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Physical Education at Gunnersbury Catholic School

Course description

At AS, this specification will develop knowledge and skills to help understand the opportunities for and effects of leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Candidates will be given the opportunity to build on their experience and improve their personal skills/techniques across a variety of roles in a sport of their choice to improve performance.

The course has many benefits. It allows candidates to focus on a single physical activity throughout the course and to experience and develop an interest in a variety of roles such as performer, official and leader/coach. Students are also able to build on their previous experience to enhance their knowledge and increase their understanding of the modern day sporting arena. Finally, in studying Physical Education, students can evaluate and discuss current developments in sport such as the impact of new technology, sport-specific rehabilitation and use of ergogenic aids.

Course content

The AS specification has 2 units:

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

  • The physiological effects of adopting a healthy lifestyle
  • The short term effect of exercise/performance and the long term effects of training
  • Analysis of movement across a range of sporting actions
  • Acquisition of skills and the impact of psychological factors on performance
  • Opportunities for physical activity, benefits to the individual and society and the potential barriers faced by minority groups.

Unit 2 : Analysis and evaluation of physical activity as performer and/or in an adopted role/s

  • Execution of skills/techniques in two roles (performer, official, referee, umpire, judge or leader, coach) in a chosen physical activity
  • Analysis of own performance
  • Application of theoretical knowledge to achieve effective performance.

The A2 specification has 2 units :

Unit 3 : Optimising performance and evaluating contemporary issues within sport

  • Energy sources and systems
  • Elite preparation and training
  • Specialised training and sports injuries
  • The use of psychological theories and techniques to optimise performance
  • Concepts and characteristics of World Games and their impact on the state and individual
  • Development and impact of sports technology on performers, equipment and facilities
  • The development of sport from rational recreation to its modern day format.

Unit 4 : philosophical problems

  • Optimising performance in competitive or performance conditions in one role
  • Evaluation of own performance in identifying weaknesses
  • Suggesting cause of own weakness and an appropriate corrective measure

Entry requirements

Applicants will be required at least 5 GCSE passes at grade C or better PLUS grade B in GCSE PE.


Unit 1
Written Paper - 2 hours
Weighting : 60% of AS

Unit 2
Coursework (moderated by AQA)
Weighting : 40% of AS

Unit 3
Written Paper - 2 hours
Weighting : 60% of A2

Unit 4
Coursework (moderated by AQA)
Weighting : 40% of A2

Future opportunities

There are a wide range of careers and university degrees where an A Level in Physical Education is well respected :

  • Physiotherapy
  • Sports psychology
  • Sports scientist
  • Teaching

to name but a few !

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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