Physical activity areas in LCPE

In Leaving Certificate Physical Education, there are six physical activity areas:

  • Aquatics
  • Athletics
  • Artistic and aesthetic activities
  • Adventure activities
  • Games
  • Personal exercise and fitness.

Learners study three physical activities, each one chosen from a different physical activity area. In each physical activity, learners aim to

  • develop the standard of their performance in the three selected physical activities
  • be creative in their personal performance as an individual performer and/or as a member of a team/group
  • be consistent in the quality of their performance.

As learners improve their overall performance in the selected physical activities, they should be able to demonstrate quality performance in a broad range of skills and techniques outlined for the different activities. In the performance assessment for LCPE every learner will be required to perform in one of the three selected physical activities.


Adventure activities  

Adventure activities are individual and co-operative activities that take place in a challenging environment, usually outdoors, in which elements that cannot be fully controlled, influence the selection and use of skills and strategies to attain set goals. There is a particular emphasis on interpersonal skills and reflection on learning.

Learners may choose one of the following activities:

  • Orienteering

  • Canoeing/Kayaking

  • Rock-climbing

  • Sailing

  • Rowing/Sculling

Learners are required to show evidence of their capacity to perform the following skills and techniques in the selected adventure activity:

  • Orienteering

  • Map-reading

  • Pacing skills

  • Navigation skills

  • Route-planning

  • Adhering to safe-practice procedures

  • Demonstrating respect for the environment

Kayaking (Moving/white water)

  • Launching and landing—at low wall/bank

  • Paddling—forwards, backwards, stopping, sweep and reverse sweep strokes, edging, stern rudder, ferry glide and reverse ferry glide

  • Breaking in and out of a current: into eddy—bow rudder/low brace and no brace; from eddy—low brace, bow rudder

  • Negotiating and use of currents and water features including stoppers, standing, waves, whirlpools and green water

  • Capsize drill, Eskimo roll, self-rescue and recover

  • Two advanced/group skills from capsize and rescue, (self and with rope), e.g. combat roll, high cross, hanging draw

Kayaking (Inland flat water/coastal)

  • Launching and landing—at low wall/bank

  • Paddling—forwards, backwards, stopping, sweep and reverse sweep strokes (static and moving) stern rudder, bow rudder, figure of 8 course (forward and backwards) ferry glide and reverse ferry glide

  • Draw strokes and support strokes—draw strokes/sculling draw, sculling for support

  • Capsize drill, rolls, self-rescue and recovery

  • Deep water rescues—swimmer to boat/X-rescue, rafting

Rock-climbing (Outdoors or indoor climbing wall: single pitch)

  • Basic knots

  • Ability to use equipment and implement safe procedures

  • Correct use of climbing calls and communication

  • Climbing bottom and top rope (single and multiple anchors), rope management, belaying, hand/finger/foot jams, 3-point and/or correct use of 2-point contact points, lay backing, undercling, bridging

  • Climbing overhang and/or mantle shelf

  • Traversing feet and hands

  • Abseiling straight demonstrating ability to lock off when collecting equipment part-way down

Sailing

  • Leaving/returning to windward shore

  • Leaving/returning to a leeward shore

  • Tacking/going about (upwind)

  • Gybing

  • Capsize drill and recovery

  • Sailing course up/downwind

Rowing/Sculling

  • Sculling strokes

  • Rowing on stroke side

  • Rowing on bow side

  • Paddling with square blades

  • Single stroke to hands away

Aquatics  

Aquatics—water-based activities that utilise swimming and/or diving skills and techniques for performance, water safety, or recreational purposes

Learners may choose one of the following activities:

  • Lifesaving
  • Survival swim
  • Two swimming strokes
  • Water-polo
  • Synchronised swimming

Learners are required to show evidence of their capacity to perform the following skills and techniques in the selected activity in aquatics:

  • Lifesaving
  • Entry into water/entries into unknown conditions
  • Strokes/propelling over a distance to casualty or with casualty
  • Life-saving kick/side stroke
  • Approaching casualty and manoeuvring a casualty when turning
  • Contact/non-contact tows using rigid/non-rigid aids/conserving energy/breath/heat
  • Two different types of rescue

