Is PE Compulsory in Years 7-11?

In GCSE, General by Think Student EditorLeave a Comment

Some students absolutely love PE and see it as a break from the lessons where they have to sit down and listen to teachers talk for hours. However, other students can’t think of anything worse than PE and can’t wait for it to be over. This results in questioning about whether participating in PE in school does ever really end. The answer to this question can sometimes make or break students, depending on their views!

PE is compulsory in Years 7 to 11, which are also known as the years of secondary school. Students having to participate in PE during these years was made compulsory by the government. This means that students must follow the national curriculum for PE during the Years 7 to 11. However, different aspects of PE are expected to be taught at the different key stages.

If you want to discover more about whether PE is compulsory or not and why this may be the case, check out the rest of this article!

Which years do students have to do PE at school?

Students have to do PE all the way from Reception in primary school to Year 11 in secondary school! Therefore, there is no way you can escape this aspect of the curriculum as a student aged 16 years old or under.

Regardless of whether you are a student, who just walks around the football field during your PE lessons, or one that gets actively involved and won’t stop moving until the hour is up, you will still have to do it! PE is compulsory for all students who are fit and well.

You can find out more about this if you check out this blog post from the government website.

Is PE compulsory for all students from Years 7 to 11?

It is true that there are some exceptions to the rule of PE being compulsory from Years 7 to 11. This is due to the fact that not all students have the ability to complete physical activity.

After all, some students may unfortunately have medical conditions which prevent them from being able to do physical activity for a prolonged period of time. This document from the government website, on page 22, explains how teachers should make reasonable adjustments to try and involve students as much as possible in physical activity.

However, if the student has evidence from a GP that they shouldn’t participate in any physical activity, then the school should respect this.

How many hours of PE is compulsory per week for Years 7 to 11?

Most secondary schools require students to complete at least two hours of PE per week. This is because the Department of Education recommends two hours, as this allows enough time for the development of new skills and increases physical wellbeing.

You can find out more about this if you check out this page from the Department of Education’s website. However, this doesn’t mean that your school won’t allow you to do more hours of PE!

For example, secondary schools tend to offer a range of after school clubs that allow students even more time to do sports!

What PE skills are compulsory to learn in PE during Years 7 to 11?

You may not be aware that there are specific things you have to be taught during your PE lessons!

The types of sports you have to participate it vary across the different key stages. However, they are all chosen specifically to make sure that students are always gaining skills and the level of difficulty of each physical activity is tailored to their age.

Between the Years 7 to 11 in secondary school, students pass through two key stages. These are known as key stage 3 and key stage 4. You can find out about all of the key stages in more detail if you check out this article from Think Student.

Different skills in PE are taught during these stages.

What skills are compulsory to learn in PE in key stage 3?

In key stage 3, students are expected to build on top on what they learnt in key stages 1 and 2, with a new set of criteria they have to fulfil. This page from the government website explains how students should become more confident and competent at sports during this stage.

At key stage 3, students will be taught how to strategize and use tactics to beat opponents during team games. Students will also be taught how to analyse their performances and be able to work out how they can do better!

What skills are compulsory to learn in PE in key stage 4?

For key stage 4, this page from the government website, also linked above, outlines what students are expected to learn and achieve. Students are expected to do even more complex and demanding activities which will really help them to be pushed out of their comfort zones!

The criteria are similar to key stage 3. However, students are expected to analyse their performances and present improvements across a variety of different physical activities and not just one!

Why is PE compulsory in Years 7 to 11?

The main reason why PE is essential to be taken by all students is because it is used to keep students fit and healthy. Some students may not be able to do sports after school hours.

Therefore, having periods of time in school allocated for students to do PE ensures that everyone will at least be getting some physical activity. This is essential for health, as exercise can reduce the risks of acquiring life-threatening diseases.

You can discover more about the benefits of exercise if you check out this page from the NHS website. This is the main benefit of PE, however there are also other pros to doing PE at school.

This is because it could help you to develop key skills. Not only can PE improve student’s fitness levels and skills, but it can also help with student’s mental health. You can discover more general benefits of PE if you check out this article from Teach Educator.

Can students do PE as a GCSE?

Students can definitely do PE as a GCSE! PE can be chosen at a GCSE when students choose their options, which is typically done in Year 9. You can discover more about GCSE options and what the process entails if you check out this article from Think Student.

PE at GCSE will include theory and physical learning. If you want to read a brief overview about what you would learn in GCSE PE, check out the AQA specification here on the AQA website.

Alternatively, the Pearson Edexcel specification is linked here on their website and the OCR specification here on the OCR website. GCSE PE is therefore not a compulsory GCSE subject.

However, if you do want to discover what the compulsory GCSE subjects actually are, check out this article from Think Student.

When can you drop PE at school?

As already discussed, PE is compulsory all the way from your first year of primary school to your last year of secondary school. This means that it is not essential for you to have to take part in PE during sixth form or college.

Therefore, you can only drop PE after you have completed secondary school! However, if you really don’t want to do this, you can always take PE as an A-Level subject.

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