Physical Education


St. Mary’s College has a strong tradition of local, regional and national successes with many of our pupils, both past and present, gaining representative honours in a variety of sports including athletics, cricket, football, hockey, golf, gymnastics, netball, rugby union and swimming. However, nurturing future elite sportsmen and women is just one of our strengths. As a department, we pride ourselves on providing an exciting and enriching curriculum that enables all pupils to progress and enjoy physical activity.


Our aim

The department aims to instil a life-long appreciation of the benefits of physical activity that encourages all of our pupils to lead balanced, active and healthy lifestyles during their school years and beyond. Our PE & Games curriculum offers all pupils the chance to realise their potential in a broad range of activities and our extensive extra-curricular programme provides additional opportunities for individual progression. As well as the health and physical benefits, we utilise physical activity as a vehicle for developing the whole person by encouraging skills such as teamwork, communication, determination, self-discipline and self-belief.


Key Stage 3

Pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 participate in over 3 hours of physical activity per week. This comes in the form of a weekly PE lesson and separate games lesson. Pupils are taught in their form groups for PE and with the whole of their year group for games. The majority of lessons are taught as single sex classes but when appropriate we like to mix the girls and boys together. The PE curriculum follows National Curriculum guidelines and is constantly evolving to reflect current trends. The current PE and games curriculum includes athletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, dance, fitness, football, gymnastics, hockey, netball, outdoor and adventurous activities, rounders and rugby union.


Key Stage 4

All pupils in Year 10 and 11 receive a weekly, 2 hour games lesson. During which, pupils participate in a range of activities including athletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, dance, fitness, football, gymnastics, hockey, netball, outdoor and adventurous activities, rounders and rugby union. Pupils in year 11 have the additional option to study the Sports Leaders Level One course.



The department offer the Edexcel GCSE PE course to pupils in Year 10 and 11

The GCSE Physical Education course is perfect for academically rewarding those students who are interested in sport by combining practical and theoretical work.                    


The final grade is determined through assessment in the following areas:

Practical: 50%

Students are assessed in a wide range of physical activities. These can include traditional school sports such as Netball, Rugby, Football and Hockey as well as those available outside of school such as Golf, Horse Riding and Skiing. The four activities in which students obtain the highest practical marks are included in the overall grade.


Theoretical: 40%

The thoretical content of the course is assessed through a written examination in the summer of Year 11. The areas for assessment include anatomy & physiology, social and psychological factors relating to sport and safe and effective training for physical activity.


Analysis of Performance: 10%

students are expected to demonstrate a comprehesive understanding of one of their four chosen activities. This should include detailed knowledge of rules and regulations, officiating and how individual performances can be improved through training. In order to gain a greater insight into the principles of training, each student must design and participate in a Personal Exercise Programme (PEP).


Sixth Form

In addition to a triple games lesson, pupils in year 12 and 13 can study the OCR Advanced Level Physical Education course. The course has been part of the KS 5 curriculum since September 2009. The course focuses on Anatomy and Physiology, the Acquisition of Skills and Social and Cultural studies at AS level with the options to develop these areas further at A2 Level.


Beyond the Classroom

The department is constantly searching for enriching additional opportunities for our pupils. These include an annual ski trip, competitive tours around the UK, the Sports Leaders Level One course and an expansive programme of inter-school fixtures. The department strives to provide a competitive and challenging extra-curricular programme that allows all or our pupils the chance to reach their potential best and develop a life-long passion for physical activity. At St Mary’s, pupils have the opportunity to participate in an extra-curricular programme that includes athletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, cross-country, dance, football, golf, hockey, netball, rounders, rugby union, swimming, table tennis and tennis.