General Information

During the course, GCSE lessons will be divided into theory and practical classes.  This will be four theory lessons in Year 10, and two practical lessons.  From the January in Year 11, all lessons will be theory lessons.  In the theory lessons, pupils will be introduced to concepts including sports psychology, applied anatomy and physiology, biomechanics and sports performance data analysis.  Pupils will be taught these concepts through both their theory lessons and practical activities. Pupils will be covering different practical sports during Year 10 and their teacher will be observing and assessing them as performers continually over the year.

What will I need to succeed?

  • Pupils must be regular and accomplished sports people, with a good record of participation at Key Stage 3 and extra-curricular, and must be involved in competitive sport
  • Pupils must be a good standard in at least one team sport and one individual sport
  • Pupils will need to be competent in subjects such as English, Science and Maths due to the in depth topics being covered
  • Pupils should have a love of sport and keep regularly updated on global sports issues
  • Pupils must have completed the pre-GCSE PE course in Year 9

Expected Subject Content

The subject content will include both theory and practical sessions. The structure of the curriculum includes the following areas:

Theory (60% of the final grade)

  • Fitness and body systems including structure and functions of the skeleton, the respiratory system, energy systems and planes and axes of movement.
  • Physical training including the relationship between health and fitness, components of fitness, the principles of training and the long term adaptations to exercise.
  • Use of data including data analysis, data collection, data interpretation and evaluation of statistical data.
  • Health, fitness and well-being including physical, social and emotional health within sport, the impact of fitness, diet/nutrition and the impact of exercise on lifestyle.
  • Sport psychology including classification of skill and skill learning, SMART targets to improve performance, guidance and feedback and mental preparation.
  • Socio-cultural influences including engagement patterns of different social groups, commercialisation of sport, data analysis of groups and ethical issues in sport.


Practical (40% of the final grade)

Pupils will be assessed in three activities in the role of performer in the following elements:

  • applying appropriate technique(s);
  • applying appropriate decision making skills, strategies and tactics;
  • demonstrating ideas and problem solving solutions in spontaneous and pre-determined ways whilst under pressure;
  • demonstrating appropriate levels of physical ability (e.g. coordination) and fitness;
  • demonstrating their ability to control physiological and psychological parameters (e.g. aggression) to facilitate successful performance;
  • adhering to ‘rules’, health and safety guidelines, and considering appropriate risk management strategies;
  • analysing and evaluating performance to bring about personal improvement.

Expected Assessment Requirements (1-9 Grades)

The assessment will be split between a practical assessment and two written theory examinations (two papers lasting 1 hour 15 minutes each) at the end of Year 11.

The written theory examination will contribute 60% towards the final grade.  The two exams will incorporate the various topics we cover over 15 units of study.  Each paper is worth 78 marks.  The papers include multiple choice, short answer questions, data analysis tasks and two long answer questions each.

The practical assessment is scored out of 100 marks.  Pupils will put forward three sport assessments and one piece of coursework.  Each sport is assessed on a pupil’s skill level (scored out of 10) and their ability to use skill/techniques/tactics in game contexts (scored out of 15 marks).  The coursework is in the form of an analysis and is worth 25 marks.

What careers it can lead to after leaving Swanmore College

This course can lead on to studying Physical Education subjects at college, normally in the form of A levels.  This can then allow you to move onto University and study specific areas within sport at a degree level.

Possible careers within this route include sports scientists, sports biomechanics, PE teaching and lecturing, sports psychologists, sports medicine, data analysts, and performance analysts.

OCR Cambridge Nationals Sports Studies Level 1/2

General Information

The Cambridge Nationals Sport Studies takes a more sector-based focus, whilst also encompassing some core sport/Physical Education themes. It is a more practical/hands on qualification, and has a larger coursework focus, with a lesser focus on final exams.  Pupils will have the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge about different types of sport and physical activity, skills development and sports leadership to their own practical performance. They will learn about contemporary issues in sport such as funding, participation, ethics and role models, and major sporting events. Pupils will develop an appreciation of the importance of sport locally and nationally, different ways of being involved in sport and how this shapes the sports industry.

