Physical Education

Physical Education is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 4. Schools must offer access to at least one course that leads to a qualification in this Area of Learning.

The Department of Education recommends that schools should provide pupils with at least two hours of curricular Physical Education each week.

Statutory Statements of Requirement

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • plan and participate in a regular, frequent and balanced programme of physical activity that:
    • develops their interests and talents;
    • extends their knowledge, understanding and skills; and
    • contributes to, and helps sustain, a healthy and active lifestyle;
  • evaluate their own performances and that of others;
  • recognise and manage risk and apply safe principles and procedures before, during and after physical activity;
  • experience and understand different roles within a range of physical activities; and
  • know how to access sporting and recreational opportunities in the local and wider community.

For further details, see the Physical Education Non-Statutory Guidance for Key Stage 4.

Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities

Pupils must have opportunities to develop the Cross-Curricular Skills of Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT, and the Other Skills through Physical Education.


School Boards of Governors should decide if their pupils must study for a qualification in Physical Education.

We provide a range of qualifications that build on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through this Area of Learning. These include:


For qualifications queries, contact:

For curriculum queries, contact: