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Physical Education - AS / A level at Ipswich School

Course content

The course is designed to:

develop your knowledge and skills in selected sporting activities

explore sociological issues in modern sport

examine the effects of exercise and the relationships between training and performance

analyse the ways we learn to be skilful

compare and contrast sport in different cultures

find ways to improve your own performance through your greater understanding of the subject.

The course requires students to perform in sports practicals, use group discussion and give individual presentations to other students studying Physical Education. There is an emphasis on the analysis of performance and how improvements can be made in students' chosen sports. Students learn how to outwit opponents, performing at maximum levels, identifying and solving problems, exploring and communicating ideas, concepts and emotions and how to exercise safely.

The AS OCR H154 course is made up of two mandatory units

Unit 1 - G451 In this unit, three areas of study are examined. Candidates learn about the anatomical and physiological knowledge to improve performance and about acquiring, performing and teaching movement skills. Socio-cultural studies are also covered where students apply their knowledge and understanding of PE to its role in modern society.
Examination - this consists of one two hour paper with compulsory questions from anatomy and physiology, acquiring movement skills, and sociocultural studies.

Unit 2 - G452 This unit covers performance and its improvement through critical analysis. Candidates are assessed in two practical activities from different activity profiles. Students are asked to evaluate performance and plan improvements in one of their chosen sporting activities.
Students must choose two practical activities from two of the following categories:


Invasion games (football, basketball, hockey, netball, rugby)

Net/wall games (badminton, squash, tennis)

Striking/fielding (cricket, rounders)

Gymnastics (gymnastics, trampolining)

Swimming (competitive).

As this is a sports based examination, it is recommended that students should be able to perform at least one of the two selected sporting activities to at least first team school standard. A component of the final grade is based on sporting ability.

It is also an advantage to have studied Biology at GCSE standard and preferably to have achieved a B grade at this level. Students will then feel confident to attempt all areas of study covered in anatomy and physiology. The new specification and subject criteria discuss balanced and healthy lifestyles.

A2 Level

For the full Advanced GCE (A2) students study a further two units:

Unit G453 Principles and concepts across different areas of Physical Education. In this unit students study:

Socio-cultural option based upon historical studies.

Scientific options looking at Sports Psychology and Exercise and Sports Physiology.

The examination consists of a two and a half hour paper with two sections. Candidates answer three questions including at least one question from the socio-cultural section.

Unit G454 The improvement of effective performance and the critical evaluation of practical activities in Physical Education with synoptic assessment.

In this unit students are assessed in one of the two practical sports activities used in the AS choice. They are also asked to evaluate performance and plan for improvement in their chosen activity.

Physical Education at A level may be complemented by studying subjects such as Biology (anatomy and physiology), Psychology (how the brain processes information), Physics (biomechanics of sport) and History.

Students following this course will need to understand how a sports person's body is put together, how it functions, moves and applies forces to itself and other bodies with which it comes into contact. It will also investigate how a sports person's mind works. We also discuss how the social setting affects performance, contemporary issues and how history has shaped modern sport.

Entry requirements

It is not a requirement that students should have studied PE at GCSE in order to study PE at AS or Advanced GCE in the subject. What is important is that you should have a lively and enquiring mind, an interest in physical education, a willingness to explore new ideas and an ability to communicate your ideas effectively.

If you enjoy sporting activities, the course will broaden your all round knowledge of physical education. At the same time it will develop your understanding of the related theory.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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