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Physical Education A level at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School

Course description

Ellesmere Port Catholic High School follows the AQA Sport and Physical Education course. During the two years of study you will follow a programme that involves assessment in your practical and theoretical ability.

Theoretical Component:

AS - 60%
A2 - 30%

You will develop your knowledge and understanding of the physiological, psychological and biomechanical factors which improve and optimise performance.

You will learn how socio-cultural and historical factors have effected participation in physical activity and influenced performance and you will develop an understanding of the factors that affect the nature and development of elite performance.

Practical Coursework Component:

AS - 40%
A2 - 20%

Candidates perform, analyse and evaluate the execution of core skills/techniques in isolation and in structured practice as either a player/performer and in an adopted role such as an official/referee/umpire/judge, leader or coach.

Course content

AS year:

Unit 1: Opportunities for an the effects of leading a healthy and active lifestyle.

(60% of total AS marks)

Part 1 - Applied Exercise Physiology;

  • Health, exercise and fitness
  • Cardiac function
  • Principles of training
  • Fitness testing
  • Analysis of movement in specified sporting actions
  • Physiological and psychological value of a warm-up and cool down
  • Transport of blood gases
  • Levers
  • Calculating working intensities
  • Training methods

Part 2 - Skill Aquisition

This section focuses on how skill is acquired and the impact of psychological factors on their performance;

  • Difference between motor and perceptual abilities
  • Characterisitics and definitions of skill
  • Types of skill
  • Information processing
  • Difference between skill and ability
  • Classification of skill
  • Learning and Performance

Candidates should be able to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the following factors and explain how to improve performance;

  • Developing skill and planning training/coaching sessions
  • Teaching styles
  • Types of practice
  • Feedback
  • Methods of presenting practice
  • Methods of guidance

Part 3 - Opportunities for Participation

This section focuses on concepts of activity, active leisure, the roles of schools and national governing bodies and potential barriers to participation;

  • Concepts of activity
  • Historical, social and cultural values
  • Natural Governing Bodies
  • Equal Opportunity, discrimination and stereotyping
  • Public, private and voluntary sector
  • Sports initiatives
  • Target groups

Unit 2: Analysis and avaluation of physical activity as a performer and/or in an adopted role(s)

(40% of total AS marks)

Each candidate will be assessed on their ability to perform effectively in two of the following roles in a chose activity;

  • Practical/performer
  • Leader/coach
  • Official/referee/umpire/judge
A2 year:

Unit 3: Optimising performance and evaluation contemporary issues within sport

(40% of total A Level marks)

Part 1 - Applied physiology to optimise performance.

  • energy systems
  • Specialised training
  • Mechanics of movement
  • Preparation and training / sports supplements
  • Muscles
  • Sports injuries

Part 2 - Psychological aspects that optimise performance

  • Aspects of personality
  • Controlling anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Attribution theory
  • Leadership
  • Arousal
  • Attitudes
  • Confidence
  • Group success

Part 3 - Evaluating contemporary influences

  • Characteristics of the World Games
  • Participation to performance to excellence
  • External organisations
  • Amateur and profressional sport
  • Gamesmanship and sportsman ship
  • Sponsorship
  • Deviance
    • Violence
    • Drugs
    • Sports legislation
  • Sport England
  • World Class performance pathway
  • The Olympic ideal in modern day sport
  • Contract to compete
  • Commercialisation
  • Media
  • Technology

Unit 4: Optimising practical performance in a competitve situation

(20% of total A Level marks)

Cadidates are require to select one role and perform, observe, analyse and evaluate performance applying their knowledge and understanding of the learning in all units of the specification to identify possible reasons for the individual's weaknesses and to consider appropriate techniques to bring about optimisations of performance.

Entry requirements

You will need to be highly motivated and extremely interested in the theoretical field of sport and physical education. You will need to be a sports minded person, however you do not have to be an excellent sports person in any particular sport as you can opt to take on the role of an official or coach rather than demonstrate practical ability in the coursework units. You will need to be able to participate in group work as well as being able to demonstrate the ability to carry out personal study and independent research.

If you are interested in sports issues and physical education, then this course could be suitable to you.

A good grade in GCSE Science will be a good indicator to whether you will be able to cope with the deamnds of AS and A2 Sport and Physical Education.

Future opportunities

At the end of the course there will be a range of opportunites available to you.

There are a variety of related degree and other higher education courses available.

The subject has relevance to careers in; sport, teaching, coaching, journalism, sports, media, physiotherapy, health and fitness, sports development, and sports psychology are just a few to mention.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ellesmere Port Catholic High School directly.

Last updated date: 19 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September


  • More information
    • By Rail

      The closest station is the Overpool Railway station. Further information can be obtained from National Rail. Station info hereand you can plan your journey here.

      By Bus

      Numbers 401, 1 and 3 travel with Ellesmere Port Catholic High School Area. The services all run frequently from the Sutton Way Bus stops (Google map)
      Online bus timetables for Arriva (401) and First (1 & 3).

      By Taxi

      There are taxi ranks at Ellesmere Port Centre.

      By Bicycle

      Surrounded by the suburbs of Cheshire and Wales, the school is easily accessible by bicycle or on foot. As part of our commitment to sustainable living, we encourage the use of local cycle routes. Cycle parking facilities are provided at the school for students, staff and visitors.