Overview: Course

The specification is structured around four strands: Physical activity for health and wellbeing; Games; Individual and team challenges; and Dance and gymnastics.

Strand 1: Physical activity for health and wellbeing  

This strand aims to build students’ understanding of and commitment to regular health-enhancing physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Students apply their learning as they design, implement and evaluate their own physical activity programme.

Strand 2: Games  

This strand focuses on building students’ competence and confidence in two of the following games categories: divided court, invasion and striking and fielding games. Students learn how to develop a range of transferable movement skills and competencies and the ways in which these can be used within and across the different games categories.

Strand 3: Individual and team challenges  

This strand focuses on building students’ competence and confidence in two of the following physical activity areas: orienteering and team challenges, aquatics and athletics.  Students are encouraged to set challenging goals for themselves individually and/or as part of a team and to reflect on the experience and progress made. In this strand, schools may choose an adventure activity other than orienteering if their location facilitates this choice.

Strand 4: Dance and gymnastics  

This strand aims to build students’ competency in and understanding of artistic and aesthetic movement, as they create and perform in a group for an audience in either gymnastics or dance.  The process of creating the dance or gymnastic movement sequence is seen as being equally important as the final performance. 

Each school will decide the order in which the strands are taught and, where appropriate, provide an equal time weighting for each strand to ensure a broad, balanced and developmentally appropriate programme covering all four strands of the course.

The Classroom-Based Assessment outlined below reflects the learning students undertake in this NCCA short course. Schools have the flexibility to adapt any NCCA short course to suit their particular needs and school context. If adapting the course, schools may also need to adapt the Classroom-Based Assessment, so that it reflects the learning their students undertook. Schools may also develop their own short course(s) and related Classroom-Based Assessment. Guidelines for schools who wish to develop their own short course(s) are available.

The learning outcomes of this course are broadly aligned with the level indicators for Level 3 of the National Framework of Qualifications (Appendix 1).

The PE short course has been designed for approximately 100 hours of student engagement.