Physical Education


Across both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 our students will develop their knowledge and love of physical education and sport. Our curriculum is designed to develop students’ skills, knowledge and understanding across a wide range of activities. We also look to develop our students in areas that we call life skills, focusing on areas that they can use in all areas of life such as direction, organisation and confidence building.

Key Stage 3

Students will cover a wide range of activities, experiencing activities from invasion sports, net and wall games, batting and fielding games, aesthetics and athletics. We will focus on developing the students’ skills allowing them to use them in game and pressure situations. Lessons are blocked into activities from 8-10 lessons allowing both staff and students to embed the skills, knowledge and understanding across the key stage. A number of the activities are repeated each year allowing preparation for the next Key Stage.  
We aim to build their knowledge and understanding of the skills, rules and tactics again developing these areas to use in game situations. Across the Key Stage we feel it is important that students also develop personal skills such as confidence, leadership and organisation, allowing them to use these skills across PE and in other areas of their life. We believe that PE is underpinned by positive values such as playing by rules, accepting weaknesses and strengths, having empathy with others and listening and acting on feedback.

Along with the lesson curriculum we encourage students to become involved in a healthy and active lifestyle by offering a wide range of extra-curricular activities across the week for all students. We are particularly proud of both Girls and Boys Active where students come along, choose the activity they would like to take part in and play for enjoyment. These sessions are well attended and facilitated by our KS4 Sports Leaders. 

The activities covered across Key Stage 3 are: 

  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Dance
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Health & Fitness
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Rounders
  • Rugby
  • Tennis
Core Physical Education

In Key Stage 4 our aim is to continue to build on the skills, knowledge and understanding from their earlier experience. Across the key stage we still aim to develop the students’ skills, knowledge and understanding. However, we aim to utilise these more in them pressure and game situations. Along with developing these we aim to give the students an experience which enhances the students' physical and mental well-being, setting them up for a healthy and active lifestyle for life beyond school.

We also provide a leadership scheme giving students the opportunity to become young leaders, support events in school and a number of events in our partnership junior schools. 

Activities covered across Key Stage 4 are as KS3 plus volleyball, trampolining, softball and table tennis. We also include ‘taster sports’, introducing students to less traditional activities such as pickleball, dodgeball and round net (spikeball).

GCSE Physical Education

Examination Board OCR


Our aim is to give our students the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding across a wide range of activities. We also aim to develop other skills that the students can use beyond PE, which we call Life Skills, and they include leadership and organisation. We aim to develop the love of sport and activity that the students will carry with them into a healthy and active lifestyle. 


What areas would you study?

GCSE PE gives students the opportunity to study PE in more depth. It is taught by a team of experience and specialist members of our team. On top of their five core PE lessons, students receive attend five GCSE PE lessons, three of which are theory/classroom based and two practical activity lessons. 

The theory areas covered:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Skeletal system
  • Muscular system
  • Cardiovascular system and the Respiratory system
  • Principles of Training
  • Training methods and Injuries
  • Components of Fitness
  • Engagement Patterns
  • Media and Commercialism
  • Sports Psychology
  • Health, Fitness and Well Being

Practical Element

Students will study a number of sports from the OCR syllabus in school. Towards the end of the course they, with support, will choose their strongest activities. They must show one team sport, one individual and one of their choice. Students can show activities they might take part in out of school - they must be taking part at a club level with a coach. Examples from our recent students have been golf, rowing and swimming. The sports taken must be on the OCR syllabus. Towards the end of the course students are required to produce a project in school known as an AEP. Students prepare for this in lessons and this sees them applying their knowledge linked to a sport of their choice. 


Two 1 hour written exams - 60% of final grade
Practical assessments in three different sports - 30% of final grade 

Where will this take me post-16?

This course provides an excellent route into A-level physical education, psychology, science and sociology and allows for progression to related vocational qualifications, such as BTEC Nationals in sport or sport and exercise sciences. With further training it can lead to a wide variety of employment opportunities in sports science, teaching, physiotherapy, dietician, recreational management, coaching, officiating, the fitness industry and the armed forces.


A-Level Physical Education

Examination Board: OCR


Course summary

In Key Stage 5 we offer A-level PE, following the OCR examination syllabus. We aim to prepare students for the final assessments of their final year. The assessments consist of two written examinations, assessment in one sport and a project called an EAPI, which analyses performance in depth. We aim to give the students a love of the subject and prepare them for life after A-levels, hopefully following a career within the sports industry. 

Introduction and Structure

A-level physical education offers students the opportunity to explore and develop a breadth of skills and enhance their understanding of physical education. The aims of the course are to:

  • develop theoretical knowledge and understanding of the factors that underpin physical activity and sport and use this knowledge to improve performance
  • understand how physiological and psychological states affect performance
  • understand the key socio-cultural factors that influence people’s involvement in physical activity and sport
  • understand the role of technology in physical activity and sport
  • refine your ability to perform effectively in physical activity and sport by developing skills and techniques and selecting and using tactics, strategies and/or compositional ideas
  • develop your ability to analyse and evaluate to improve performance
  • understand the contribution which physical activity makes to health and fitness
  • improve as an effective and independent learner and as critical and reflective thinker with a curious and enquiring mind

Areas of Study

Physiological factors affecting performance  
Psychological factors affecting performance  
Socio-Cultural issues in physical activity and sport  


Two separate written examinations of 2 hours

Practical assessment: takes place towards the end of the course and students are assessed in one sport from the OCR syllabus

EAPI: students are prepared for this across the course. This involves watching some performance of a chosen sport and then feeding back required information in a verbal situation. These are recorded for assessment and moderation purposes.  

