Physical education (PE)

ballPE is sometimes known as Games

BUT it's much more than that

It will include team and individual games and sports, for example, badminton, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rounders, rugby, tennis, athletics and gymnastics. 

But PE is so much more. Lessons will develop your skills and improve your performance in other competitive situatuions. If you are not keen on sport you may get chance to do other active things, like keep fit or Tai Chi.

Taking part in outdoor and adventurous activities that challenge you intellectually and physically is very much part of PE lessons. You may also learn how being active can help keep you happy and healthy. 

You'll be encouraged to take part in competitive sports and activities outside school through community links or sports clubs.

You'll learn:

  • how to use a range of tactics and strategies to help your chances of winning
  • different types of dance styles
  • team work, building on trust and developing skills to solve problems, either individually or as a group
  • how to analyse and question how you perform compared with the last time, showing how you've improved to achieve your personal best.

GCSEs - Level 1 and 2

Students 18plus 040GCSEs - General Certificate of Education

GCSEs are the qualifications most young people take in Years 10 and 11 - Key Stage 4. They are usually studied over two years but in some schools  GCSEs start in Year 9.
  • GCSEs are offered in a range of subjects such as, history, geography, French, design as well as English, maths and science. These are currently graded 9-1 or A*-G - see below for more about the grade changes.
  • Some schools offer Applied GCSEs in vocational subjects such as engineering, business, and health and social care. 
  • To start a GCSE you don’t usually need any qualifications.
  • A small number of additional marks will be awarded for spelling, punctuation and grammar for GCSE English literature, geography, history and religious studies. 

Having good grades in GCSEs will increase your career options, particularly if you can pass enough to reach Level 2 - 5 GCSEs at grade 9-4 or A*-C.

Tariq

Case study

Tariq

"You have to be really careful choosing your options because the subjects you pick that day, are the subjects you'll be doing for the remaining years in high school. Make sure your options are based on the subjects you see yourself making exceptional progress in and of course, the subjects you enjoy". Tariq (69kb PDF).

Read more from Tariq

There have been changes to GCSEs in England:

Students taking 'new' GCSEs will get one of nine grades - 9 to 1 (rather than one of eight grades A* to G) or they will be unclassified (U), which means they will not get a GCSE qualification.

  • The new grades have been introduced to show that GCSEs have been reformed and have more challenging content. The grades also allow better separation of results between students of different abilities.
  • Grade 9 is the highest grade. Fewer grade 9s will be awarded in each subject than were previously awarded A*s, rewarding exceptional performance. Other high-achieving students will get a grade 8 or 7.
  • Year 11 students who took English language, English literature and maths GCSEs in 2017 were awarded grades 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade.
  • A grade 4 (equivalent to a grade C) and above is a ‘standard pass’; this is the minimum level that students need to reach in English and maths, otherwise they will need to continue to study these subjects as part of their post-16 education or training. Many jobs will need a grade 4 or higher.
  • New GCSEs in other subjects were introduced in September 2016 for students in Year 10 taking exams in 2018.
  • Assessments for most new GCSE subjects are by exam only, which are taken at the end of the course.
  • The last GCSE changes will be introduced in September 2017 for students taking exams in 2019.
  • For measuring school performance, the Department of Education will publish the percentage of students achieving a grade 5 (‘strong pass’) and above.
  • There are different assessment/criteria for GCSEs in Wales and Northern Ireland.
See the grade comparison chart on GOV.UK

Look on GOV.UK for facts about the reforms, including a timetable of when individual subjects change.

Some schools offer:

  • The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) a set of subjects used by Government and universities to measure how well schools are doing. Subjects included in the EBacc are GCSEs in English, maths, geography or history, a language and two sciences – which can include computer science.
  • IGCSEs are internationally recognised and are similar to GCSEs. See Cambridge International Examinations for more information.

Adult Education offers one year part-time GCSEs in maths and English.

Look on GOV.UK for more information on the reforms to GCSEs and A levels.

Page updated August 2017

Entry Level Qualifications

Adult learnersEntry level qualifications are for...

  • anyone who has missed out at school
  • people with learning disabilities
  • people whose first language is not English
  • anyone who want to try something for the first time.


They are offered at three levels - Entry level 1, 2 and 3. After Entry level 3 you can move up to level 1 qualifications.

Entry level qualifications are offered in maths and English as well as vocational subjects such as construction, motor vehicle work, career planning or catering.

Students doing Entry Level qualifications do not take exams, they are assessed by course work or being observed doing practical tasks

Look on GOV.UK for what different qualification levels mean

Page updated November 2017

NVQs/VQs - Level 4 and above

Students getting their exam resultsNVQs/VQs - National Vocational Qualifications/Vocational Qualifications

NVQs/VQs are practical qualifications that show you can do a specific job. They are:

  • usually taken by people in work
  • offered in, for example: social care, retail, motor vehicle work, electrical installation, business administration, hairdressing, leisure and recreation, construction, engineering and childcare.

Entry qualifications vary. You may:

  • have to take an entry or selection test
  • need a level 3 or equivalent qualification to do a level 4 course.

Higher apprenticeships
involve doing a Level 4 NVQ. They are usually studied by apprentices who have completed their level 3 NVQ or students who have passed A levels and want an alternative to going to university.

Assessment is through practical tests and a range of evidence that shows you can complete work-related tasks well.

Look on GOV.UK for what different qualification levels mean.

 

Page updated November 2017

NVQs/VQs

Students 18plus 040NVQs/VQs - National Vocational Qualifications/Vocational Qualifications

NVQs/VQs are job-related qualifications that show you can do a specific job.

Popular ones include: social care, retail, motor vehicle work, electrical installation, business administration, hairdressing, leisure and recreation, construction, engineering and childcare.

NVQs/VQs are practical qualifications aimed at learning in the work place including for: 
  • apprentices
  • people in work
  • students on some vocational courses at college or school, such as catering or haidressing. 
  • at 16 you usually take an NVQ level 1, 2 or 3
  • intermediate apprentices work towards level 2 qualifications
  • advanced apprentices work towards level 3.

Entry qualifications vary. You may have to take an entry or selection test. For level 3 you may need GCSEs at grade 4/5 or grade C or equivalent.

Higher apprentices do a Level 4 NVQ and have usually completed their level 3 NVQ or passed A levels and are looking for an alternative to university.

Assessment is through practical tests and a range of evidence that shows you can complete work-related tasks well.

Look on GOV.UK for what different qualification levels mean.

 

Page updated November 2017

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