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Physical Education

OCR A level PE (H555)

A Level PE provides an opportunity to study human movement, mechanics, performance and behaviour in relation to physical education, sport and recreation.  This is a 2 year linear course with an A Level qualification awarded by OCR at the end of the two years.  

The course is split 70% examination (3 papers), 30% non-examined assessment (NEA).

Exam Papers (70%)

H555/01 – Physiological Factors Affecting Performance, 2 hours (30%)

Applied Anatomy and Physiology: topics include musculo-skeletal system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, energy systems and recovery processes, environmental effects of exercising at altitude and in the heat.

Exercise Physiology: topics include training methods, diet and nutrition, ergogenic aids, injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Biomechanics: topics include biomechanical principles, levers, mechanical technology, linear motion, angular motion, fluid mechanics, projectile motion.

H555/02 – Psychological Factors Affecting Performance, 1 hour (20%)

Skill Acquisition: topics include classification of skills, types of practice, transfer of skills, principles of learning movement skills, stages of learning, guidance, feedback, memory models.

Sports Psychology: topics include individual differences, group dynamics in sport, goal setting, attribution, self-efficacy, leadership, stress management.

H555/03 – Socio-cultural Issues in Physical Education and Sport, 1 hour (20%)

Sport and Society: topics include emergence and evolution of modern sport, global sporting events. 

Contemporary Issues: topics include ethics and deviance in sport, commercialisation and media, routes to sporting excellence in the UK, impact of modern technology on sport.

Non-examined Assessment (70%)

H555/04 – Performance in Physical Education

15% - Students are assessed in the role of either performer or coach in ONE practical activity. They are required to demonstrate core and advanced skills from the specifications (click here), decision making and tactics and appropriate physical attributes.  The full list of practical activities to choose from can be found on pages 34-35.

15% - Students are also assessed in the Evaluation and Analysis of Performance for Improvement (EAPI). They observe a performance of a player in the activity of their choice, and verbally analyse the strengths and weaknesses of skills, tactics and fitness, plus create a development plan to improve a major weakness. Students draw on their theoretical knowledge of the course to support and justify their comments. 

To find out more about the OCR A Level PE specification click here.

What could I do next with A Level Physical Education?

A level Physical Education is now widely accepted in Higher Education. This new specification closely follows sport and exercise science at degree level.  It is a suitable qualification for many areas of study (e.g. Physiotherapy).   Former students of A Level PE have gone on to study medicine, engineering, teaching, psychology and professional sport.  Much of the knowledge gained will also improve an individual's life skills.

Compulsory Physical Education Participation

In Year 12, it is compulsory for all students to participate in a minimum of 1 hour of physical activity per week, although there are ample opportunities to increase physical participation beyond this minimum requirement. 

At the start of the year, students are asked to choose which sport they would like to participate in on a Wednesday afternoon. This comes under two main options:


For students who want to play competitive fixtures against other schools and be involved in training sessions that require a higher skill set and will be more labour intensive. Sports with fixtures and training included in this option are Rugby, Football, Netball, Basketball and Rowing. Sports which offer Fixtures are Cross country and Hockey. 


For students who want a slightly more relaxed approach to physical activity and are interested in increasing their overall fitness and ability, but not necessarily in a hugely competitive environment. Activities involved in this option are Social Football, Social Netball, Yoga, Fitness, Zumba, Table-Tennis, Circuit Training, Volleyball and Badminton. In the Summer options also include Tennis, Rounders and Softball.

Our ethos in the PE department is ‘Sport for All’ and we are keen for students to make the most of the opportunities available to them.  We encourage physical activity as a way of developing confidence, commitment and for stress-relief.  We are continually liaising with students about developing our physical activity provision and strive to offer as many opportunities as we possibly can.

Mrs. S Hemming
Head of Physical Education