The Physical Education curriculum is designed to encourage and nurture the physical, academic and social development of each pupil. Physical Education lessons provide opportunities for pupils to develop skills in planning, performing and evaluating physical performance. Social skills are enhanced through tasks which promote mutual understanding, respect, co-operation and fair play. The establishment of pupil self-esteem through the development of physical confidence encompasses the ethos of the department. Mountain Ash Comprehensive has a range of facilities on school site for pupils to use during lesson time and extra-curricular sessions.


  1. Maintain and stimulate pupil enjoyment and interest in P.E and to promote health and fitness and lifelong participation.
  2. To develop physical competence and motor skills; develop necessary knowledge through a range of physical activities.
  3. Promote the health and wellbeing of pupils, this has the potential to improve their educational outcomes and their health and wellbeing.
  4. To develop pupils knowledge and understanding of principles and vocabulary related to physical education.
  5. Embed literacy and numeracy opportunities in lessons for pupils to develop these skills in a P.E setting.
  6. Encourage pupils to foster a range of desirable personal qualities; leadership skills, safety awareness, perseverance, initiative and independence.


Pupils are taught in same-sex classes. All pupils receive three, one hour Physical Education lessons per fortnight, covering a broad range of activities from the National Curriculum.


Pupils who select GCSE Physical Education receive additional lessons compared to KS3. These lessons are primarily theory lessons and all practical elements of the course are covered through extra-curricular activities. In Year 10 we look at the relationship between health and fitness and how to lead a healthy lifestyle, including diet.  We look in depth at fitness, including testing, monitoring, types of training methods and creating a fitness programme.  We also look at risk assessment, injuries in sport and technological developments in sport. In Year 11 we focus on the participation and provision of sport; topics include, media, women in sport, disability in sport, sponsorship, goal setting, motivation and many more.

Practical assessment is continuous and is made up of four activities accounting for 50% of the overall grade. These are moderated by an external moderator at the end of Year 11 (performance at a team sport, individual sport and another – in addition to a personalised exercise programme).  The theory exam makes up the other 50% of the grade in the form of a written exam (2 hours), which includes short answer questions, multiple choice questions and extended writing questions. 

The department also delivers the BTEC First in Sport to pupils who do not wish to opt for the GCSE pathway. Through a combination of practical experience and written assignments, this vocational qualification provides Level 2 learners (equivalent to GCSE) with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed for a career in the sector.  The units we cover are training for personal fitness and practical sports performance.


The department delivers the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport Studies, which is a vocational course equivalent to two A Levels.  The course is taught over a two year period. The course consists of 12 units of work, where pupils are assessed against the course criteria and receive a Pass, Merit or Distinction. The full and complete content of the course can be viewed on the Edexcel website.

The A Level Physical Education pathway is designed to enable students to know about, understand and analyse the major concepts and principles underlying sport and physical education. Both the AS and A Level elements of the course give students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the historical, physical, social, cultural and psychological factors that influence sport and physical education. Wherever possible, the understanding of theoretical principles is reinforced through practical examples. Pupils wishing to choose the A Level pathway should be able sports performers. Much of the teaching and learning, however, is classroom based and the ideal candidates will have gained a good set of GCSE grades across the subject range. Ideally, students should have gained a strong grade in Biology and, for those have undertaken it, at least a B grade in Physical Education at GCSE.