Survival swimming

  • Entry into water/entries into unknown conditions
  • Straddle/ability to submerge—feet first/head first/surface dive from water to depth
  • Floating—ability to maintain buoyancy with or without aid
  • Treading water
  • Strokes—stamina swimming in clothing maintaining form/propelling and sculling
  • Underwater swimming
  • Turns in distance swimming
  • Conserving energy/breath/heat—HELP position, HUDDLE position with at least two others

Two swimming strokes

  • Body position/alignment
  • Hand entry/hand glide position/hand exit position
  • Kick
  • Stroke co-ordination
  • Head action, breathing action
  • Starts, turns, finishes
  • Sprint and distance swimming

Water-polo

  • Passing/receiving skills(various)

  • Shooting skills (various)

  • Moving with the ball

  • Moving free

  • Marking/intercepting skills

Synchronised swimming

  • Back layout, tuck position

  • Front layout, front pike

  • Back pike, ballet leg

  • Fishtail, flamingo and bent knee vertical

  • Dolphin arch, surface arch, split walk over, front

  • Duet or trio performance including combinations of these and other synchronised swimming movements

 

Artistic and aesthetic movement  

Artistic activities provide learners with opportunities to experience creative crafting and performance of activities which involve imaginative combinations of skills, techniques and/or movements in the appropriate style of the event. Aesthetic activities provide learners with opportunities to demonstrate their appreciation of the qualities of the movement and the expressive abilities of the performers. Learners demonstrate this by adopting aesthetic criteria in planning for, performing and evaluating the activity. 

Learners may choose one activity from either gymnastic or dance options.

Gymnastics Dance
  • Artistic 
  • Rhythmic
  • Contemporary dance
  • Folk dance
  • Modern
  • Ballet
  • Jazz
  • Tap
  • Ethnic
  • Traditional
Gymnastics
Learners will be required to show evidence of their capacity to perform the following skills and techniques in the selected gymnastic activity.

Artistic gymnastics

  • Jumps (minimum 2)—tuck/pike/straddle/180 degrees turn
  • Rolls (minimum 2)—forward/backwards/other
  • Balances (minimum 2)—handstand/headstand/arabesque/other
  • Weight transference (minimum 2)—cartwheel/round off/hand spring/back flip

Learners are expected to incorporate at least four of the following agilities in the short floor sequence

  • Backward roll to handstand
  • Handspring
  • Back flip
  • Front somersault
  • Hand stand ½ turn
  • One-handed cartwheel
  • Back somersault
  • Back/forward walkovers.

Learners are required to demonstrate proficiency in at least two vaults from the following:

  • Handspring
  • Short arm overswing
  • Optional vault of similar tariff (not through or straddle).

Rhythmic gymnastics
Learners should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the following skills and techniques in a short floor sequence:

  • Balances
  • Pivots/rolls
  • Splits
  • Hops/leaps/skips
  • Body waves/bends/circles/swings/turns.

Learners are required to set routines to music and use different pieces of apparatus from a ball, hoop, ribbon, rope or club.

Dance

Learners are required to perform an individual and group dance in which they demonstrate consideration of the following elements:

  • Technical ability: posture, alignment, co-ordination, balance, strength, flexibility, mobility and control.
  • Overall choreographic design includes consideration of the following: choreographic content - use of space, e.g. levels and pathways, timing and relationship to other dancers, choreographic construction - motif and variation, choreographic form – e.g. canon, unison, binary, rondo.
  • Dance style, e.g. contemporary, folk, modern, ballet, jazz, tap, ethnic, traditional.
  • Use of props and music.
  • Overall sense of performance including the ability to communicate artistically and aesthetically with an audience.

 

Athletics  

Athletics—running, jumping, throwing and walking events performed indoors or outdoors which are measurable in terms of the performer’s own ability but also against standards set by others’ achievements. In choosing athletics as one of the physical activity areas, learners are required to select one of the three categories:

  • Running
  • Throwing
  • Jumping.

The assessment of performance will focus on one activity within the chosen category. Learners are required to show evidence of their capacity to perform the skills and techniques in the selected activity, e.g. discus from the throwing category.