Careers and Progression

Physical education helps you to develop a variety of skills such as analysis, independent learning, effective communication, teamwork and leadership. It is an excellent pre cursor to many university courses as well as leading to opportunities in careers such as; sports journalism, sports psychologist, sports development, dietician, PE teacher, physiotherapist and sports kinesiology.

Entrance Requirements

Minimum requirement: 6 GCSEs Grades 9-4 (or equivalent), including Grade 4 or above in English and maths

Strongly recommended: Grade 5 in maths

Recommended: Grade 5 in physical education (if taken)


Key Values 

Practical Performance 

skill, decision making, fitness


understanding, evaluating performance, leadership

Mind Set

attitude to learning





Skill – can be successful in a range of different skills and can attempt to transfer into game play

Decision making – can make correct decisions in skill practice and game play

Fitness – is able to meet the demands of some environments



Understanding – knows and uses the correct terminology for a range of skills; can identify simple rules required for a range of sports

Evaluating performance – can work as part of a small group to identify strengths or weaknesses in a peer’s performance using set criteria

Leadership – can work in a group to lead a warm up


Passive learner who is happy to sit back and listen to others

Is reluctant to answer questions in lessons





Skill – is confident in a range of skills and can apply these in competitive situations with a degree of aesthetics

Decision making – can offer ideas to help solve problems, develop tactics and plan sessions

Fitness – shows a desire to work hard and meets the demands of most environments


Understanding – can identify and apply rules and key terminology for a range of sports

Evaluating performance – can identify strengths and weaknesses of self and peer performance using criteria set

Leadership – can lead specific stages of a warm up to a whole group; can manage teacher set tasks within a small group


Positive learner who works hard to improve

Answers class questions when asked

Challenges themselves to achieve





Skill – develops expert technique to improve performance; can transfer smoothly into competitive situations

Decision making – can plan and apply tactics in competition to improve and influence own and other’s performance

Fitness – ability to meet the demands of all environments including competitive situations 


Understanding – shows sound understanding for all sports covered including rules, skills, tactics and key terminology and can use in discussions

Evaluating performance – can pick out a performance’s strengths and/or weaknesses using key terminology and can offer recommendations for improvement

Leadership – can lead an effective 3-phase warm up; can set up and run simple drills and practices effectively


Active learner who wants to learn how to improve and reach top marks.

Uses sound knowledge to answer questions in class.

Works independently of lessons to further develop a range of skills






Skill – shows a natural ability and excels in all sports efficiently, applying skills and tactics into game play

Decision making – is a dictator in tactics and decisions to outwit opponents and maximise performance in individual and team situations 

Fitness – always meeting the demands of competitive environments at a high intensity in lessons and extra curricular  


Understanding – has a comprehensive knowledge of rules, regulations, key terminology and fitness requirements for a range of sports

Evaluating performance – can identify progressions for skills and techniques and uses this to enhance self and peer’s performance

Leadership – is a confident leader who can coach and officiate different sports and regularly contributes with this during extra curricular hours


Active learner who constantly works hard to improve in a range of sporting situations

Takes risks to overcome challenges and uses failure as a route to success

The PE department offers a rich and varied extracurricular programme. We aim to provide opportunities for all students to participate and compete in a wide variety of activities to suit all their needs. Currently we run a winter and summer programme of activities, with popular clubs like badminton and gymnastics running all year round.

We enter a wide range of competitions for students to participate in and work well with the West Norwich and Dereham School Sports Partnership to provide even more extensive opportunities for our students. Currently we enter A & B teams into local and national football competitions for all year groups, along with netball, rounders, cricket, athletics and hockey teams in different competitions. The Partnership provides opportunities for us to enter competitions such as sportshall athletics, table tennis, Playground to Podium and fishing. We have seen large number of students representing the school with even more participating in our many clubs. We encourage all students to attend whatever their ability and our open door policy to all clubs allows students to develop their skills at a pace they are comfortable with.

To coincide with our successful extracurricular programme we run leadership opportunities for our students. We have a large number of students who go through our internal leadership programme and they are able to develop their skills by helping out in clubs and teams both in school and the local community. We have run a successful football referees programme that qualifies students to officiate football games to a high standard recently and hope to offer this course again in the very near future. We actively encourage students to volunteer their help within the PE department and are delighted to have sixth formers helping out our in lessons.

Each year we run intra-form competitions with the handball tournament being very popular for each year group and run exclusively by our own students. In July we hold our annual sports day. This is a big festival style day, providing opportunities for students to earn points for their form group in the form competition as well as compete in the athletics competition for the Victor Ludorum.

We are always keen to celebrate the success of our students both in and out of the sporting curriculum and to support this we hold our prestigious sports awards evening in June. This is an opportunity for us to share and celebrate the success of our students with parents and we have a whole variety of awards promoting both effort and achievement as well as sports leadership. The crowning moment of our year is the Liz Vaughan Award, which is voted by our students for the student with the best sporting achievement/s of the year. To date our winners have come from a variety of sports including korfball, skiing, shooting, rowing, athletics and BMX.

Girls Active is a new extra-curricular club and part of the well-known organisation This Girl Can, engaging young girls in sport and physical activity. Here at THS we run a Girls Active club after school for all female students in the school. The aim of the club is to promote participation in sport and offer a diverse number of sports for all to get involved in. It is open to all ages and all abilities. We have a team of effective and enthusiastic girl activators who are our leaders; they set up and run all the activities ensuring all the girls have fun! This club has really taken off and seen an increase in the number of girls participating. We also celebrate the success of the club with girl active club trips, such as ice skating..