Within Physical Education lessons, pupils have access to first-class facilities and dynamic and experienced teaching staff. The Department offers an exciting PE syllabus, covering a wide range of activities designed to help develop pupils’ motor skills, their understanding of strategies and tactics and the physical, psychological and social benefits to be gained from physical activity.

Core Physical Education

PE is delivered to Years 7, 8 and 9 throughout the year. It encompasses activities such as:

  • athletics
  • core fundamental motor skills
  • functional movement skills (stronger, faster, for longer)
  • gymnastics
  • swimming
  • a variety of net, wall and team games.

Skills and physical characteristics learnt and developed in these activities prepare pupils for Epsom’s extensive competitive games programme, as well as for life beyond the College.

PSD PE – Fit4Life

All Year 10 and Year 11 pupils receive a 10-week block of PE, entitled Fit4Life, as part of our Religious Education/Physical Education/Personal and Social Development rotation. This is regardless of whether they have chosen to follow the PE GCSE.

As a department, our aims are to:

  • encourage enjoyment through physical activity
  • provide experiences that inspire pupils to want to increase their participation
  • produce informed young men and women who understand the physical, psychological and social benefits of participating in physical activity
  • develop pupils’ moral, social and cultural awareness through engagement in teamwork, cooperation, communication, leadership, sportsmanship, fair play and through a tolerance of others’ strengths and weaknesses
  • promote safe practice and encourage all students to consider safety issues in PE and sport.

GCSE and A-level

Epsom College follows the OCR Examination Board’s Physical Education syllabus at GCSE and A-level. The A-level course was launched at the College in the late 1990s and at GCSE in 2009.

Examination results within the department have been excellent and pupil value-added scores are consistently amongst the highest in the College.

To study Academic PE it is important that candidates are interested in the world of sport and that they enjoy the process of applying theory to practical examples within the physical activity setting.

At both GCSE and A-level, pupils achieve a proportion of their marks through demonstrating their ability to perform effectively in the practical setting. Regular participation in physical activity is therefore vital for success in this aspect of the course.

Physical Education is a challenging but very rewarding subject to study. The wide range of topics studied in the theory aspect of the course makes it interesting for a broad range of pupils. The practical aspect allows pupils the opportunity to apply the knowledge from these topics to develop their overall performance level. The knowledge and skills learnt in the subject will support pupils in their applications to a wide variety of degree courses.

Career opportunities related to physical education continue to increase at a pace. From roles in sports marketing and management to sports science support within clubs, elite coaching and teaching, the opportunities are endless.

Follow the links below to learn more about Physical Education at Epsom College.

During the Physical Education programme in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, pupils should experience activities which allow them to:

  • undertake, replicate and perform with precision, demonstrating control, continuity and flow of movement
  • participate in a variety of large and small team games and also individual sports
  • understand the principles of attack and defence relating to various invasion games and appreciate tactical considerations appropriate to these
  • apply the rules of particular games and officiate in some capacity
  • swim a broad range of strokes and develop water skills
  • develop an understanding of the effects of physical exercise on the body and the monitoring/measuring of fitness, strength, stamina, speed and flexibility
  • demonstrate an ability to problem solve, listen to others and appraise peers’ work
  • have a well-developed understanding of the benefits of physical activity in ensuring pupils live a healthy and happy life.

The sports and activities followed are:

Year 7

  • Michaelmas Term: Core Fundamental Motor Skills and Swimming
  • Lent Term: Gymnastics (floor work) and Net Games (Badminton)
  • Summer Term: Athletics

Year 8

  • Michaelmas Term: Functional Movement Skills (stronger, faster, for longer) and Swimming
  • Lent Term: Gymnastics (flight) and Team Games (Handball)
  • Summer Term: Athletics

Year 9

  • Michaelmas Term: Functional Movement Skills (stronger, faster, for longer) and Swimming
  • Lent Term: Net and Wall Games (Badminton and Squash) and Team Games (Basketball)
  • Summer Term: Athletics

Year 10

10-week block: Fit4Life

  • First five weeks: Gym induction, methods of training with a purpose (stronger, faster, for longer)
  • Second five weeks: Diet and nutrition, goal-setting, debate on drugs in sport, fitness testing, healthy lifestyles and well-being

Year 11

10-week block: Fit4Life

  • First five weeks: Suppleness (resistance bands), Massage (foam rolling), suspension training (TRX training), Proprioception (Swiss balls)
  • Second five weeks: Spinning, Yoga, Body Pump, Boxercise, Stretch and Tone

The syllabus builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills established at Key Stages 2 and 3. The aims of the course are to:

  • develop knowledge and understanding of anatomy and physiology and how various body systems are affected by long and short-term exercise
  • understand how training affects performance and how a wide range of sports science techniques and equipment can be used to maximise development
  • explain how athletes respond psychologically to a range of situations and the methods that can be used to enable positive responses
  • explore the wide range of social issues that affect both the performance and commercial sides of sport
  • develop and refine the skills necessary to analyse and improve performance
  • apply knowledge gained in the theory setting to maximise levels of performance in the practical setting.

Course Overview

Click here for the presentation given at the GCSE Choices Evening, March 2019.


The written element involves two one-hour papers, worth 60% of the final grade:

  • Component 1. Physical factors affecting performance (1-hour paper, 30%)
  • Component 2. Socio-cultural issues and sports psychology (1-hour paper, 30%)


  • anatomy of skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • physiological responses to aerobic and anaerobic exercise
  • short (to include effects of warming up and cooling down) and long-term effects of exercise
  • effect of diet and nutrition
  • levers and movement analysis
  • principles and optimisation of training
  • prevention of injury
  • characteristics of skilful movement and classification of skills
  • mental preparation, goal setting and feedback
  • long-term emotional and social effects of participation in sport
  • commercialisation, ethics, drugs and violence in modern sport.


This component constitutes 40% of the whole GCSE made up of:

  • Component 3. Analysing performance in a physical activity and developing an action plan to improve performance (controlled assessment task); Accurate and effective performance in three practical activities.

Practical assessment

The practical component is assessed throughout the two-year course with a final assessment being completed during a moderation process with an external examiner (in the summer term of the Year 11). Candidates are required to select three activities. Two of these will come from either the ‘Team’ or ‘Individual’ activities group and the third will then come from the other group.

Team activities:

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Handball
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Netball
  • Rugby Union or League
  • Table Tennis, doubles
  • Tennis, doubles
  • Volleyball

Individual activities:

  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Cycling
  • Dance
  • Equestrian
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Rock climbing
  • Skiing/Snowboarding
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Table tennis

Course Overview

Click here for the presentation given at the A-level Choices Evening, January 2019.


The written element involves three written papers, worth 70% of the final grade:

Component 1

Physiological factors affecting performance (2-hour paper, 30%)

The content covered in this component is:

  • anatomy to include, joints and the muscular system
  • cardiovascular, pulmonary and respiratory function
  • energy systems and recovery from exercise
  • effects of altitude and heat on performance
  • diet and nutrition
  • methods of training to increase strength, aerobic capacity and flexibility
  • injury prevention and rehabilitation
  • levers, Newton’s Laws, angular/linear motion, fluid dynamics and projectile motion
  • analysis of movement through the use of technology
  • fluid dynamics.

Component 2

Psychological factors affecting performance (1-hour paper, 20%)

The content covered in this component is:

  • transfer of skills;
  • principles, stages and theories of learning and the effect of guidance and feedback;
  • memory;
  • personality and attitudes;
  • motivation, arousal, aggression and anxiety;
  • leadership, groups and teams;
  • methods of practice;
  • goal setting.

Component 3

Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport (1-hour paper, 20%)

The content covered in this component is:

  • global sporting events and their impact on society;
  • effect of drugs, violence and gambling;
  • commercialisation and the media;
  • modern technology in sport;
  • the historical development of sport.


The practical component constitutes 30% of the whole A-level. It is assessed throughout the two-year course with a final assessment completed during a moderation process with an external examiner (in the summer term of the Year 13). This section is made up of two aspects:

  1. Evaluation and Analysis of Performance for Improvement (15%). An analysis of a live performance and assessed oral response in which pupils critically analyse the performance and create a development that could be used to improve it
  2. Practical Performance Assessment in one activity from the list below (15%). Team Activities:
  • Athletics
  • Boxing
  • Football
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • BMX
  • Boccia
  • Camogie
  • Canoeing
  • Cricket
  • Cross Country Running
  • Cycling
  • Dance
  • Diving
  • Equestrian
  • Figure Skating
  • Futsal
  • Gaelic Football
  • Goal Ball
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Hockey
  • Hurling
  • Ice Hockey
  • Inline Roller Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Netball
  • Polybat
  • Powerchair Football
  • Rock Climbing
  • Rowing
  • Rugby Union or League (& 7s)
  • Sailing
  • Sculling
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Table Cricket
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Trampolining
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Wheelchair Basketball
  • Wheelchair Rugby
  • Windsurfing

The department makes full use of the College’s outstanding facilities that include:

  • two sports halls
  • fitness suite
  • dance studio
  • indoor 25m pool
  • two astroturfs (one floodlit)
  • six squash courts, two of which are glass-backed
  • nine netball courts (three floodlit)
  • 33 tennis courts in the summer term (three floodlit)
  • athletics track
  • shooting range
  • extensive pitches for football, cricket, hockey, rounders, rugby and volleyball