Learners may choose one activity from one of the following categories:

Running
  • Sprints
  • Middle distance
  • Long distance
  • Hurdles

 

  • Starts and finishes
  • Upper body action (head and arms)
  • Lower body action (legs)
  • Overall efficiency
Throwing
  • Shot-put
  • Discus
  • Javelin
  • Hammer

 

  • Grip, stance and preparation
  • Movement into throwing action
  • Release and follow through
  • Overall efficiency
Jumping
  • High jump
  • Long jump
  • Triple jump

 

  • Run up
  • Take off
  • Flight
  • Landing
  • Overall efficiency

 

Games  

Games—individual, pair or team games that require the use of activity-specific skills, game appreciation, decision-making, tactical knowledge and strategic thinking in pursuit of a defined goal. In choosing games as one of the physical activity areas, learners are required to study one of three categories:

  • Invasion
  • Striking/Fielding
  • Net/Wall.

The assessment of performance will focus on one activity within the chosen category, for example, Gaelic football in invasion games.

Learners may choose one activity from one of the following categories:   
Invasion games Gaelic football
Hurling/Camogie
Rugby Union
Soccer
Basketball
Hockey
Netball
Olympic handball
Net/Wall games Badminton
Tennis
Volleyball
Table tennis
Handball
Squash
Striking/Fielding games

Cricket

Softball
Rounders

Invasion games

 

Gaelic football

  • Handling (passing/receiving, fielding, hand pass, pick up)
  • Tackling/intercepting (challenging, front, shoulder, displacing, blocking)
  • Running/moving with the ball (soloing, toe to hand, dummying, dribbling, side-step, swerve, change of pace)
  • Kicking (hand, ground, instep/drop, driven, clearance, return to play)
  • Shooting (long, short, 45’s)

Hurling/Camogie

  • Handling (passing/receiving, fielding, hand pass, pick up)
  • Tackling/intercepting (challenging, front, shoulder, displacing, blocking)
  • Running/moving with the ball (soloing, pick up, dummying, dribbling, side-step, swerve, change of pace)
  • Hitting (hand, ground, in the air, drop, clearance)
  • Shooting (long, short, 65’s)

Rugby Union

  • Handling (passing/receiving, long/short, stationary/run, high/low, pick up from ground, quick spin, diving, switch)
  • Tackling/intercepting (front, rear, side, smother)
  • Retaining ball in maul
  • Retaining possession on ground in maul
  • Running with the ball (swerve, side-step, dummy, change of pace)
Basketball
  • Passing/receiving (handling, chest, bounce, side, overhead, running, stationary)
  • Dribbling/moving with the ball (both hands, change of pace, reverse)
  • Shooting (L/R, lay ups, driving)
  • Shooting (set, jump, 3 point)
  • Marking/intercepting (1v1, against ball handler, rebounding)
  • Footwork
Soccer
Outfield
  • Passing/receiving/control (short, long, ground, lofted, chip, both feet)
  • Dribbling/moving with the ball (both feet)
  • Shooting (short, long, volley, half volley)
  • Heading – defence and attack
  • Tackling/jockeying/closing down/intercepting

Goal keeping

  • Receiving/distributing
  • Kicking–from hand/dead ball
  • Shot-stopping (high/low)
  • Taking ball at the feet
  • Taking high crosses/punching
Hockey
Outfield
  • Passing/receiving/control (push, stopping, short, long, slap, hitting, reverse, L/R)
  • Dribbling/moving with ball open/reverse/change of pace
  • Flicking – short/long, high/low, penalties
  • Shooting (L/R circle, close, distance)
  • Tackling/jockeying/closing down/intercepting
Goal keeping
  • Receiving/distributing (both feet)
  • Defending short corners
  • Saving penalty flicks
  • Shot stopping (high/low, edge of circle)
  • Sliding tackling on attacking player
Netball
  • Passing/receiving/control (one/two-handed, shoulder, lob, bounce, running, chest pass)
  • Footwork (one/two foot landings, pivot)
  • Shooting- close/distance/run (one/two handed, forward/backward, step shots)
  • Moving free (dodge/change of pace)
  • Marking/intercepting/rebounding
Olympic handball
  • Passing/receiving/control (one/two-handed catch at various heights –stationary and on the move)
  • Footwork (one/two foot landings, pivot)
  • Shooting- close/distance/run (one-handed, jump, penalty)
  • Moving with the ball
  • Marking/jockeying/intercepting
  • Moving free (dodge/change of pace)
Net/Wall games  

