Vollyball 3

Physical Education

The scientific study of exercise, health and sport. 

Why study Physical Education? 

How does the body produce energy for a muscular contraction in sport? Why do some sports performers underperform when there is a large crowd present whilst others thrive in such situations? How has technology advanced sports over time? These are just some of the ideas explored in physical education. Staff share a genuine love of sport and physical education, are extremely well-qualified experienced examiners who care about every student and help each individual achieve their potential.  

You must be committed to one sport, training and/or competing either externally or at college. 

What will I study?

The course covers an incredibly diverse range of topics. Within physiology you learn about how the body works through anatomy, physiology and biomechanics.  How performance can be enhanced, analysed and monitored and the multiple health benefits of physical activity.  

We study psychological factors impacting sport such as how we learn and acquire skills and factors affecting performance such as motivation and group dynamics. 

You will also gain an understanding of the role that sport played in the past and the role it will play in the future, including sport as a multibillion-pound industry. 

The practical combines a performance and analysis of performance for improvement in your sport. 

Which exam board & how will I be assessed?


Three written exams worth 70%  

  • 30% Physiology 2-hours 
  • 20% Psychology 1-hour 
  • 20% Sociology 1-hour 

Practical worth 30% 

  • 15% Performance or coaching 
  • 15% Evaluation and analysis of performance for improvement  

Where could it take me?

Students study a wide range of courses including sport-based degrees such as sport science, nutrition, and sports psychology. Some studied unrelated degrees such as business, diagnostic radiotherapy and medicine using their excellent physical education grade as a stepping-stone to access a top-quality institution.  Physical Education is also a preferred A-level to study a physiotherapy degree! The transferable skills developed on the course benefit you hugely in life, future careers and study. Alumni are employed by the English Institute of Sport working in data analysis and elite performance as well as Sports Physiotherapists. 

Subject combinations

There is overlap with Psychology, Business Studies, Dance, Heath Studies, Applied Science, Biology, even Maths – but it’s important to choose subjects you enjoy.  

What support is available?

We use in-housework booklets, electronic resources, a range of teaching techniques, targeted questions and differentiated activities. Supported seating is used and you have access to an online support package. Individual and group tutorials are available too and we actively work with the cross-college study support department.  

What extracurricular activity is available?

There are trips to university sports departments, visiting speakers for example Paul Deacon, and workshops at Lancaster University to make your own energy drink. 

A huge sporting enrichment programme is available with extensive sports facilities including: sports hall, activity room, Sport England standard fields, modern gym, and offsite artificial surface. 

Did you know?

On average 50% of Winstanley College students achieved A*-A grade on their practical 

Staff have over 40 years combined specialist A-level teaching experience