Department | Physical Education2022-02-20T00:08:28+00:00

Department | Physical Education



Mr. G. Beggs
Head of Boys’ PE/Games
Mrs. J. Knox
Head of Girls’ PE/Games
Mr. G. Thompson

Subject Information

The Department will support, contribute and complement the aims of the school. This whole school approach will give every pupil at RS Armagh a consistent base from which to develop.

Every pupil will have access to Physical Education at RS Armagh and can only benefit from this. No barriers will be formed based on sex, race, religion, culture, or ability.

The Philosophy is that sport/physical activity is a choice for everyone. Pupils will be encouraged to develop their own abilities through a broad and balanced curriculum.

Success will be highlighted at the individual’s own level, thus allowing success being achievable to all.

Pupils will be challenged, through differentiation, in all three components of Physical Education i.e. Planning/Performing/Evaluating. This will create pupils, who can not only perform, but also analyse strengths and weaknesses, understand a variety of concepts and support others around them in different environments.

The National Curriculum will be met at both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. Sound progression will be made, therefore enabling pupils to increase their ability during their school career.

Assessment is carried out after each unit of work, and so a pupil can clearly see the progress they make during a Key Stage, with End of Key Stage Statements being written.

Clear targets can be set, so a pupil can work on their own particular area. This occurs across both Key Stages so pupils are aware of the need to develop.

There are many social aspects of child development, which can occur in any Physical Education lesson. It is important that, as a teacher, these areas of learning are challenged and examined by each pupil.

The Department will look to foster self-esteem and encourage pupils to understand the importance of morals, ethics and an appreciation of what you can, and cannot, do.

“No-one is perfect, some are closer than others, but there is always something you can do better than someone else, and in return, there is always something someone can do better than you.”

All pupils will have access to a very full and varied Extra-Curricular programme. This will be clearly displayed for all to see.

This will allow those pupils, who wish to develop their knowledge and skills to do so regularly. This will lead into more competitive aspects of each sport. However, pupils can still utilise this opportunity without feeling the need to compete.

Each pupil will be taught the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle through structured core programmes in Key Stage 3 and leading into more option choices by the end of Key Stage 4. The role of the Department is to foster each individual, so that when they come to make a choice it is an informed and educated one.

The objectives in Physical Education:

  • develop an understanding of the importance of exercise in maintaining a healthy life

  • develop a range of psycho-motor skills

  • maintain and increase physical mobility and flexibility

  • develop stamina and strength

  • develop understanding and appreciation of the purposes, forms and conventions of a selection of physical activities

  • develop the capacity to express ideas

  • develop the appreciation of the concepts of fair play, honest competition and good character

  • develop the ability to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of movement

  • develop the capacity to maintain interest and to persevere to achieve success

  • foster self-esteem through the acquisition of physical competence and poise

  • develop self-confidence through understanding the capabilities and limitation of oneself and others.

What skills will I gain from studying PE?

You’ll gain many valuable skills from studying physical education that will help you in other GCSE and A-level subjects as well as your future career. Some of the skills that you will develop include:

Communications skills

Many aspects of PE involves working in teams towards a common goal. Through playing team sports and problem solving with others, you’ll develop clear communication skills that will help you in the workplace. Every employer looks for candidates who are able to communicate well verbally and in writing.

Social skills

Physical education is a very social subject and can involve a lot of group work. You’ll learn how communicate and socialise with people in an effective way. When you start working, you’ll encounter people from a range of different backgrounds, each with different personalities. Studying PE will help you learn how to best communicate with people in a team in order to produce the best results.

Analysis and evaluation

At GCSE and A-Level, PE involves analysing your own and others’ performance while looking for ways it could be improved. This is a particularly useful skill to have in your career as you’ll often have to critique your own work and identify areas for improvement. If you work in management, you’ll also benefit from the soft skills that PE teaches and will learn how to deliver messages clearly and effectively.

Physical fitness

As a PE student, you’ll also benefit from being physically fit! Not only will this help you in the physical side of the subject itself, but it’ll also improve your general well-being. Doing regular exercise is proven to relieve stress and promote good mental health.

Facilities and Resources

The facilities available to the P.E. department are of a high standard. They comprise of a gymnasium, sports hall, two all-weather hockey pitches (with plans for an astro turf pitch) / 400m athletics track, three rugby pitches and training area / one cricket squares, a squash court, state of the art fitness suite and five tennis courts

Boys Physical Education

  • KS3 curriculum

Boys have 2 periods (70 minutes) of Physical Education per week. The activities covered consist of Basketball, Gymnastics, HR PE, Cricket, Athletics, Orienteering, Foot Golf and Games for Understanding. Further to this they have 3 periods of Games (105 minutes) which will involve Rugby and Cross country in terms 1 and 2 with term 3 being devoted to cricket, athletics and softball.

Girls Physical Education Activities

  • KS3 curriculum

Girls have 2 periods (70 minutes) of Physical Education per week and 3 periods of Games. Throughout the 3 years the activities covered are gymnastics, dance, health related PE, netball, badminton, volleyball, orienteering and athletics. In games time we focus on hockey, football, tennis and rounders.

KS4 – The pupils follow the CCEA Physical Education Examination. The main components of which are outlined below.


The theory curriculum includes the following areas of study: –

  • The body at work

  • Health and lifestyle decisions

  • The active leisure industry

  • Developing physical fitness for performance

  • Developing skilled performance


Controlled assessment- The practical elements require a high level of performance and consequently applicants for this course should have a strong sporting background, including representation on a school team or activity. One of these activities will be chosen by the participant to analyse their performance which is worth 12.5% of the overall marks.

