at Cockermouth School

Physical Education

The Physical Education Department aims for all students to have the opportunity to participate, understand and enjoy physical activity. Physical Education within the school curriculum helps to develop the ‘whole person’ in a unique way. Learning through physical activity encourages many personal and social skills that can be transferred across subjects and importantly to life outside of school. The department offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities, giving students a chance to improve, but also for inter-school, district and county representation.

Key Stage 3

Physical Education is taught twice a week to all pupils in Key Stage 3. We focus on developing skills and creating performance opportunities in a wide variety of aspects that include: invasion games, athletics, gymnastics, multiskills, health related fitness and bowling, striking and fielding games. Students are taught in both mixed ability and ability set groups of both mixed and single sex over the three years in Key Stage 3.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Exam Board – OCR (Course reference J587)

The specification that we follow for GCSE PE provided by OCR, provides our student with an exciting opportunity to begin to gain an understanding of PE and immerse themselves in the world of sport. The combination of the physical performance and academic challenge provides an exciting opportunity for students. 

The course provides them with the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills, including communication, interpreting and analysing data, as well as analysing and evaluating performances. They will learn through a range of different contexts why some people outperform others mentally and physically.  Students will delve into the ethical considerations behind the use of performance enhancing drugs and gain an understanding of leading a balanced lifestyles through a focus on diet and activity level.

Year 10

Component J587/01 – Physical factors effecting performance is mainly covered in Year 10.  Within this section students will explore the way parts of the human body function during physical activity and understand the adaptations which occur through diet and training.   They will develop their knowledge of training methods and how to optimise performance.  This section contributes to 30% of their overall grade and is assessed using a written exam at the end of the two years.

Year 11

Component J587/02 - Socio-cultural and Sports Psychology is mainly covered in Year 11.  Students will develop their knowledge of sports psychology theories, relating to their own learning and performance of physical skills.  Topics covered are energy usage in relation to diet, nutrition and hydration.  They will understand how sport impacts on society and patterns of participation within different social groups.  Students will understand Commercialisation of sport, including the influences of media and sponsorship. This section contributes to 30% of their overall grade and is assessed using a written exam at the end of the two years.

Throughout Year 10 and 11, students will also be continually assessed practically within various sporting situations.  This contributes to the Non-exam assessment (NEA), students will be assessed internally in THREE activities from a specific list (see link below).  This has to be one individual and a team/group activity, with the third being selected from either.  Activities are externally moderated at the end of the course and equate to 30% of the Non Exam Assessment. (GCSE Activity List for Physical Education).

Lastly, there is one written controlled assessment on Analysing and Evaluating a Performance (AEP).  This contributes to 10% of the Non Exam Assessment.  This is suggested to be completed when the relevant content has been sufficiently covered.  This is moderated externally at the end of the course.

Summary Brochure of the course has been supplied by OCR, this provided further insight into the assessment through each component and the skills the students will gain throughout the course. This can be found at

Link to the syllabus page is via

Outside the Classroom

We offer a varied and extensive extra-curricular programme for all the students. We have an inclusive ethos and encourage all students to attend the activities on offer to develop their skills. We also have an extensive fixture programme with local schools across a range of sports. For the main activities we offer as part of our curriculum we aim to run Inter-form competitions. In Year 7 these culminate with a Swimming Gala for the whole year group and Sports Day, which is attended by the whole school. Our department organises a number of trips to broaden the experiences of our students. In Year 8 students who regularly represent the school in netball, hockey, rugby and football are invited to attend our annual Sports Tour. Our department, alongisde staff from across the school are involved in running ski trips for KS3 and KS5, sailing and orienteering clubs.

The Sports Schedule is published every Friday and contains practice and fixture details for students and parents. It can be found on Firefly under the School Sport section of the Student Zone.