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Physical Education

Welcome to PE

We support and encourage all our learners to strive towards high levels of achievement and performance. We aim to build upon learners' knowledge, understanding and skills from KS2 and progress these through KS3 & KS4. It is desired that learners remain active and apply themselves positively to learning and performing. We hope our learners will develop an appreciation of the aesthetics of physical activity, increase their understanding of what makes performance effective and maintain their involvement in a healthy & active lifestyle beyond their years at school.

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The Physical Education department at Upton High School strives to build upon and embed the physical skills and understanding gained at KS2, looking to build confidence, competence and progress learner performances and knowledge towards expertise. This is desired across a range of sports and varying physical activities. Learners should develop an understanding of what makes a performance effective and how to apply these principles to their own and other learners’ work, this theoretical understanding will provide the foundation for GCSE PE & Dance work. It is hoped this deeper understanding will develop confidence and interest in learners, so to encourage greater active involvement in exercise and physical activity, in and out of school, and beyond school into later life. 

Problem solving and group work will develop teamwork, trust, tolerance, respect and cooperation, key skills needed in social settings. It is also hoped that regular physical exertion, creative opportunities, competition, and diverse challenging content, will provide learners with the necessary mental and emotional stimulation and release, to benefit their mental health. 

Developing a long-term belief in exercise, and activity, as being advantageous to physical, mental and social well-being is key to the subject's intent. This understanding will benefit all learners later in life and applied in any future career path; inside, or outside, the field of physical education, dance, sport, fitness or health. 

Upton High School’s Physical Education and Dance cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge and experiences gained from the following processes: skill and technique control, tactics and decision making, understanding key principles, sport specific terminology, healthy active lifestyle appreciation, creative development, analysis/ evaluation/ correction of skill application, leadership quality development, positive and resilient learning behaviour, mindset and attitude growth. 

Learners will gain this wide personal development through the broad and balanced curriculum, appropriate KS4 & 5 course pathways, the varied, inclusive and consistent extracurricular opportunities, the competitive intra and inter school fixture provision, the appreciation of national and international sporting events through up-to-date lesson references, relevant class discussion points and department displays, and the knowledge of future career pathway opportunities through lesson content and again department displays. 

Key Stage 3

Learners are taught a wide range of physical activities, providing a thorough understanding of individual & team games, physical & aesthetic units and outdoor adventure activities. Learners are encouraged to take on leadership roles in activities and the focus on these skills becomes greater as the key stage progresses.

Key Stage 4

All learners have core PE once a week, at this Key stage we build upon their knowledge & understanding from KS3, and develop their performances in a reduced number of physical activities. Greater emphasis is placed on the technical, tactic & compositional development of their performance. Leadership skill development becomes prominent at this key stage with learners taking on greater responsibility as coach or organiser.

Learners choosing GCSE PE follow the AQA Specification, modules at KS3 build some understanding of unit 3 of the GCSE PE from which they can build on throughout the two year GCSE course. The course is assessed in two final exams (60%), practical performance of 3 sports (30%) & an analysis of performance coursework (10%).

Learners choosing Dance as an option at year 10 & 11 follow the Pearson BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts with a Dance approach. The course gives learners the opportunity to develop knowledge and technical skills in a practical learning environment through 3 components; Exploring the Performing Arts (30%), Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts (30%) & Responding to a Brief (40%).

Key Stage 5

Learners follow the OCR Physical Education  A Level Specification, building on knowledge and understanding from KS3 and KS4. The course takes learners through a wide range of subject areas including; Anatomy, Exercise physiology, Sociology, Skill acquisition, Sport psychology, Analysis of performance & physical performance.


There are many opportunities for learners to engage in Physical activities beyond the classroom.

  • Clubs each night on the Engage programme
  • Competitive matches in inter school competitions
  • Intra school competitions throughout the year

Department Staff & Responsibilities

  • Mr P Medland - Head of Department
  • Miss N Szehofner - 2nd in Department
  • Mr B Hooley - Coordinator of KS3/4 Boys PE
  • Miss S Downs - Coordinator of Dance
  • Mr S Wearden - Teacher of PE & HoY
  • Mrs J Lynch - Coordinator of KS3/4 Girls PE


Key Stage 4 - 1 x 30 minute piece per fortnight

Key Stage 5 - Regular assignments and preparation for end of unit tests, approximately 1 hour per week. NEA coursework evidence collection & preparation

Whole school policy


The PE department follows the whole school feedback policy. Feedback is regularly given in lessons during retrieval practice, questioning and work discussions. Written feedback is provided for specific pieces of work and assessments.


Key Stage 3 assessment will be based on units studied and their end of unit assessments, mid year and end of year assessments.

Key Stage 4 assessment will be based on end of unit assessments in core PE. In GCSE end of unit tests and tests that follow the assessment calender track learner progress.

Key Stage 5 assessment will be based on unit assignments and end of unit tests, and PPE assessments.

For Year 7 & 8 mid year assessment one lesson is allocated for the written assessment. Learners are notified of this & are given resources from which to prepare for this assessment. These will take place in sports facilities.

Year 9 written assessment will take place in the 4th lesson of the theory unit. The assessment will be written and will cover the content of the previous 3 lessons on fitness components, fitness testing, methods of training, principles of training and warming up/ cooling down.

Year 10 & 11 GCSE PE assessments will take place periodically, testing learners on the units just covered & recap knowledge of previous units. These will generally take place in classrooms, but also in the hall during formal whole school assessments.

For those learners taking the BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts with a Dance approach has similar assessments to GCSE PE, with end of unit tests and marked performances. In addition to this, set assessment periods by the exam board will be followed to complete internally and externally examined components. Year 10 will complete Component 2 in the Jan - May window. Year 11 will complete Component 1 in the Sept - Dec window and then Comp 3 in the Jan-May window. 

Year 12 & 13 A level assessments will take place periodically, testing learners on the units just covered. Assignments for each unit will also form part of the assessment process. Tests will take place in classrooms or in the hall during formal whole school assessments.

2023-2024 Upton by Chester Assessment Schedule