OCR is introducing a more scientific approach to its new GCSE and AS/A Level PE qualifications, to reflect the increasing role of science in modern sport.
OCR’s draft qualifications, submitted today to Ofqual for accreditation, aim to give the next generation the knowledge of how to gain a competitive edge and boost practical performance in themselves and in others.
Key changes to OCR’s PE qualifications, for teaching from September 2016, include more emphasis on the anatomical, physiological and psychological factors that affect competitive performance, including the latest techniques for training smarter, not just harder. Students will also tackle gender and cultural barriers to fair and full participation in sport while exploring ethical issues such as the effects of commercialisation, illegal use of drugs and violence in sport.
At GCSE level, students will perform three sports in depth, choosing from specialist activities such as snowboarding, rock climbing, equestrian and rowing to timeless favourites like football, tennis, netball, cricket and rugby. Of the three, one must be an individual sport, one a team sport and one a choice of either. Disability sport choices include powerchair football, wheelchair basketball, polybat and boccia.
New topics for study at GCSE include an introduction to biomechanics, cardiovascular optimisation, plyometrics, high intensity interval training, mental preparation and other methods designed to maximise performance. A sharper focus on data collection, analysis and evaluation will encourage more effective, evidence-based approaches to performance measurement.
At AS and A Level, OCR’s proposed specifications include new features on the emergence of modern global sport and the role of technology both in improving performance and transforming sports entertainment. Within the practical component, AS/A Level students will have the option of performing one chosen sport in-depth or undertaking coaching as an option for detailed study.
Sara Mallett, subject specialist for PE at OCR said: “OCR’s new PE qualifications unashamedly strive for excellence. Whether students dream of captaining England’s women’s football team like Steph Houghton, winning a Paralympic gold medal like Jonnie Peacock or coaching the England rugby team to a World Cup victory, our new PE qualifications will boost their chances of success.”
Redevelopment of OCR’s PE specifications followed extensive consultation with teachers, lecturers from leading university sports departments and professional bodies including the Youth Sports Trust, Association for PE and Sport England who are all members of OCR’s forum.
For more on OCR’s draft PE GCSE specification, please visit the new PE GCSE qualification page.
For more on OCR’s draft PE A and AS Level specifications, please visit the new PE A and AS Level qualification page.