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Academic Physical Education

In today’s society, sport and fitness is a huge industry. Every year and particularly since London hosted the 2012 Olympics, more and more people are taking up sport and physical education has never been so important in today’s society.

To succeed in this subject, it is important that a student has:

  • A real interest in sport and can apply biological facts in a sporting context;
  • An interest in the History, Psychology and Social Aspects of Sport in addition to the Physiological Aspect;
  • An ability to learn a lot of factual material in detail, apply the knowledge and interpret data;
  • The independently and scientifically, but also utilise numerical skills and analyse source material;
  • Practical ability in sport/s.

Junior Curriculum

From First to Third Form, pupils are introduced to various components of fitness and the testing of these during Physical Education lessons. Pupils are also encouraged to analyse their own and each other’s performance in the Games for Understanding and Junior Athletic Development modules which they participate in as well.

Third Form Curriculum

During the Third Form more theoretical links are highlighted within lessons in preparation for pupils who opt for GCSE in the Fourth Form.

  • Discovering and experiencing new activities such as Handball and Ultimate Frisbee.
  • Demonstrating an improvement in a major sport over the course of a term by evaluating individual performance.
  • Undertake fitness testing across a range of components of fitness allowing students to identify and analyse their own individual fitness and relate this to sports performance.
  • Students then have opportunities within the Talented Athlete Programme to improve personal fitness by attending extra sessions aimed at improving athletic development.

GCSE Physical Education Curriculum 

Board : AQA

The GCSE Physical Education specification inspires teaching and learning. New and contemporary topics will help students of all abilities to develop a well-rounded skill set and prepare them for progression to further studies.

Subject Content

1. Applied anatomy and physiology

2. Movement analysis

3.  Physical training

4. Use of data

5. Sports psychology

6. Socio-cultural influences

7. Health, fitness and well-being

Assessment Structure:

  • Two 1 hour 15 minutes written examination papers

Paper 1 – The human body and movement in physical activity and sport

Paper 2 – Socio-cultural influences and well-being in physical activity and sport

Worth 60% of final marks

  • Non-examined assessment worth 40% of final marks includes practical performance and a written analysis and evaluation of performance to bring about improvement in one activity.
  • Practical performance in three different physical activities in the role of player/performer (one in a team activity, one in an individual activity and a third in either a team or in an individual activity). Team: Football, Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Dance, Handball, Hockey, Netball, Rugby, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball. Individual: Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Canoeing, Climbing, Cycling, Dance, Diving, Golf, Gymnastics, Horse Riding, Skiing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Trampolining.

A level Physical Education Curriculum 

Board : AQA

Within this students cover two main units, one practical and one theoretical. 

At the end of the two-year course there are two written exams:

Paper 1: Factors affecting participation in physical activity and sport

Section A: Applied anatomy and physiology

Section B: Skill acquisition

Section C: Sport and society

Written exam: 2 hours; 105 marks; 35% of A Level

Paper 2: Factors affecting optimal performance in physical activity and sport

Section A: Exercise and physiology and biomechanics

Section B: Sport psychology

Section C: Sport and society and technology in sport

Written exam: 2 hours; 105 marks;

35% of A Level Non-exam assessment: Practical performance in physical activity and sport

Students assessed as a performer or coach in the full-sided version of one activity; plus, written and or verbal analysis of performance

Further information about each unit can be found here.

Sutton Valence School also offer the Cambridge Technical Level 3 Certificate in Sport



Miss Paula Hallett holds a BA (Hons) in PE with QTS and has a wealth of experience teaching academic PE and past experience of being an examiner for AQA. Specialist areas include Sports Psychology and Skill Acquisition. Having been selected for regional level at hockey and cricket plus county level in tennis, Miss Hallett is able to apply the theoretical concepts to competitive and elite sport with many examples. Miss Hallett is also our Head of Tennis.

Miss Kelly McConnachie holds a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Material Science from Birmingham University and her specialist areas are Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics. Miss McConnachie swims at Masters and County standard, having previously swam at regional level. She is also our Head of Netball and brings all this practical experience to bring her sports science lessons alive!

Mr James Henderson has a BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching. Before coming into teaching, Mr Henderson was a Strength and Conditioning coach for Leeds United Football Club. This involved him developing and designing S & C programmes for the 1st team and academy players, injury rehabilitation plus match day nutrition. He is our Head of Hockey, having played and coached at National League level for Cannock. His wealth of experience in the sporting world at such a young age will undoubtedly impress his sports science classes!

Miss Paula Hallett
Head of Academic PE

Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL


Tel: 01622 845200


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