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.

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.

We offer a wide variety of enrichment opportunities for our pupils. These include an annual ski trip, a European rugby tour once every two years, competitive tours around the UK 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 can participate in an extra-curricular programme that includes athletics, badminton, basketball, cricket, cross-country, dance, football, golf, hockey, netball, rounders and rugby union. 

Lower School

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.

Middle School / GCSE

All pupils in Year 10 and 11 receive a weekly, two-hour games lesson. 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 who choose to take Physical Education as a GCSE option follow the OCR GCSE (9-1) J587 Course. The 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: 40%

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. 

Theoretical: 60%

The theoretical content of the course is assessed through two written examinations 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.

Sixth Form / A Level

There is a hugely popular and successful Senior Sports programme, consisting of a weekly games session in which students are provided with regular training and compete in fixtures in the following activities: netball, hockey, cross-country, rugby union, football, and cricket.

Pupils who choose to take Physical Education as an A Level option follow the OCR H555 A Level Physical Education course. The course focuses on Anatomy and Physiology, Biomechanics, Sports Psychology and Socio-cultural factors affecting sport. Students are assessed in one practical activity and complete three written examinations in the summer of Year 13.