Physical Education

Course leaflets here

Physical Education Department

Physical Education courses provide the opportunity to develop talents in a wide range of competitive and individual activities, improve performance and build up fitness. Pupils learn how to judge their own performance and make improvements. The courses also aim to develop individual abilities and to enhance personal and social skills. Physical Education makes an important contribution to a balanced education and may help pupils to progress to further education or future employment.

In S1 and S2 all pupils follow the same core curriculum and develop skills across a range of activities and themes.

S1 classes start with an introductory unit from August to October where pupils attempt to improve their physical, personal and mental qualities through a number of different sports (Football, Rugby, Dodgeball, Rounders, Orienteering, Ultimate Frisbee etc). From October to April pupils remain indoors with the focus on Basketball, Swimming and Dance. All classes take part in Athletics from the beginning of term 4 (after the Easter holidays) until the change of timetable in June.

S2 classes start with a unit of ‘invasion games’ (Rugby, Hockey or Football) from August to October. From October to April pupils remain indoors with the focus on Gymnastics, Badminton and Hand-Eye Co-ordination activities (Volleyball, Handball, Dodgeball etc.). All classes take part in Athletics from the beginning of term 4 (after the Easter holidays) until the change of timetable in June.

All S3 and S4 pupils continue to participate in ‘Core PE’ for at least two periods per week. S3 pupils can also opt for an extra two periods of PE weekly which will see them achieve the SQA National 4 Physical Education Award (if successful).

All S5 and S6 pupils have the opportunity to participate in ‘Core PE’ for at least one period per week.

During this time S3-S6 pupils are afforded with much more choice and are encouraged to design a broad curriculum encompassing team and individual activities. The focus during ‘Core PE’ is to provide as much opportunities as possible for pupil engagement and enjoyment so that pupils are more likely to create a pathway for lifelong physical participation after they leave school.


Pupils in the Senior Phase can select PE as one of their certificate subjects and can also study other PE and sport-related courses.

  • National 5 Physical Education
  • Higher Physical Education
  • Exercise and Fitness Leadership
  • SFA Refereeing


Course Outline: National 5 Physical Education

Physical Education is a practical subject that develops your physical movement and performance skills. You will also learn how to reflect on and improve performance.

The course has two compulsory units. The ‘Performance Skills’ unit assesses your practical skills and is worth 50% of the overall award. The ‘Portfolio’ unit is a written assessment and is also worth 50% of the overall award (candidates need to be aware that a substantial amount of time will be spent developing knowledge and understanding within a classroom setting due to the nature of assessments).

Physical Education: Performance Skills

In this unit you will:

  • Develop your range of movement and performance skills through skills such as Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton & Gymnastics.
  • Learn how to select, use, demonstrate and adapt these skills
  • Develop consistency in control and fluency during movement to enable you to perform safely and effectively.


Physical Education: Portfolio

In this unit you will:

  • Develop your understanding of the factors that affect physical performance
  • Consider the effects of mental, emotional, social and physical factors on performance
  • Learn how to plan for, monitor, record and evaluate the process of personal performance.


Course Outline: Higher Physical Education

The course is made up of two units which are taught together:

Physical Education: Performance (60 hours)

Physical Education: Analysis and Development of Performance (60 hours)

The Performance unit allows candidates to take part in activities such as Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton and Gymnastics. Candidates are expected to participate in all activities. In terms of which activities candidates will be assessed in, the teacher will discuss which activities are best suited to the interests or talents of each pupil. Pupils will be assessed in two activities (making up 50% of the overall award).

At the same time as candidates work through the Performance unit, they will also be undertaking the Analysis and Development of Performance unit in which a variety of methods are used to look at how performance data is collected, identifying strengths and areas for improvement, planning and implementing a training programme and monitoring and evaluating any progress made. It is important the candidates are aware that progress and assessments may be recorded by the use of video, as well as through training diaries, questionnaires and checklists.


Course outline: Exercise and Fitness Leadership

The course consists of 3 units:

  • Circuit Training
  • Cardiovascular Training
  • Free Weight Training


Each unit must be passed to achieve an overall award. Assessments will be completed during the course of the year where pupils will be required to show their understanding of how the body works and how each method of training can be used to improve fitness levels.

Lessons will mainly take place within the PE department (Gym Halls and Fitness Suite) however classroom-based lessons will also feature, particularly during assessment preparations.

This course is suitable for those who wish to pursue a career in Personal Training, Sports Coaching or those who simply want to know more about how to develop their own fitness levels.

Previous experience in studying Physical Education or engaging in regular physical activity is not mandatory but will be useful.


Course outline: SFA Refereeing

The course consists of 2 units:

Scottish FA: Laws of the Game

Scottish FA: Practical Refereeing

Unit 1 is ‘Laws of the Game’, and covers the more factual aspects of the game.  Unit 2 is ‘Practical Refereeing’ and requires the pupils to apply theoretical knowledge to interpret situations.  This also includes a fitness test, report writing, and the opportunity to referee a match.

Unit 1:                          40 hours (12-15 hours teaching time)

Unit 2:                         15 hours theoretical.

5 hours practical tuition.

2 hours refereeing a football match.

Remaining time utilised to develop fitness and in preparation for formal assessment.


The pupils will gain core skills including:

  • Oral communication
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Working with others
  • Numeracy
  • Organisational skills


On completion of Unit 2 pupils will also receive a 1-year membership to their local refereeing association which gives them the opportunity to attend training and mix with the elite referees in Scotland.

We believe these skills will also enhance pupils’ curriculum vitae for any potential employer and will also reflect well on the school’s reputation.  Those pupils will also be able to referee school football matches and will make the school self-sufficient at organising football events with other schools.  This can then lead to enhancing participation in sport and increasing the physical activity levels of pupils at the school in line with government targets.