Exercise & Sports Sciences

The Exercise & Sport Sciences Department (ESS) makes full use of the extensive indoor and outdoor fitness facilities available at the College to offer an exciting, modern approach to traditional physical education. The Department is split between the academic Sport Sciences, which are assessed externally at GCSE and A level, and the core ESS programme which runs across two years in the Shell and Remove. Pupils’ developing athleticism is analysed throughout the two years of the core ESS programme as evidence of their individual successes, with four separate measurement points (the start and end of Michaelmas Term in Shell and the start of the Michaelmas and Summer Terms in Remove). This is supported by a varied programme in the Shell which covers functional movement development, ‘free flow’ (a contextual approach to traditional gymnastic principles), track and field athletics, training methods and swimming. In the Remove, the fundamental movement skills developed in the Shell are put into practice through a range of activities, which then transition to personal choices in exercise in preparation for ‘graduation’ from the two-year compulsory programme. These choices include nutrition, wellness activities and designing personal training programmes.

Lessons are expertly delivered by our highly qualified teaching staff, each bringing their own unique experiences and styles from their respective personal sporting careers. They are supported by graduate staff with backgrounds in high-level sport.

We have an appreciation for the history of our subject, but are forward thinking in our approach to its unique role in contemporary educational curriculums. We aim to develop a love for physical activity and the inherent health and well-being benefits it provides. Our varied programme aims to offer every pupil an opportunity to sample something which could ignite a lifelong passion.

The Sport Sciences arm of the Department delivers the GCSE and A level academic courses, which are both externally assessed by OCR.


  • Physical factors affecting performance (one-hour paper, 30%);
  • Socio-cultural factors and sports psychology (one-hour paper, 30%);
  • Performance in physical education (internally assessed and externally moderated, physical assessment, 30%): three practical activities which must combine either one team and two individual activities or two team and one individual activity;
  • Analysing and evaluating performance (internally assessed and externally moderated, coursework, 10%).

A level

  • Physiological factors affecting performance (two-hour paper, 30%);
  • Psychological factors affecting performance (one-hour paper, 20%);
  • Socio-cultural factors affecting performance (one-hour paper, 20%);
  • Performance in physical education (internally assessed and externally moderated, 15%): one practical activity assessed as either performer or coach;
  • Evaluation and analysis of performance for improvement (internally assessed and externally moderated, coursework, 15%).

The Exercise & Sport Sciences Department is inextricably linked to the co-curricular sport programme at the College. We are well placed as a team to support pupils who are seeking representative level performance, rehabilitation advice or routes into Sport Sciences professions via university.

In addition, the academic offering of the Department is supported by our ESS library, which is housed in the Southfields building and covers a breadth of sport, leadership, biographical and journalistic publications. We subscribe to PE Review magazine, which is available as an online resource on Firefly. Hard copies are housed in the Library.

We have a growing number of pupils applying to sport-based university courses in Sport Sciences, Sports Medicine, Physiotherapy and coaching. The Department has existing relationships with both Cardiff Metropolitan and Bath University for trips, talks and visits to foster curiosity in the academic arm of our subject.

The Department maintains an excellent relationship with SKRUM, a charity which uses sport to engage children while educating participants about HIV/AIDS, inspiring better leadership in communities, raising awareness of gender violence and promoting the benefits of school and education through rugby’s core values of respect, discipline, passion, solidarity and integrity.