Physical Education

Teaching Staff

Mr R McKenna (Head of Boys’ PE/Games)  
Mrs H McIvor (Head of Girls’ PE/Games)
Miss L McAlpine




Teaching and Learning Aims

The physical education department organise programmes of study based on guidelines set down by the Northern Ireland Curriculum. This however is guided by a number of factors i.e. facilities available; class size; expertise of staff; time available; equipment etc.

Key Stage 3

In the junior school we hope to give an enjoyable and satisfying introduction to Physical Education. This is best achieved through the development of skills, which will ensure some success in the activity. Success should lead to worthwhile attitudes towards physical education. All pupils will have an opportunity to explore the basic skills and rules of a variety of games; learn to be safe in water; study different types of dance (national, social, aerobic etc.) as a means of keeping fit, leisure activity and exploring cultures; acquire basic athletic skills (running, throwing, jumping events); be given the opportunity to learn basic gymnastic skills and learn about the importance of warming up, cooling down and keeping fit.

In middle school pupils will continue to build on the knowledge skills and understanding acquired at KS3.They will experience a balanced programme of physical education, participate in a Health Related Fitness unit and a variety of activities from the following: Athletics, Games, Dance, Swimming, Gymnastics and Outdoor Education. Pupils are also encouraged to participate in clubs after school.

We also teach GCSE Physical Education giving those pupils interested an opportunity to take their interest in sport to a higher level.

GCSE Physical Education

The examination consists of 2 components:

Pupils should be either taking a significant part in a school sport by representing the school or be involved at a high level in a sporting activity (not available in school) outside school. Pupils will be required to engage in four sporting activities during the course and, as such, they should be proficient in a variety of sports.

This course should encourage candidates to:

  • become increasingly physically competent through being actively engaged in a range of physical activities
  • become increasingly effective in their performance in different types of physical activity and roles such as player/performer, leader and official
  • develop their ability to engage independently and successfully in the processes of different types of physical activity
  • develop and maintain their involvement in physical activity as part of a healthy active lifestyle.

The students will sit a written exam worth 40% in the Knowledge and Understanding for the Active Participant. The remaining 60% marked as controlled assessment, assessing their practical performance as The Active Participant in four different activities through six ‘ways of thinking’ and three key processes. These activities will be taken from the approved sports of which the school can facilitate and from the ‘ways of thinking’ groups:

Group 1 – Outwitting opponents as in Game Activities

Group 2 – Accurate replication of actions, phrases and sequences as in Gymnastic Activities

Group 3 – Exploring and communicating ideas, concepts and emotions as in Dance Activities

Group 4 – Performing at maximum levels in relation to speed, height, distance, strength or accuracy as in Athletic Activities

Group 5 – Identifying and solving problems to overcome challenges of an adventurous nature, as in Outdoor and Adventurous Activities

Group 6 – Exercising safely and effectively to improve health and well-being, as in Fitness and Health activities

The sports taken from the ‘Ways of thinking’ groups will be assessed through three key processes:

Key Process A – Developing skills in physical activity

Candidates should be able to:

  • improve the range, difficulty and quality of their skills and techniques
  • develop the consistency with which they use and perform skills with precision, control and fluency.

Key Process B – Being creative and making decisions

Candidates should be able to:

  • select and use tactics, strategies and compositional ideas imaginatively in complex and demanding situations
  • respond effectively and imaginatively to changing circumstances as they arise during a performance.

Key Process C – Evaluating and improving

Candidates should be able to analyse and judge the quality and effectiveness of performance and make informed decisions about how to improve the quality and effectiveness of their own or others' performances

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Sport

Students wishing to opt for this course should have attained a B grade in either GCSE PE or GCSE Biology or BB in Double Award Science. Students should also have a keen interest in a variety of sports. They should have participated in a school team or have reached a high level in a sport not provided for within school. It is anticipated that they would continue to take part in sports activities in the school to complement their studies in this subject. Students should also be competent in the use of ICT and have strong essay writing skills.

This BTEC Level 3 qualification in Sport will help you succeed in your future career within sport and the active leisure sector. The principles of sport that you will learn will underpin many aspects of professional life within the sector and reflect the enormous breadth and depth of the subject.

It will also provide a sound basis for progression into related pathways of Higher Education including HND, Foundation degree or First level Graduate programmes. The Subsidiary Diploma is a seven unit programme with direct equivalence to one A2. This course will be delivered in school by the Physical Education Staff.

Year 13

Core units

  • The principles of anatomy and physiology in sport
  • The physiology of fitness
  • Assessing risk in sport

Specialist unit

  • Fitness testing for sport and exercise

Year 14

Core units

  • Psychology for sports performance
  • Sports Coaching
  • Practical team sports

Further information can be found on the Edexcel website

Extra Curricular/Extended Learning Opportunities

We at Antrim Grammar offer a range of clubs:






Tag Rugby









The girl’s hockey teams are entered into the South Antrim League, North Antrim & Londonderry League, Senior Schools Cup, Junior Schools Cup and friendly matches throughout the year. The boy’s rugby teams are entered into XI Schools Cup, Medallion Shield and friendly matches throughout the year. The cricket teams play in friendly matches each week in the summer term. Pupils from all year groups are entered into the NEBESSA, Distract, Ulster’s and Irish School’s competition. The dancers get opportunities to perform in our School play or concerts. During work experience our pupils can go into other schools PE Department, physiotherapist department, leisure centres and Sports Councils. Each year the pupils are given an opportunity to be part of a Junior or Senior Hockey or Rugby Tour. The BTEC class are put through their First Aid Award and can choose from a variety of coaching qualifications.

Career Opportunities

Physical Education GCSE and BTEC is a theoretical and practical course of study, and can lead to careers in the varied fields of Sport and Leisure industries such as PE teachers, Physiotherapists, Sports Development Officers, Sports Coaches, Personal Trainers, Sports Management, Sports Technology, Sports Psychologist and Nutritionist.


Departmental Achievements

Olivia Bowes 1st in Long Jump in Ulster and Ireland in her age group.

Year 9 Hockey Squad won the South Antrim League, NEBESSA Year 9 Tournament and North Antrim and Derry Tournament.

Sam Gordon played for Ireland at his age group.

JJ McKee was selected for U17 Ulster Rugby Development Squad.

Hanna Morrison was selected for the Irish Olympic Development Squad.