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Physical Education A Level at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Technology College

Course description

Physical Education at A Level comprises two main elements: theoretical components and practical performance. The A Level specification requires students to develop their personal performance in one activity; they are expected to develop and keep a record of their progress over the duration of the course. The practical element of the course has been vastly reduced with the latest specifications; there is now a significant emphasis on the very robust academic content. 70% of the A Level is assessed through examination and 30% non-examined assessment (practical performance and analysis/evaluation of performance to bring about improvements in performance).

Students must utilise their understanding of practical situations and relate them to the theoretical content of the course. This requires significant independent research and the ability to apply knowledge. In essence, this course enables students who enjoy sport to develop their knowledge of the subject, whilst pursuing a highly challenging academic course.

Course content

In line with all new A Levels, the AS and A Level qualifications will be fully linear, with assessment at the end of the qualification. The AS Level is a stand-alone qualification and will be assessed at the end of year 12. Further content will be delivered and assessed in year 13 through the A Level qualification. However, marks achieved at AS Level will not count towards the A Level.

The content for the AS level is a sub set of the A Level content and is therefore coteachable. Students who continue into year 13 will be assessed on the content covered in the AS units, as well as additional units studied exclusively within the A Level qualification.

Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have taken GCSE PE and achieved a grade B or above (although in exceptional cases other students may be considered). Performance in the GCSE PE written examination is a good indicator for suitability to meet the academic demands of the course. As a result of this a C grade in the theory examination is expected.

It is essential that students are regularly undertaking sporting activities out of school so that they can meet the demands of the practical modules. It is a prerequisite that they must be performing regularly in one practical activity from the specification, at club level or higher. Students who excel in leadership may offer this for practical assessment. This will involve volunteering their time to work with our younger students in the school, as well as regularly coaching/officiating within the community setting.


An outline of the AS qualification is highlighted below:

Component 1: Scientific principles of PE
Applied anatomy and physiology
Exercise physiology
Applied movement analysis

1 hour and 45 minutes
90 marks

Component 2: Psychological and social principles of PE
Skills acquisition
Sports psychology
Sport and society

1 hour and 15 minutes
60 marks

Component 4: Performance Analysis & Personal Development Programme
Performance Analysis

24 marks

Future opportunities

This course enables students to learn and develop many valuable skills. It opens up a range of possible careers and higher education opportunities, particularly within the sports world. Such areas for further study in higher education include sports studies, sports science, physiotherapy, recreation and leisure management to name a few. The strong scientific content will complement those who have an interest in science related courses and careers.

Students may find particular interest from within the course content and choose to pursue them further in their own right e.g. Psychology, Social Policy, Sociology, History or Biology.

Some students will choose to go directly into employment, with many employers valuing the skills that can be learned through an involvement in A Level Physical Education.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Francis of Assisi Catholic Technology College directly.

Last updated date: 20 March 2017
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