A-level Physical Education builds on the theoretical knowledge of GCSE PE or BTEC Sport and looks at developing an understanding in a range of topic areas linked to sport and performance, including applied anatomy and physiology, sports psychology, biomechanics and technology in sport, amongst others.
Practical performance in one or more sports is an integral part of the course and, therefore, current involvement in competitive sport outside of school hours is essential. The A-level PE course is predominantly theory based, however, the course is delivered through practical sessions where appropriate.
Paper 1: Factors affecting participation in Physical Activity and Sport
You will learn about various factors that influence sports participation, such as how the body's systems impact on and can be trained for performance. You will develop an understanding of how to maximise learning and performance, through understanding different theoretical perspectives of learning and skill development. You will learn about and discuss how sport has grown into a commercial business worth millions, as well as the role different providers of sport and physical activity play in ensuring sport and physical activity is fit for the 21st century.
Paper 2: Factors affecting optimal performance in Physical Activity and Sport
You will learn how athletes plan and prepare for competition, through developing an enhanced knowledge of training methods, dietary requirements and biomechanical analysis, to maximise and analyse performance. In addition you will consider how athletes control arousal and anxiety as well as taking an in-depth look at ethical problems facing modern day sport and its performers, such as the taking of performance-enhancing drugs and methods of controlling spectator violence.
You will be assessed practically as a performer or coach in one sporting activity, from a pre-determined list. You will analyse your performance, showing application of knowledge and understanding of factors that influence performance.
The minimum requirement is 7 GCSE grades 9-4 in an appropriate range of subjects, including Maths and English Language at grade 4 or above.
The college will accept one BTEC at Merit level as one GCSE equivalent.
Where a student continues on to an A-level from a GCSE subject, it is advisable for a student to have a minimum of a grade 5.
It is strongly recommended that you have studied a sports-related course such as GCSE Physical Education. Due to the practical element of the course, you should aim to be competing regularly in at least one sport outside of school, for the duration of the course. You would also benefit from having a basic understanding of the physiology of the body, as well as a real interest in sport, health and physical activity.
This course allows you to gain knowledge of a variety of interesting topics that will be useful in future studies at university or equivalent. A variety of degrees including sports science, sports coaching and physical education, will benefit from knowledge acquired on this course. This qualification can open up a wide range of opportunities should you wish to go directly into the thriving sports industry after leaving college.