Physical Education

The Physical Education Department at Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School delivers a broad and balanced programme which is designed to meet the needs of all pupils. We feel that our working unit is well experiences and compliments each other in its areas of expertise.

There are opportunities to have the experience if a range of sport during lesson times as well as getting involved in teams such as hockey, netball, swimming, cross country, badminton, gymnastics, dance, tennis, athletics, rounders and fitness. Pupils are encouraged to participate in as many sports as possible and will be given the opportunity and encourage to join the clubs outside of school.

We will support all our pupils in their efforts and encourage them to participate in and enjoy and healthy active lifestyle.

Lower School

Throughout Lower School, in addition to the core sports mentioned above, girls are also introduced to a wide range of team and individual sports which include badminton, gymnastics, volleyball, handball, table tennis and trampolining.

Girls are encouraged to attend lunchtime clubs to further their interest in these sports.


The GCSE course is designed for girls who enjoy PE and who would like to be rewarded for playing and analysing sports. Students learn about the principles and practices which lead to good performance as well as developing their own skills in four chosen practical activities.

Girls follow OCR’s course in Physical Education, normally taught in two practical and two theory lessons per week. A large number of practical activities can be chosen and pupils gain a basic grounding in some of the theoretical aspects students would come across at A-Level.

Assessment is by two written exams, each worth 30% of the total mark, while the remaining 40% involves assessment of performance in three sports and synoptic assessment.

Girls develop advanced skills and techniques, learn how to evaluate and improve performance, understand the physiological and psychological aspects of performance, the impact of physical activity on health and wellbeing, as well as the key socio-cultural influences that can affect involvement.

A Level

The A-Level PE course is taught by three subject specialist staff across the Senior Boys’ and Senior Girls’ schools.

The OCR specification puts an increased emphasis on Anatomy and Physiology and is well-suited to students with a genuine interest in sport who wish to study the theory behind the practical side of PE. The course is delivered through both theoretical and practical sessions, giving students the chance to directly observe and experience aspects of the content as they learn it.

Girls undertake a rigorous programme of academic study across a range of disciplines and topics including fluid mechanics, ethics and deviance in sport, muscle function and types of contractions, leadership, aggression and the emergence of the Olympic Games.

Students studying A Level Physical Education benefit from small class sizes with the use of our state of the art Ian Robinson Sports Centre, complete with its own teaching block. 30% of the course is based on a pupil’s own practical ability, so it is important they are actively engaged in a sport of their choice.

Assessment is by three exams covering physiological and psychological factors affecting performance, socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport and practical performance.

Students visit The Athlete Factory to experience how elite sports performers plan their training and take part in a university trip to see sports science in action.

A-Level Physical Education is particularly useful for those who may be considering a career in Physiotherapy, Sports Science or Sports Management.