St Columbanus' College

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Physical Education


Head Of Department: Miss C. McMahon

Members Of Staff: Mr K. Blaney,  Mrs K. McGimpsey

Welcome to St Columbanus’ College PE Department. Our primary aim is to educate our students in the importance of health and fitness so that they can make positive life choices. We also aim to develop skills and qualities such as teamwork, leadership and communication, through a wide range of physical and sporting activities. Every student is supported by staff to develop their self esteem so that they have the confidence to reach their full potential.


  • Sports hall
  • Gymnasium
  • Grass Football pitch
  • 2 All-Weather pitches (football/hockey/athletics)

Subject Information

Key Stage 3 & 4

PE is compulsory for all students in Key Stages 3 and 4. Year 8 and year 9 students are allocated 4 periods of PE a week. Year 10, 11 and 12 students are allocated 2 periods a week.The following activities are on offer:

Athletics Netball
Gymnastics Basketball
Dance Olympic handball
Swimming Hockey
Soccer Rugby
Badminton Rounders
Gaelic Football Health related physical education


Year 11/12 students who chose GCSE PE as an option are timetabled for 7 periods over the two week timetable. The GCSE course is an OCR Cambridge National in Sports Science and is very popular in the College. The course appeals to all ability levels especially to those who have a specific interest in the world of sport. The course builds upon the knowledge and skills acquired in Key Stage 3. GCSE PE is a demanding subject, requiring a high level of commitment, and should be considered by those students prepared to complete an external examination (25% of overall grade) at the end of year 11. Pupils will also complete three units of coursework by the end of year 12 worth 75% of the overall grade. The units studied are:

  • R041- Reducing the Risk of Sports Injuries
  • R042 – Applying the Principles of Training
  • R043 – The Body’s Response to Exercise
  • R045 – Sports Nutrition

More information and past paper examples can be found at the website below.

Level 3 BTEC subsidiary Diploma in Sport

The Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Sport is a 60-credit and 360-guided-learning-hour (GLH) qualification that consists of three mandatory units plus one mandatory specialist unit plus optional units that provide for a combined total of 60 credits. Students will study the following units in Year 13:

  • Principles of Anatomy and Physiology
  • The Physiology of fitness
  • Assessing Risk in Sport
  • Fitness Testing for Sport and Exercise

In Year 14 students will complete a further 3 units gaining a total of 30 more credits (a combined total of 60 credits to complete the qualification).These further 3 units are selected from a group of Optional units and are decided by the group and the course tutors in Year 13 in preparation for study in Year 14. At the end of 2 years students can achieve either PASS, MERIT or DISTINCTION. These equivalencies are as follows:

  • Distinction – grade A at GCE A level (120 UCAS points)
  • Merit – grade C at GCE A level (80 UCAS points)
  • Pass – grade E at GCE A level (40 UCAS points)


The Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Sport is assessed through the completion of set assignments within each individual unit. There are no terminal or modular examinations for the subject.