The controlled assessment is worth 50% of the overall mark. It is internally assessed and externally moderated by CCEA.

There are 2 external examinations, 1 hour 15 minutes long and each worth 25% This examination is taken in summer of Year 12.


KS5– Pupils follow the CCEA GCE Sports Science and the Active Leisure Industry specification. AS and A2 each comprise two units. There are four units in all. The main aspects of which are outlined below.

Unit AS 1 develops students’ knowledge, understanding and skills involved in fitness and training. They administer a range of fitness tests and analyse the results. They devise a training programme and lead the sessions. This unit is internally assessed through a portfolio.

Unit AS 2 introduces students to key concepts in health, fitness and lifestyle and explores the relationships between them. They study nutrition for health and exercise as well as components of fitness. They also analyse the health of the nation compared with other European countries. This unit is assessed by a written examination of short and extended questions and stimulus response questions.

Unit A2 1 is designed to develop students’ higher level skills through greater depth, complexity, and application of knowledge and understanding. It is internally assessed and externally moderated through an internal assessment portfolio. This unit provides students with the opportunity to organise and run an active leisure event. A2 1 helps students to prepare for employment in this industry by giving them the opportunity to develop essential workplace business skills.

Unit A2 2 concentrates on examining the structure of the respiratory, circulatory, muscular and skeletal systems. Students learn about how these systems function during and after exercise, and at rest. They develop a knowledge and understanding of the structural apparatus of each system and discuss the functions. Students study how the acquisition of skills and the principles of learning are relevant to skilled performance. This unit is assessed by a synoptic written examination consisting of short and extended questions and stimulus response questions.

Further information can be found on the CCEA website at

Extra–curricular for Boys


Extra-Curricular Sports for Girls

(Activities on offer each year will depend on staff available)

What careers can I do with PE?

Physical education lends itself to a range of careers in sports and fitness as well as other industries that you may not have considered before. For example, did you know that many nutritionists, physical therapists and chiropractors have a degree in PE? Some careers that you could consider doing with PE include:

  • Sports science

  • PE teacher

  • Physiotherapist

  • Professional sportsperson

  • Sports coach/consultant

  • Sports policy at local and national level

  • Diet and fitness instructor

  • Personal trainer

What degrees and other qualifications do I need PE for?

If you want to specialise in coaching or teaching a specific sport, then there’s a chance that you’ll need to have a degree in physical education. If you plan to study Sports Science or Occupational Therapy, then have GCSE and A-level PE will certainly come in useful when applying to university. However, every institution is different and you should check the entry criteria with individual universities when applying for degree programmes.

What subjects go with physical education?

At GCSE and A-level, physicschemistry and biology go well with physical education and will be particularly useful when applying for jobs and university courses. If your school offers sports science or sports science as well as PE, then these subjects will also impress an employer or university.

  • Gareth Steenson – Exeter Chiefs

  • Tommy Bowe – Ulster/ Ireland/ British Lions

  • Paddy McAlister – Gloucester/ Connaught

  • Willie Faloon – Ulster/ Connaught

  • James Sandford – London Irish/ Cornish Pirates

  • Ali Birch – Ulster/ Rotherham

  • Gareth Robinson – Physiotherapist

  • Chris Black – Leeds Rhinos – Strength and Conditioning

  • Alex Speers (Ireland Ladies Hockey Captain, EYHL- Pegasus HC)

  • Emma Stewart (Ireland Ladies Hockey Team, EYHL- Ards HC)

  • Amy Stewart (Ireland Ladies Hockey Team- youngest capped player)

  • Hannah Bowe (Ireland Ladies Hockey Team)

  • Leah Ewart (Ireland Ladies Hockey Team, EYHL- UCD HC)

  • Linzi Hamilton (EYHL- Ards HC, Harelquins HC)

  • Vicky Irwin (Ulster Ladies Rugby)

Department Blog Posts

703, 2022

Visit from Conor Burns MP, Minister of State for Northern Ireland

By |March 7th, 2022|Categories: Agriculture, Announcements, Art & Design, Biology, Boarding, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, Engineering, English, Geography, Government & Politics, Health & Social Care, History, Home Economics, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Moving Image Art, Music, News, Physical Education, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Science, Sociology, Spanish, Technology & Design, Theatre Studies, Travel & Tourism|0 Comments

Visit from Conor Burns MP, Minister of State for Northern Ireland We were very pleased to host a visit on Friday by Rt. Hon. Conor Burns MP, Minister [...]

1402, 2022

Five RSA Teams through to respective semi-finals

By |February 14th, 2022|Categories: News, Physical Education|0 Comments

𝗙𝗜𝗩𝗘 𝗥𝗦𝗔 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠𝗦 𝗧𝗛𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛 𝗧𝗢 𝗥𝗘𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗖𝗧𝗜𝗩𝗘 𝗛𝗢𝗖𝗞𝗘𝗬 𝗦𝗘𝗠𝗜-𝗙𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗟𝗦 The Royal School Armagh has a proud history when it comes to school hockey, and this year is no different. The [...]

2408, 2021

Excellent Results at RSA

By |August 24th, 2021|Categories: Agriculture, Announcements, Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, Engineering, English, Geography, Government & Politics, Health & Social Care, History, Home Economics, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Moving Image Art, Music, News, Physical Education, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Science, Sociology, Spanish, Technology & Design, Theatre Studies, Travel & Tourism|0 Comments

Excellent Results at RSA The wait finally ended for pupils of The Royal School, Armagh as they collected their A Level and their GCSE results on Tuesday 10 and [...]

Incorrect slider name. Please make sure to use a valid slider slug.

Go to Top