Welcome to the Physical Education page

From better mental and physical health to greater career opportunities and social cohesion, movement and Physical Education benefits us from the day we’re born through to old age. If young people can have positive experiences of getting active, it can help build the foundations for an active life. Sport and physical activity make people happier and healthier, and movement is the lens through which we can make that happen. It does the same thing for our communities, with life-changing, sustainable benefits that have huge economic and social value.

From Year 7, our students will be building on the foundations of the primary curriculum, developing a deep understanding across a vast range of sports and physical activities. As well as performing, students are empowered to coach and lead groups of students with differing ability levels and at different stages of their secondary journey.

The Physical Education curriculum at The Vale Academy exposes all students to effective challenge so that they can achieve their potential within the Key stage 3 curriculum, supporting and underpinning those students going on to study one of our two courses on offer at Key stage 4 and Key stage 5.

Our Mission Statement 

“Realising potential through participation and performance”

We believe this can only be achieved through:

  • Clear targets and standards.
  • High quality teaching
  • High expectations of achievement levels and behaviour
  • Good curriculum organisation and planning
  • Well-defined system of assessment, recording and reporting which is shared with the students
  • An extensive extra-curricular programme giving equality of opportunity.


Our indoor facilities include a sports hall which has markings for four badminton courts, a full-sized basketball, netball and volleyball court and also an indoor hockey pitch.  Staff also have the use of a portable TV screen in order to enhance learning and four tablets that students and staff use to support assessments and feedback.  The sports hall also has three smaller sized basketball courts across the sports hall.  The sports hall can also be divided in to two teaching spaces when required.  The PE department also has a gymnasium which is used for dance and fitness.  

Our outdoor facilities include the field which in the winter has: two full sized football pitches, a 9 a’side football pitch, full size hockey pitch and two mini hockey pitches going across, two sets of grids for teaching and a full size rugby pitch and posts. In the summer this changes to a 200m athletics running track, three rounders pitches, two softball pitches, throwing areas for javelin, discus and shot putt and a cricket wicket with boundary markings.  Our outdoor facilities also include the MUGA which consists of 3 netball courts, and markings for 2 handball. Other facilities include 2 long jump and triple jump pitches. 

Within the PE area we are also fortunate to have a designated PE classroom for the teaching of the GCSE, Cambridge Technical in Sport and A-Level courses.    

Our Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Students in year 7 and year 8 have two hours of PE, while students in year 9 have one hour of PE each week. The lessons are taught in both mixed and single sex groups depending on the year group and the activities. Students follow content according to the National Curriculum, building on the foundations of the primary curriculum for Physical Education. Students can experience a balanced and varied curriculum allowing them to participate in a wide variety of activities such as netball, football, hockey, rugby, basketball, badminton, volleyball, handball, rounders, cricket, softball, dance, athletics, fitness and orienteering

Key Stage 4

In years 10 and year 11, students have one hour of core PE each week. Students continue to build on their skills and understanding from the activities studied in KS3 but are also introduced to new activities such as volleyball and table tennis.  In Year 11 there is more of a focus on ‘choice of activity’ by the students with the aim to encourage students to adopt more of a healthy, active lifestyle and to promote lifelong participation.

Examination Subjects

Key Stage 4

GCSE PE (OCR) and the Level 2 Cambridge Nationals are both offered within the options programme and are very popular choices with the students. Both courses have practical and theoretical elements and enable students to choose a route that suits them.

The GCSE PE option consists of 4 components of which two are examined: Physical factors affecting performance, Socio-cultural issues and sports psychology, Practical Performances, Analysis and Evaluation of Performance.

The level 2 Cambridge National is made of 1 examined unit, Contemporary Studies, and 3 coursework units: Developing Sports Skills, Sport Leadership and Working in the Sports Industry

Key Stage 5

Many students progress into the sixth form with an interest in PE so two routes are offered: the A-Level PE (OCR) and Level 3 Cambridge Technical in Sport.

A-Level PE includes the following components: Physiological factors affecting performance, Psychological factors affecting performance, Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport, Practical Performances and Evaluating and Analysing Performance for Improvement

The level 3 Cambridge Technical in Sport is offered as a Diploma (2 A-Level course) and consists of 11 units and the Extended Certificate (1 A-level course) which consists of 5 units.

As well as the examination subjects on offer, there are still opportunities for all students in the sixth form to take part in sport. This can include helping out at inter-house competitions, intra-school competitions, managing football teams and also representing the sixth form in one of its many teams. At present we have football and netball teams.

Extra Curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities include:
After school practices; 
Inter house competitions;
Friendly/match fixtures; 
Interschool competitions; 

The extra-curricular programme aims to:

  • Raise the standards of Physical Education and sport for all our students;
  • Develop the enjoyment of sport and physical activity at our academy;
  • Promote lifelong physical activity;
  • Establish contacts and shared interests with other schools and clubs within the local community;
  • To extend the curriculum beyond that offered in timetabled lessons;
  • To reinforce the work encountered within the timetabled lessons;
  • To allow students of different ages and ability to interact. 

Extracurricular activities / opportunities that we offer include: Netball; football; cross-country; rounders; hockey; rugby; athletics; cricket; basketball; badminton; softball; biathlon; handball; orienteering; sports leaders. 

We also offer reward trips to students who give up their time for the PE department and also for students who have excellent participation and engagement in lesson.  This also includes giving students the opportunity to work with specialist coaches after school.