Course Outline


The IGCSE Physical Education syllabus at GEMS Wesgreen International School aims to provide students with an application of advanced theoretical and practical physical education. Children assess their practical performance in many different roles and sports, including their ability to coach and referee. The blended approach of a number of disciplines allows students to explore curriculum areas in a practical manner.A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all learners to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. It provides opportunities for children to become physically confident in a way, which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.

Learning Outcomes

The syllabus provides learners with an encouragement to enjoy physical activity by providing an opportunity to take part in a range of physical activities and develop an understanding of effective and safe physical performance. This helps learners to develop an appreciation of the necessity for sound understanding of the principles and practices.


The aims of the Physical Education syllabus are to encourage and enable students to:

  • Explain the importance of exercise and physical fitness.
  • Analyze, interpret and evaluate information on exercise.
  • Know and understand that there are different types of exercise that provide resistance for muscles.
  • Select the appropriate types of exercise for balanced, healthy lifestyles and understand how this effects physical wellbeing.
  • Explain why we need to plan sufficient and appropriate physical activity to keep our bodies healthy and in good working order.
  • Analyze, interpret and evaluate information on the benefits of exercise.

Ongoing Objectives

Children learn how to explain how continuous steady-pace training, fartlek training, interval training and circuit training develop aerobic or anaerobic fitness. They develop their vocabulary so they cancan explain how isotonic weight training, circuit training and isometric training are used effectively to develop muscular power, muscular strength, muscular speed or muscular endurance. Children learn how to use static flexibility training, performed both actively and passively.  They apply the principles of training safely and effectively to workouts and training programmes, to develop fitness

In physical education, the national curriculum focusses on the skills to:

  • Develop an understanding of what is involved incontinuous steady-pace training.

  • Run and take part in fartlek training. 

  • Explore the benefits of interval training.

  • Explain the benefits of circuit training.

  • Experience how isotonic weight training can help develop fitness.

  • Understand how to improve static flexibility in training.

  • Perform ballistic and dynamic flexibility training.

  • How to use exercise to develop physical well-being.

  • Use different training methods to develop aerobic or anaerobic fitness, muscular power, muscular strength, muscular speed, muscular endurance or flexibility. 

Unit Overview 

Term 1

Unit 1-The Skeletal and Muscular System

Approximate length: 4 weeks

Children will develop knowledge about the skeleton and muscular system. They will learn the major bones in the human body and practice naming them. Children will practice classifying bones according to their type. They will learn the eight types of movements that occur at a joint. Children will understand how muscle’s work antagonistically.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • To outline the four functions of the skeleton.
  • To identify the three types of joints.
  • To know the locations and roles of the major muscles in the body.
  • To understand how muscles work in pairs to create movement.
  • To understand movement can go in at least two directions and know the names of each of these directions.
  • Identify the differences between slow and fast twitch fibres.

Unit 2 – Respiratory System

Approximate length: 4 weeks

Children will develop knowledge about the skeleton and muscular system. They will complete and label a diagram of their respiratory system that identifies the different parts and their functions. They will learn how to draw diagrams that show the pathway of air as it enters and leaves the bodyThey learn to identify sports that require an efficient respiratory system

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • To identify the different components of the respiratory system.
  • To understand the functions of the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles in normal breathing.
  • To outline the role and importance the mechanics of breathing.
  • To describe the effect of exercise on tidal volume, tidal capacity, residual volume and minute ventilations.

Unit 3 – Circulatory System

Approximate length: 4 weeks

Children will develop knowledge about the skeleton and muscular system. They will create a mind map for the components of blood and their link to the circulatory system. They will explain the circuit of blood and blood type. They will design a circuit training session using the structure of the heart and will investigate the effects of exercise on heart rate, stroke volume and cardiac output.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • To identify the different components of blood.
  • To understand the role of haemoglobin.
  • To describe the functions of the atria, ventricles and valves.
  • To explain the term of heart rate’, ‘stroke volume’ and ‘cardiac output’.

Unit 4 –Energy supply and the effect of exercise in the body

Approximate length: 4 weeks

Children will develop knowledge about the energy supply and the effect of exercise in the bodyThey will discover ways to recall the word equations for aerobic and anaerobic respiration. They will draw a flow chart to show where glucose comes from, how it is produced. They will make a list of sports and physical activities that depend on different types of respiration. They will interpret the graphs showing the effect of short-term exercise on heart rate and breathing rate and outline a training programme to increase the body’s tolerance of lactic acid.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • To describe the process that converts food to energy.
  • To know why the body experiences oxygen debt after strenuous exercise.
  • To identify the immediate effects of exercise on the body
  • To understand how blood is able to tolerate lactic acid.

