The major focus of Physical Education lessons in younger year groups is on core skill development. There is an emphasis on participation regardless of natural ability, which extends to the College’s sporting programme. Skills and abilities covered during lessons transfer positively to multiple sports to improve pupils’ confidence and aptitude.
GCSE Physical Education is a dynamic and challenging course which continues to grow in popularity at Shiplake College. Pupils are provided with the opportunity to participate in numerous sports as well as learning the values of an active and healthy lifestyle. Teaching involves a blend of theory and practical lessons, allowing pupils to use their full range of intellectual and sporting talents to achieve their potential.
The course encourages creativity and decision-making skills to enable the students to plan effectively for performances and respond to changing situations. It also helps pupils to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.
Physical Education is currently offered as an A Level option. However, in order to extend and tailor our provision of the subject, the College has introduced a BTEC Sport course. The BTEC course is for learners who enjoy sport and are keen to investigate how the human mind and body excel in the sporting environment. For those pupils with at least 4 GCSEs at Grade C or above, the course provides an opportunity for practical, hands-on-learning. There are fewer examinations in BTEC courses, meaning that pupils are predominantly assessed through a series of coursework tasks. Whilst the course specification is currently under review, it is highly likely that pupils will study the physiology of fitness, assessing risk in sport and the principles of anatomy in sport amongst other topics. Typical methods of assessment would measure a pupil's ability to design a personal exercise programme, give a verbal briefing on risk assessment or administer various sport performance and fitness tests.
Pupils looking to take A Level PE should have obtained a minimum of a B grade in their GCSE PE course, with suitability largely based upon the GCSE theory exam score rather than practical ability. Pupils require a lively and enquiring mind, a willingness to explore new ideas and an ability to communicate effectively. The subject has a high academic content which requires a great deal of independent research and study to master the scientific elements of the course. A high level of sporting ability is desirable as practical performance is also assessed. Pupils will learn about concepts relating to anatomy, exercise physiology, skill acquisition, psychology and sociology in sport. The course content is a 70:30 split between theory and practical work. Students should expect to be assessed in opportunities for leading a healthy and active lifestyle, optimising performance and evaluating contemporary issues within sport, amongst other topics.
Pupils who enjoy sport would find the subject both interesting and stimulating. A strong performance in the A Level will allow the pupil to credibly apply for a wide range of sport-related courses at leading institutions. People taking these courses often move on to physiotherapy, teaching, coaching, analysis, management, marketing or personal training.