Physical Education

Physical Education

Physical Education is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It enables pupils to learn through movement so that they develop, extend and refine their skills in a range of movement contexts.

Pupils should take part in a balanced programme of Athletics, Games, Gymnastics and Swimming. The Department of Education recommends that schools should provide pupils with at least two hours of curricular Physical Education each week.

Schools are the most important context for promoting healthy lifestyles in pupils. Active, enjoyable and challenging Physical Education learning experiences encourage pupils to develop:

  • positive attitudes to and enjoyment of physical activity;
  • an awareness of the positive impact of physical activity on health and wellbeing; and
  • positive sporting behaviour and a sense of fair play.

Key Elements

The key elements that underpin the curriculum objectives are key issues for modern society. The statutory requirements for this Area of Learning make these key elements explicit.

For further details, see the Statutory Requirements for Physical Education at Key Stage 3 and the Key Stage 3 Non-Statutory Guidance for Physical Education.

Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities

Pupils should have opportunities to develop their Cross-Curricular Skills of Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT, and their Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities through Physical Education.


For more information on Physical Education, contact: