Curriculum intent

The physical education department presents a curriculum that inspires students to be successful and to excel in physically demanding activities. It provides a gateway for young people to become confident in a way which supports their physical, mental and social health and fitness throughout life. It also offers students the opportunity to compete and build character.
The PE curriculum adheres to four main purposes to ensure that all students are given the best experience possible. These purposes are as follows;

  1. That students are physically active for sustained periods of time.
  2. Students will develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities.
  3. Teachers will educate students on the benefits of exercise and encourage them to live healthy, active lives.
  4. Students shall engage in competitive sports and activities both in and out of school.

The PE department have a clear vision of what a good education looks like and it strives to ensure that the curriculum is the very best it can be by supplementing the already outstanding practical elements of the subject. This is accomplished through the delivery of a knowledge based curriculum that includes a distinctive ‘theoretical’ aspect to core PE lessons where students learn what constitutes a healthy active lifestyle and how sport contributes towards physical, social and mental well-being. The introduction of termly theory lessons comprising of fitness components, methods of training, fitness testing, eating well, eating disorders, mental health issues and the benefits of exercise significantly contribute to this.
PE is of upmost importance to all students at QEA. Not only does it provide several short term physiological and mental benefits, it also embeds powerful knowledge into the minds of our students. As a result, students’ participation in regular physical exercise beyond school years is more likely to be sustained which will lead to wholesome long term health. This educated mind-set (along with the students’ enjoyment, the opportunity to develop vital communication and teamwork skills and the vital life lessons experienced) make it a subject with true value.

Christian distinctiveness

In PE we explore Christian distinctiveness in various ways. Students and teachers often engage in discussion about QEA’s nine core values and those who demonstrate them are praised and celebrated.
Students frequently demonstrate ‘togetherness’ through teamwork and co-operation when performing in teams. Nurture is often displayed towards others when developing techniques. Honesty and truthfulness is exhibited through participation in competition or when umpiring/refereeing games. Knowledge and wisdom is shown throughout class discussions (during the recall, I do, we do and you do parts of the lesson).
Students are encouraged to show empathy, being gracious in success and in defeat. Teaching students about sportsmanship encourages them to show good morals, kindness, and reconciliation along with the willingness to play fairly at all times.
Good manners are none-negotiables in PE.

Knowledge in PE

The PE department have a carefully considered five year plan. Although students participate in many of same sports/activities throughout year 7 to 11, there is a distinct evolution in the knowledge and skill sets acquired from one year to the next. Each step of the five year plan is advanced so that students are appropriately and proportionally challenged during each phase – be this through acquiring and developing of skills, application of skills in competitive situations or in the understanding and application of rules, regulations and tactics.

Operating alongside the five year plan are fine level sequences in all sports taught in the curriculum. These inform teaching staff of what students must be taught in order to give them the best experience possible and to ensure that progress is made by all students. Fine level sequences identify the core knowledge required in each sport e.g. rules, regulations, scoring systems, skills needed and how to use them to outwit opponents. To supplement this core knowledge, all students are provided with knowledge organisers to further enhance their understanding in each activity (also used to complete half termly homework tasks).
In addition to core knowledge, fine level sequences also include Hinterland knowledge – intelligence not necessarily required to become successful in each sport, but noteworthy information that is interesting to know. For example, the history of a sport is discussed to enhance student engagement. As a result of this, students begin to understand how, where or why a sport was founded, they learn about inspirational world record holders, Countries or clubs who have hosted or won world famous events such the Olympic games and world cups etc.
The PE department have created an over-arching question that is specific for each year group in key stage 3. This is applied across all sports/activities. In year 7 the question is ‘can students identify, define and describe the most valuable components of fitness required in the sport’? In year 8, the question is ‘can students identify, define and describe ways to test the required components of fitness needed in the sport’? In year 9, the question is ‘can students identify, define and describe the most effective training methods used to improve the components of fitness needed in this sport’? This enables the PE curriculum to prepare students for examination PE in key stage 4.
Students in years 7, 8 and 9 are also given opportunities by their teachers to make physiological links with body and each sport they take part in. For example, wherever possible (and in accordance with the fine level sequence), teachers connect the learning with the skeletal system in year 7, the muscular system in year 8 and the cardiovascular system in year 9.
At the start of all lessons, students engage in interleaving knowledge recall activities. These activities vary as to prevent tedium and may include blank page retrieval tasks, quick-fire questioning and quizzes (amongst alternatives). Students are expected to recall information not only from the previous lesson but from previous weeks or even the previous year as a means to challenge and retain information in both the short term and long term memory. Teachers also take this opportunity to examine the over-arching questions and physiological connections as previously described.
The PE curriculum is broad and balanced. Sports such as hockey, orienteering, volleyball and girls rugby have recently been introduced. When selecting which sports make it on to the PE curriculum, six categories are taken into consideration;

  • Invasion games (rugby, netball, basketball, handball);
  • Net/wall games (badminton, volleyball, tennis, table tennis);
  • Striking and fielding games (rounders, cricket, softball);
  • Aesthetical appreciation (gymnastics);
  • Target games (lawn green bowls);
  • Individual (athletics, fitness).

Rugby makes a significant contribution to the ethos of the department and the Academy’s core values. Rugby’s own values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship have encouraged students at QEA to demonstrate increased levels of togetherness, forgiveness and reconciliation, empathy and good manners. Due to this stark contrast with the attitudes shown in football (where players are regularly seen arguing aggressively with referee’s and other players), football is no longer part of the PE curriculum in key stage 3. Nonetheless, it will remain to be part of the after school and lunch time extra-curricular programme and opportunities to play competitive fixtures remain.

Careers and aspirations

In Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to study examination PE. Btec level 2 firsts in sport have been included in our curriculum for a number of years and are an extremely popular choice. More recently, the PE department added an alternative examination course in NCFE level 1/2 in health and fitness.
By studying examination PE at QEA, students can go on to study Btec level 3 nationals in sport (certificate/extended certificate/diploma/extended diploma) or an A-Level in sport science. After this, students would have the chance to study BSc sport and exercise science at university followed by a post graduate certificate in education (PGCE) should they wish to pursue a career as a teacher of physical education.
Further and higher education studies in sport could also lead to a career elsewhere in the sport and leisure industry. For example, a sport and exercise scientist, a sports psychologist, a sports nutritionist, a coach, a personal trainer, a physiotherapist, a sports commentator, a sports development officer, a massage therapist or a member of the armed forces.

Health and fitness GCSE

Why study health and fitness?

Throughout this course you will learn how to understand and identify the main body systems and their functions, understand the principles of training, explore how physical activities affect the body in the short and long term, use relevant fitness tests, understand lifestyle factors and create a health and fitness programme.

You should study this course because:
• it is equivalent to one GCSE;
• you understand the academic requirements of this course;
• you understand that it is not all practical;
• you are interested in a career in sport;
• you want to combine new information with what you already know about sport;
• you are interested in what makes a healthy, active lifestyle; and
• you enjoy analysing and evaluating sports performance.

What will I learn?

Unit one – introduction to body systems and principles of training in health and fitness

Unit two – preparing and planning for health and fitness

How will I be assessed?

  • Examination
  • Coursework
  • Portfolio

Future pathways and careers

  • BTEC Level 3 Nationals in sport
  • Sport and exercise scientist
  • Coach
  • Fitness/gym instructor
  • PE teacher
  • Sports commentator
  • Armed forces
  • Leisure centre attendant/manager
  • Sports development officer
  • Physiotherapist
  • Massage therapist

Course contact

Mr M Sisson