level PE has now changed to a linear course for examinations from 2017. Now candidates enrolled on the course will not sit an external exam at the end of the first year. Instead, they will study for two years and sit two papers at the end of year two. 

Candidates will study:

  • Applied Anatomy and Physiology
    • Cardiovascular system;
    • Respiratory system; 
    • Neuromuscular system; 
    • The musculo-skeletal system and analysis of movement in physical activities
  • Exercise Physiology
    • Diet and nutrition and their effect on physical activity and performance; 
    • Preparation and training methods in relation to maintaining physical activity and performance;
    • Biomechanical principles; 
    • Levers
  • Skill Acquisition 
    • Skill, skill continuums and transfer of skills; 
    • Impact of skill classification on structure of practice for learning; 
    • Principles and theories of learning and performance; 
    • Use of guidance and feedback
  • Sport Psychology 
    • Aspects of personality; 
    • Attitudes; 
    • Arousal; 
    • Anxiety; 
    • Aggression;
    • Motivation; 
  • Sport and Society 
    • Emergence of globalisation of sport in the 21st century
    • The impact of sport on society and of society on sport 
  • Exercise Physiology/Biomechanics
    • Energy systems
    • Elite preparation and training
    • Sports injuries
    • Mechanics of movement
  • Sport and Society/Analysis of Sport
    • Deviance in sport
    • Quantitative skills
    • Emergence of female performers in football, tennis and athletics
    • Match Analysis


Written Exam

Paper 1 – Two hour written exam which is externally assessed. (35% of A level grade)
Paper 2 – Two hour written exam which is externally assessed. (35% of A level grade)

Practical Content (worth 30% of AS or A level grade)

Candidates will be assessed in their ability to play or coach in a sport of their choice, from the activity list in the specification. This must be within a full version of the game. This assessment will be completed within the first year. In the second year, students may be assessed again if they wish, in order to improve their mark. There is a written element to the practical assessment, and candidates will be required to analyse their weaknesses in attack (Year 1), and defence and tactics (Year 2).

Practical performance = 15%;
Analysis of practical performance = 15%.

Throughout the course students are guided by staff who have taught this course for more than 13 years and have a wide range of experience from written coursework, practical coursework and examination technique. We have a link with Teesside University and we visit their sports science labs once a year to experience their fitness testing equipment which we then apply to the theory learned. Most lessons are classroom based due to the very theoretical nature of the course, but there are occasions when we can apply practical to theory. Students are expected to be participating in their sport at a competitive level, in their own time.