GCSE PE will give you an understanding of topics related to sport such as the muscular system, types of training, diet & nutrition, and mental preparation in sport. This will make up 60% of your course. In practical lessons you will be able to improve your skills and performance in a variety of different sports. This will make up 30% of your course. You will be able to analyse your performance in a chosen sport and produce an action plan to improve performance.




What course will I follow?

OCR GCSE Physical Education (J587)


What will I learn?

Component 01: Physical factors affecting performance (1 exam – 30%)

Students explore how parts of the human body function during physical activity and the physiological adaptations that can occur due to diet and training. They also develop skills in data analysis, and an understanding of the principles of training, why we train in different ways and how training plans can be made to optimise results.

There are two topics:

Applied anatomy and physiology

  • Skeletal system
  • Muscular system
  • Levers, axis and planes
  • Circulatory & Respiratory Systems
  • Short-term effects of exercise
  • Long-term effects of exercise

Physical training

  • Components of fitness
  • Principles of training
  • Optimising training
  • Prevention of injury

Component 02: Socio-cultural issues and sports psychology (1 exam – 30%)

Students develop their knowledge of the social-cultural and psychological influences on levels of participation in sport, and also how sport impacts on society more broadly. This includes the individual benefits to health, fitness and well-being of participating in physical activity, as well as the influences of commercialisation, sponsorship and the media.

There are three topics:

Socio-cultural influences

  • Physical activity and sport in the UK
  • Participation in physical activity and sport
  • Commercialisation of sport
  • Ethics, drugs and violence in sport

Sports psychology

  • Skill and skill continuums
  • Goal setting & mental preparation Types of guidance
  • Types of feedback

Health, fitness and well-being

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diet & nutrition

Component 04: Practical performances (30%)

Students are assessed in performing three practical activities and one performance analysis task. In the practical performance, they demonstrate effective performance, the use of tactics or techniques and the ability to observe the rules and conventions under applied conditions.

Students will develop core and advanced skills in three activities taken from the approved lists:

1) one from the ‘individual’ list eg table-tennis, badminton, athletics

2) one from the ‘team’ list eg football, basketball, netball

3) one other from either list.

Component 05: Analysis and evaluation of performance (AEP) (10%)

Students are required to demonstrate their ability to analyse and evaluate their own or a peers practical performance to produce an action plan for improvement.

A: Analyse aspects of personal performance in a practical activity (eg football)

B: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the performance

C: Produce an action plan which aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of the performance.

How will I be assessed?

ComponentMarksDurationWeightinginsert text

Physical factors affecting performance (01)

601 hour30%

Socio-cultural issues and sports psychology (02)

601 hour30%

Practical performances (04)

Non-exam assessment

Where can GCSE pE Lead to?

This course will prepare learners for the further study of PE or sports science courses as well as other related subject areas such as psychology, sociology and biology. Learners will also develop the transferable skills that are in demand by further education, Higher Education and employers in all sectors of industry.

This course will create confident, independent thinkers and effective decision makers who can operate effectively as individuals or as part of a team – all skills that will enable them to stand out and effectively promote themselves as they progress through life.

This qualification can take you to sporting career choices such as a PE teacher, sports coach, fitness instructor and sports analyst. However, many of the topics that you learn about can be linked to other career choices.

For example:

  • Anatomy & physiology links to physiotherapy.
  • Commercialisation in sport links to careers in the media.
  • Diet & nutrition links to working as a nutritionist.
  • Goal setting & motivation links to psychology.