What will I need to succeed?

  • Pupils must have a good record of participation at Key Stage 3 and extra-curricular, and must be involved in competitive sport
  • Pupils should have a love of sport and keep regularly updated on global sports issues as these are regularly discussed in lessons
  • Pupils must be determined and resilient, as the course contains 60% coursework

Expected Subject Content

This course is divided into three units:

  • R184 Contemporary Issues in Sport (Exam)
  • R185 Performance and Leadership in Sport Activities (Coursework + Practical)
  • R187 Increasing Awareness of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities (Coursework + Practical)

R184 – Theoretical Examination (40% of the final grade)

This test will be based on a theoretical unit on the topics of contemporary issues in sport (R184).  This unit will be taught in lessons throughout Year 11, with the exam being sat at the end of the year, lasting 1 hour. Pupils will undertake regular in class assessments to monitor their progress.

By completing this unit, you will understand a range of topical and contemporary issues in sport, including learning about participation levels and barriers to completing sporting activities. You will also learn how participation is impacted by the promotion of values and ethical behaviour, about the role of high-profile sporting events, the role of national governing bodies and how technology is used in within sport. Topics include:

  • Issues which affect participation in sport
  • The role of sport in promoting values
  • The implications of hosting a major sporting event for a city or country
  • The role National Governing Bodies (NGBs) play in the development of their sport
  • The use of technology in sport


R185 / R187 – Coursework + Practical (60% of the final grade)

Pupils will be taught two additional units that all require an element of coursework and practical (R185 and R187).  The coursework element has a more hands on approach, with the content for it delivered in a more practical way.  Pupils will develop a portfolio of evidence that is completed over the two years, contributing to their overall course grade.

R185 – In this unit you will have an opportunity to develop your skills both as a performer in two different sporting activities, and as a leader, developing a range of transferable skills. You will work both independently and as part of a team, including communicating with team mates as well as being in front of an audience when you perform. You will perform under pressure, both as a participant and as a leader, and will use your initiative to solve problems and make decisions. Finally, you will deal with rapidly changing conditions and situations. Topics include:

  • Key components of performance
  • Applying practice methods to support improvement in a sporting activity
  • Organising and planning a sports activity session
  • Leading a sports activity session
  • Reviewing your own performance in planning and leading a sports activity session

R187 – In this unit you will understand how to find out information about what opportunities there are in your local area as well as nationally in the UK for all different types of outdoor/adventurous activities. You will learn how to enjoy the activities safely by finding out what equipment, clothing, facilities and technology you need, as well as completing planning to help keep you safe. Topics include:

  • Provision for different types of outdoor and adventurous activities in the UK
  • Equipment, clothing and safety aspects of participating in outdoor and adventurous activities
  • Plan for and be able to participate in an outdoor and adventurous activity
  • Evaluate participation in an outdoor and adventurous activity

The course is designed to be as practical as possible and can therefore be assessed through a wide variety of assessment methods, such as giving pupils the opportunity to lead activities in different sports, deliver presentations and act as coaches trying to improve performance.

Expected Assessment Requirements (1-9 Grades)

Pupils will need to complete every module and the relevant coursework linked to it.  Pupils will develop a portfolio of evidence which will allow them to complete the course with a Pass (4), Merit (5), Distinction (7) or Distinction* (9).  Their portfolio will include coursework which will be completed throughout the two years.

What careers it can lead to after leaving Swanmore College

This course can lead on to studying Physical Education subjects at college, with the greatest link coming in the form of Cambridge Technical Sports Studies Level 3, and A level PE.  This can then allow you to move onto University and study specific areas within sport at a degree level.

Jobs that can link to Cambridge Nationals include sports marketing, sports advertising, fitness instructors, sports coaches, sports journalism and reporting, sports development, and areas within the sports science industry.