Badminton

  • Service (high/low)
  • Net play (forehand/backhand)
  • Clears (forehand/backhand)
  • Drop shots
  • Smash 

Tennis 

  • Service (variations)
  • Drives (forehand/backhand)
  • Volleys (forehand/backhand)
  • Lob
  • Smash 

Table tennis

  • Service (forehand/backhand variations)
  • Drives (forehand/backhand)
  • Push (forehand/backhand)
  • Block
  • Smash 

Volleyball

  • Service (under/over arm, frontal, floating/side floating)
  • Volleying (set forward/backward)
  • Forearm pass/dig
  • Smash/spike
  • Blocking

 

Squash
  • Service (forehand/backhand variations)
  • Drives (forehand/backhand)
  • Volleys (forehand/backhand)
  • Boasts
  • Lob
Handball (60 x 30, 40 x 20)
  • Underarm stroke            
  • Overhand stroke
  • Back wall shot                         
  • Straight hit from short line
  • Fly shot                              
  • Side-arm stroke (40 x 20 only)
  • Serve
Striking/Fielding games  
Cricket
  • Batting (straight/on/off-drive, forward/back
  • Batting (cut/pull/glance)
  • Bowling (medium or fast or spin, line/length
  • Fielding–close
  • Fielding–deep

Softball/Rounders

  • Catching/receiving/throwing (various)
  • Hitting/striking/batting
  • Pitching/bowling (various) (medium, fast, swerve, spin, line/length)
  • Fielding on base/close
  • Fielding deep/outfield

 

Personal exercise and fitness activities  

Personal exercise and fitness—active and purposeful participation in a personally-designed exercise and fitness programme that reflect personal interests, goals and principles of training.

Learners may choose one method of aerobic training and one other conditioning and resistance activity.

Aerobic training    
Continuous training
  • Constant intensity
  • Purpose
  • FITT formula
  • Intermediate slow distance (20-60mins)
  • Long slow distance (>60mins)
Interval training
  • Readiness
  • Work: recovery ratios
  • Interval duration
  • FITT formula
Fartlek training
  • Readiness
  • Terrain
  • Interval duration
  • FITT formula
Aerobics/Step aerobics
  • Technical description of skills
  • Routine
  • Transition
  • Timing and rhythm
  • Training zones
  • FITT formula
Spinning
  • Spinning techniques
  • Workout intensity
  • Session design
  • Training zones
  • FITT formula
Indoor rowing
  • Time
  • Distance
  • Targets
  • Resistance
  • Session design
One of the following conditioning and resistance activities :    
Weight training
Upper extremity pushing
  • Pressing
  • Extensions
Upper extremity pulling
  • Rows
  • Curls
Lower extremity exercises
  • Squats
  • Lunges
Core stability
  • Relaxation and breathing
  • Control
  • Routine
  • Alignment
  • Flow
Circuit training
Exercises specific to:
  • Themes
  • Equipment
  • Work-recovery intervals

Learners are expected to demonstrate the ability to apply the following aspects to each method of training:

  • Principles of training
    • Readiness
    • Specificity
    • Progression
    • Overload
    • Rest/recovery
  • Training zones
  • Thresholds
  • Work-recovery intervals
  • Warm-up/Cool-down.

Learners are required to show evidence of their capacity to perform elements of a personal exercise and fitness programme designed to enhance either performance in a physical activity or health-related physical fitness. The performance should include:

  • Five-minute warm up including the necessary elements of a warm-up.
  • Fifteen-minute development section: this section would include a cardiovascular section and a muscular strength and endurance section. The development section could include a circuit format.
  • Five-minute cool down including the necessary elements of a cool down.

Learners are required to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of relevant progressions and adaptations and safe practice in the selected activities.