Physical Education

The aim of senior cycle physical education is to encourage learners’ confident, enjoyable and informed participation in physical activity while in senior cycle and in their future lives.


The objectives of senior cycle physical education are to enable learners to


• develop confidence, competence and creativity in a range of physical activities

• participate in physical activity both inside and beyond school

• examine the value of physical activity in different contexts

• understand and commit to physical activity which develops health-related physical fitness

• undertake different roles in physical activity

• demonstrate responsible social and personal behaviour in physical activity, demonstrating respect for self and others

• act as ‘informed participants’ in physical activity.


Instructional models 19
Health Related Physical Fitness 20 Sport Education 22 Contemporary Issues In Physical Activity 24 Adventure Education 26 Personal And Social Responsibility 28 Teaching Games For Understanding 30 Structure

The curriculum framework for senior cycle physical education is structured around six instructional models. Each model provides a detailed map for decision making about teaching and learning. This includes a rationale, planning, implementation and assessment functions, all of which can be used in the design of a unit of work in physical education.

Health Related Physical Fitness—developing learners’ understanding of health related physical fitness now and in the future.

Sport Education—providing learners with an enjoyable and authentic experience of organised physical activity as they learn to perform playing and non-playing roles.

Contemporary Issues in Physical Activity—encouraging learners to critically reflect on their own and others’ experience in physical activity and sport.

Adventure Education—encouraging learners to challenge themselves and co-operate with others as they learn to solve physical activity challenges.

Personal and Social Responsibility—encouraging learners to take responsibility for themselves and their learning in physical education class including respecting the rights and feelings of others.

Teaching Games for Understanding—develops learners’ tactical awareness and decision making skills in a variety of games. Each model can be used as a ‘stand alone’ or combined with other models. In some instances, a teacher may choose to use a combination of two models in order to ensure that learners are physically active whilst also being involved in learning about physical activity. What is important is that learners have sufficient time and experience of each of the models to fully benefit from the different teaching and learning experiences provided by each one.

Senior cycle physical education is planned in units of work. Teachers choose the instructional models or combinations of models which will be the focus of each unit of work. It is recommended that not less than three and not more than five units of work should be included in each year. Planning for each unit of work can be framed in relation to the following questions:

• Which objectives of senior cycle physical education are to be addressed in this unit of work?
• Which instructional model(s) can best support the achievement of these objectives?
• Which of the physical activities, that learners are interested in doing, will work well with this instructional model?
• Which learning outcomes in this model(s) will be addressed in this unit of work?
• What evidence of learning will learners be expected to provide during and at the completion of the unit of work?

• What element(s) of the senior cycle physical education portfolio will be generated in this unit of work?


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