Physical Education

Subject Overview

Our (OCR) specifications provide your students with the exciting opportunity to begin to gain an understanding of PE. Stimulating content is at the heart of this engaging qualification, which will encourage students to immerse themselves in the world of sports and PE.

Studying GCSE (9-1) Physical Education will open students’ eyes to the amazing world of sports performance. Not only will they have the chance to perform in three different sports through the non-exam assessment component, they will also develop wide-ranging knowledge into the how and why of physical activity and sport. The combination of the physical performance and academic challenge provides an exciting opportunity for students. They can perform, and then through the academic study learn how to improve their performance through application of the theory. Physical Education is learned about through a range of different contexts and the impact it has on both ours and others’ everyday lives. Students will learn the reasons why we do things, why some people outperform others – mentally and physically. They will also delve into the ethical considerations behind the use of drugs and also gain an understanding of the consequences of inactivity and poor diet.

Syllabuses (Course Outline and Structure)

GCSE PE is divided into three parts:

  1. Practical Performance = 30% (60 marks)
  2. Theoretical Knowledge = 60% ( 120 marks)
  3. Coursework = 10% (20 marks)

Practical Performance

The practical element of the course is worth 30% of the overall mark and you will have to submit three practical activities. Each practical activity is marked out of 20. Giving you a total of 60 marks for the Practical area of the course.

Performance of three activities is taken from the two approved lists. These lists can be found at:

or ask your PE teacher. Also in this document you will find the ‘Assessment Criteria’ for each activity. You have to show core skills, advanced skills, physical attributes that contribute to your performance and evidence of decision making.

The two lists of activities are either ‘individual’ or ‘team’ activities. One activity has to be taken from the ‘individual’ list, one activity has to be taken from the ‘team’ list and the third activity can come from either list. Please look carefully at the list of activities as these have been dramatically reduced from previous specification.

Theoretical Knowledge

The theory element of the course is worth 60% of the overall grade. There are two examinations: Component One examines ‘Physical factors affecting performance’ and Component two examines, ‘Socio-cultural issues and sports psychology’.

Each examination is 1 hour long and worth 30% of the total GCSE. The examination consists of multiply choice questions and short answer questions that range from 2 – 6 marks. There is a total of 60 marks for each examination. Both examinations will take place in the summer of Year 11.

Component One: Physical factors affecting performance, 30% (60 marks)

  • Skeletal System
  • Bones (names and types)
  • Types of movement
  • Joints structure and function

Movement analysis, types of levers and planes of movement

  • Muscular System (Movement and Function)
  • The cardiovascular system (Structure and function)
  • The respiratory system (structure and function)
  • Short and Long Term Effects of Exercise on the Body
  • Principles of Training
  • Training Methods
  • Injuries and Injury Prevention
  • Components of Fitness
  • Methods of Exercise Training

Component Two: Socio-cultural issues and sports psychology, 30% (60 marks)

  • Mental Preparation
  • Media in Sport
  • Ethics in Sport
  • Characteristics of skilful movement
  • Skill Classification
  • Goal Setting
  • Types of Guidance
  • Types of Feedback
  • Health Fitness and Well-Being
  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Government Initiatives and trends in participation

There are a wide range of topics covered and all topics have the emphasis on leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle. There is an expectation that students will be able to collect and analyse data throughout the course.


The coursework element is worth 10% (20 marks) of your grade. There is one course work task where you will have to analyse and evaluate performance. This will be done once the content from Component One and Component Two of the course have been covered. This work is done under controlled assessment conditions (see guide to non-examined assessment)

Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities

It is of great benefit for students choosing GCSE PE to participate in physical activity outside of school. This will benefit the practical component whilst offering opportunities to reinforce the theoretical work covered. There are no trips for this course.

Subject Resources

Teaching and learning resources can be found on the OCR Website by following this link;

Schemes of Work

Delivery guides can be found here under teaching and learning resources:

Past Papers

As this is a new specification at present there are specimen examination papers which can be accessed here under assessment materials: