090 64 53600

School Principal
Mr. Garrett Buckley
Deputy Principal

Ms. Stacey Guinan

Physical Education


The aim of Leaving Certificate Physical Education is to develop the learner’s capacity to become an informed, skilled, self-directed and reflective performer in physical education and physical activity in senior cycle and in their future life


The objectives of Leaving Certificate Physical Education are to develop the learner’s

  • performance in physical activity
  • ability to reflect on performance in physical activity
  • knowledge and understanding of the factors which influence performance and participation in physical activity
  • appreciation of the benefits of physical activity for lifelong health and wellbeing
  • capacity to undertake different roles in physical activities
  • understanding of the principles underlying ethical participation in physical activity
  • understanding of the role of physical activity and sport in the social and cultural life of Ireland

In common with other Leaving Certificate specifications, physical education is assessed at both Higher and Ordinary levels. Differentiation at the point of assessment is reflected in the structure of the examination tasks and in the nature of the challenges posed. The performance assessment is assessed at a common level.

Learners may choose to complete the physical activity project in one of following roles:

  • performer
  • coach/choreographer

The project should span an eight- to ten-week period and learners will be required to apply their learning from the specification to further develop their personal performance in their chosen role.

The physical activity project is completed in a digital format.

The four sections are:

1. Performance analysis

2. Identification of four performance goals

3. Evidence of ongoing training/practice and reflection

4. Concluding analysis.

Practical overview

Learners study three physical activities, each one chosen from a different physical activity area. In each physical activity, learners aim to

  • develop the standard of their performance in the three selected physical activities
  • be creative in their personal performance as an individual performer and/or as a member of a team/group
  • be consistent in the quality of their performance.

As learners improve their overall performance in the selected physical activities, they should be able to demonstrate quality performance in a broad range of skills and techniques outlined for the different activities. In the performance assessment for LCPE every learner will be required to perform in one of the three selected physical activities.

The performance is captured digitally by the learner and is captured in sessions designed to demonstrate the learner’s best personal performance in fully competitive and/or conditioned practices or performance settings. The performance assessment is at a common level and is assessed by the State Examinations Commission

Performing in a selected activity, learners are expected to:

  • show evidence of their capacity to select, apply and perform the skills and techniques outlined in the physical activity section in a conditioned practice, fully competitive version of the activity, or personal performance
  • demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the physical activity, including the ability to apply and adapt different tactics, strategies and compositional knowledge in response to different scenarios in conditioned or competitive environments
  • demonstrate knowledge and application of relevant rules, regulations and codes of practice in the chosen activity

To view a sample Performance Assessment video plese click the following link: https://www.examinations.ie/misc-doc/BI-EX-12744675.mp4


The three chosen physical activities include

1. Lifesaving (Aquatics)

2. Basketball (Games)

3. Orienteering (Adventure activities).

These three physical activities become the focus of teaching and learning in Leaving Certificate Physical Education. As students learn about the many factors that impact on participation and performance, they are required to apply their learning in a systematic way to improve their own performance in the three selected physical activities. This planning process is at the centre of assessment tasks in Leaving Certificate Physical Education. Learners choose one of the three selected physical activities being studied by their class for their performance assessment.

The theory exam will examine the following:

  • knowledge and understanding of the theoretical factors which affect participation and performance in physical activity and the relationships between them
  • learners’ concept and process knowledge in relation to the assessment criteria
  • learners’ engagement with a case study designed to require learners to apply their learning in a particular physical activity scenario
  • clarity and coherence in management of ideas and answers

For sample Exam papers please use the following links

 Ordinary Level: https://www.examinations.ie/misc-doc/EN-EX-37737078.pdf

Higher Level: https://www.examinations.ie/misc-doc/EN-EX-41886652.pdf

Theory overview

Strand 1 – Overview

Learning and improving skill and technique Analysing own technique and planning for improvementUnderstanding skilled performanceBiomechanical aspects of performance: planes, axes & leversUnderstanding movement: vectors, scalars, Newtons law, Stages of learning a new skillUnderstanding how skills are learned effectivelydesigning practice schedules incorporating the principles of effective practices and a variety of practice methods   Physical and psychological demands of performance Physical fitnesshealth-related fitness performance-related fitness psychological preparation for sportappropriate diet and nutrition for performanceDesigning fitness plansStrategies for supporting recoveryPsychological preparation – how confidence, anxiety, motivation, concentration and feedback impact on practice and performance and strategies to enhance theseSelf-assessment and planning for improvement
Structures, strategies, roles and conventions Roles and relationships in sportSafe practices in sportrules, roles, conventions and safe practice that pertain to their selected physical activities. the importance of affiliation, team building and responsible leadership as they work towards shared performance goalscarrying out non-playing roles, including that of coach/choreographer and officialtaking responsibility for running an activity and ensuring safe practice in the organisation of the activity Planning for optimum performance Personal performance analysisAppropriate methods of analysing performanceVideo and analysis softwareAesthetic and artistic considerationsPlanning for optimum performance

Strand 2 – Overview

All learners are required to study Topics 5 and 6—

Promoting physical activity personal, social and economic benefits of physical activity for health and wellbeingconcepts of physical activity I.e. play/leisure/recreation a physical activity biographysupports and barriers to physical activity participationanalysing physical activity participation patterns in a specific groupphysical activity promotionthe role of the national governing bodies at local, national and international levelsPathways to excellence in physical activity Ethics and fair play principles of ethical practiceimportance of integrity, respect, fairness and equity in sportCodes of ethicssportsmanship and gamesmanship and their influence on engagementPerformance enhancing drugs in sportAnti-doping laws and therapeutic exemptionsBest practice in use of supplements

Every two years, two of the following topics will be prescribed for each new cohort of Leaving Certificate students. These topics are:

7. Physical activity and inclusion Supports and barriers to physical activity participation for selected groups discrimination, stereotyping, inclusiveness and/or prejudice in physical activity media coverage from the perspective of these groups. Addressing the barriers for selected groups. Developments in physical activity and sporting opportunities over the past twenty years. Adapted physical activity – provision, opportunities and pathways to excellence for people with a disability 8. Technology, media and sport The impact of technology on sport and physical activity – effects of performer, official and spectator. Media in sport – coverage of elite and mass participation events, stereotypes, spectator appeal derived from the media, impact on spectator behaviour
9. Gender and physical activity influences that impact on the participation patterns of boys and girls in physical activity and sportaddressing imbalances in participationbody image and how it is influenced by physical activity participation of both males and femalesGender socialisation and its impact on physical activity participation – hegemonic masculinity and hegemonic femininity 10. Business and enterprise in physical activity and sport Sponsorship and advertising in physical activity and sport- impacts of sponsorship endorsements and merchandisinginvestigate the involvement of a selected business in sportexamine the growth of mass participation sporting events and the opportunities for business and enterprise they providediscuss the potential of sports marketing on the development of tourism in Ireland

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