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In the sixth form A level PE is a popular and successful subject in which pupils are able to study a variety of theoretical aspects related to sport and performance. As a fully recognised AS and A2 qualification, Physical Education will support applications for a wide variety of degree courses. It is particularly well suited to pupils who have aspirations in the following areas: physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractor, sports therapy, sports marketing, the health and fitness industry, sports coaching and professional sport.

To study academic PE it is not necessary to be an outstanding athlete or games player, but some ability and a keen interest in sport is essential. A solid biology grade at GCSE is also advantageous.

CURRICULUM

A level PE is 50% sport science, with pupils learning the anatomical, physiological, biomechanical concepts that govern performance and training at elite level. Pupils also learn about the historical factors that have lead to the structure of sport as we know it today, as well as have opportunity to debate contemporary issues in sport.

AS level

60% theory based and 40% practical based.

For the practical element pupils must offer two sports for assessment from different activity profiles. Each sport contributes 15% to the total grade. The other 10% comes from an 'Evaluation and Planning for the Improvement of Performance' (EPIP), where the pupil is required to analyse a performance in their chosen sport and plan to develop a weakness they have identified. Every pupil has a teacher assigned to them to help guide them through their coursework component.

The three theoretical components cover:

Anatomy and physiology

  • Why do athletes or teams train at altitude before big events?
  • How do my muscles work when I kick a ball or jump for a rebound?

Acquiring movement skills

  • Why did Jonathan Trott leave The Ashes series?
  • How do I practise skills so that they become automatics?

Socio-cultural studies

  • Why is American Football so violent?
  • Why did Lance Armstrong cheat by using performance enhancing drugs?
  • Why does Suarez bite opponents?

A level

70% theory based and 30% practical based.

Pupils must offer one sport for practical assessment, which contributes 20% to the total grade. The other 10% comes from an 'Evaluation, Appreciation and Improvement of Performance' (E&A). The candidate is required to analyse a performance in their chosen sport and plan to develop a weakness they have identified. This has to be supported by theoretical knowledge throughout. Every pupil has a teacher assigned to them to help guide them through their coursework component.

The three theoretical components cover:

Exercise Physiology

  • How does Mo Farah run so fast in his final 400m of a 10,000m race?
  • What's the science behind recovery tights or anabolic steroids?

Biomechanics

  • How does Ronaldo get the ball to swerve on a free kick?
  • How powerful is Usain Bolt?
  • How does Tom Daly somersault so quickly in the air?

Historical studies

  • How, when and where  were rugby, cricket and tennis invented?
  • Why were shin kicking and cheese rolling popular pastimes?
  • What was bare knuckle fighting?
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