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Physical Education is one of the fundamental cornerstones of every school’s education. Here at Downside School, our Physical Education teachers are advocates for maintaining all aspects of health, whether that be physical, mental, social or emotional. We take our responsibility for ensuring a life-long love of health extremely seriously, aiming to ensure it is considered a vital component of every pupil’s life. We focus on providing a broad spectrum of physical activity and sport that encourages pupils to discover their own love of physical activity.

We teach our love for health through predominantly physical sports and activities from First – Third Forms. Pupils develop physical confidence in the technical and tactical demands of a variety of activities, while developing the social and emotional skills required for success in every arena. In Fourth and Fifth Form, pupils study GCSE PE (AQA), where they discover and explore key areas of exercise and sports science. This includes, components such as anatomy and physiology, movement analysis, aspects of physical training, sports psychology, socio-cultural influences and wellbeing. Alongside this theoretical work, pupils will further develop physical activities of their choice, using performance analysis software to further their physical performances.

In Sixth Form, pupils can further their Physical Education through two courses. Either the A-Level PE (AQA) or BTEC Sport (Edexcel Pearson) courses. These are in-depth and diverse courses, designed for those that wish to truly examine sport studies in detail. Similar components and areas of exercise and sport science are studied in both courses. For more information the Sixth Form prospectus should be consulted.

Integrated into all theoretical study, pupils reflect and develop principals of study skills and how to learn. We believe the use of this knowledge is applicable to every career pathway and is given as much focus as the content of any exam syllabus we deliver.

Many pupils wish to further their love for physical education through studying GCSE PE, A-Level PE or BTEC Sport. Pupils following this route develop the knowledge and skills to prepare them for a broad range of career paths, including:

Nutrition Psychology
Sports Analytics Sports Media
Leisure Manager Sports Coaching
Outdoor Activities Instructors Sports Development
Lifestyle Advisor Sports Therapy

Head of Academic PE

Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.
John F. Kennedy
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