Term 2

Programme of Study

Term 3

Unit 9 -Psychology

Approximate length: 4 weeks

Children will develop knowledge of sport psychology. They will develop an understanding and appreciation of the psychological aspects of sport and physical activity. This includes looking at how individuals approach activities, such as setting goals and motivation. It also deals with the pressure of competing, such as the effects of arousal and anxiety. They will investigate the use of relaxation techniques to reduce the negative effects of the limiting factorsChildren will apply the seven principles of SMARTER goal setting and suggestactivities that introvert and extroverts are best suited to, along with reasons for this.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • To understand the principles of SMARTER goal setting.

  • To suggest how to set SMARTER targets appropriate to the physical activity.

  • To define the term arousal.

  • To explain the benefits of relaxation techniques in reducing anxiety and arousal.


Unit 10 Social and cultural influences 

Approximate length: 4 weeks 

Children will to develop knowledge about Social and cultural influences in sport. They will develop their understanding of the social and cultural influences on sport and sporting performance. They will create a table of factors that influence people’s choice of recreational activities. Children will find examples of each of the factors that affect access to physical activities. They will explore the history of sport in terms of amateur and professional participation. They will assess the positive and negative arguments for introducing new technology into sport.

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • To explain the terms ’leisure’, ‘physical recreation’, ‘play’ and ‘sport’.

  • To outline the factors that influence the recreational activities people take part in.

  • To describe the factors that have influenced the growth of leisure activity.

  • To identify the factors that affect access to physical activity.

  • To describe the factors that affect participation in sports and physical activities.


Unit 11 Ethics and other issues

Approximate length: 4 weeks 

Children will develop knowledge about sporting ethics and other issues relating to sports activities. They will develop an understanding of the ethical influences on sport to enhance performance. Children will explore how to assess and minimise the risk involved in physical activity, and learn how to treat common injuries. Children will investigate the four types of performance enhancing drugs and their link to particular sports

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • To describe the different types of performance enhancing drugs and their effects on performance.

  • To understand the reasons why some performers use prohibited performance enhancing drugs.

  • To explain the disadvantages of using performance enhancing drugs.

  • To describe the negative consequences of drug scandals.

  • To identify and describe the differences between real and perceived risk.


Formative: Throughout each episode, lesson and within the IGCSE syllabus, feedback is maximised to focus children on exam technique and applying their learning coherently. Formative written feedback, in the copybooks and oral comments given immediately after learning, steer children to more formal examination based answers and mark schemes. High quality peer feedback is scaffolded and developed, so that children are analytical in their feedback. This can be further reflected on for self-assessment. Children are empowered to make decisions on the direction of their learning. They evaluate and analyse their performance in both practical and theory lessons and activities. The course also provides many opportunities to kinesthetically assess the theory work as well as the practical work. The standard of performance is assessed against the past paper mark schemes and success criteria from the IGCSE specification. This helps children improve on their performances as they progress across the course. They are also given the opportunity to use mechanical and technological sports apparatus, which provide a constant stream of immediate feedback for the tracking of assessment. Alongside assessed pieces of work, teachers will carry out ongoing formative assessments and give children regular formative feedback to help them improve.

Summative: Due to the nature of the subject and course, feedback is given at the end of each chapter and unit. As the IGCSE in Physical Education is split into 50% theory and 50% coursework, the children are assessed on physical activities from the different categories in the practical coursework guidelines. The department internally assesses the marks and then externally submits the marks through video evidence, to the exam board. Children will complete an end of chapter test every few weeks as well as mid-term tests, practical projects and an end of term exam.

Blending Learning

  • Sessions will follow a two week cycle. During week 1 students will be allowed in school for face to face. Those students at home will have a live video to follow along with.
  • During week 2 students will be set online work to be done.
  • Work will be completed online to ensure that marking can be done on work without excess exchange of books/tests between the teachers and students.
  • The curriculum will continue as usual through online and workbooks.
  • Practical assessments will be conducted within SPEA guidelines.
   100% Remote Learning   Blended Learning 
 Week 1
  • Live lesson available for viewing
  • Work will be set using GEMS Phoenix Classroom / Microsoft Teams and OneNote.
  • Support given periodically throughout the class.
  • Formative assessments through online quizzes and tests
  • Students will use a combination of in class work and electronic submissions to complete tasks.
  • Formative assessments through online quizzes and tests
 Week 2
  • Work will be set using GEMS Phoenix Classroom / Microsoft Teams and OneNote.
  • Formative assessments through online quizzes and tests
  • Work will be set using GEMS Phoenix Classroom / Microsoft Teams and OneNote.
  • Formative assessments through online quizzes and tests

Next Steps

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.