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Sports Studies

Students begin year 7 with an opportunity to demonstrate their existing skills and knowledge through a variety of both individual and team based activities.  Students will then progress through units of work based around outwitting opponents in both individual and team activities, accurate replication of skills and maximising performance throughout the remainder of this key stage. They do this through a range of activities including football, basketball, netball, gymnastics, trampolining, badminton, health-related fitness, athletics, rugby, cricket, rounders and stoolball. This gives them some of the fundamental key skills they will need throughout PE at St James, which include co-operation, communication and consideration.  We are proud of this breath of curriculum and feel that this allows all students to have success and enjoyment within PE lessons.

Cambridge National Sports Studies

At St James Academy learners can opt for the Cambridge National Sports Studies as an examination option.  This course is completed over 2 or 3 years starting from year 9.  As this is a vocational course, learners will be graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction, rather than grades 9-1.  75% of the course is coursework; there are three units that learners need to complete during their Sports Studies lessons which are marked internally but moderated by OCR, with each coursework unit being worth 60 marks.  25% of the course is one examination; there is an opportunity to re-sit this examination, provided learners prepare fully for their first attempt. There are a number of multiple choice questions plus extended questions throughout.  The examination lasts for 1 hour and has 60 marks available. Learners will be provided with numerous examination packs and a revision guide for this assessment.

The four units that we currently study are as follows:

  • Contemporary Issues in Sport is a written external examination. Learners will explore a range of topical and contemporary issues in sport, relating to participation levels and barriers, plus values and ethical behaviour through sport. They will investigate the role of high profile sporting events and NGBs in advancing sports’ attempts to positively impact upon society.  This can be sat in Year 10 or Year 11  in either January or June.
  • Developing Sports Skills is a coursework unit. This unit will enable learners to use skills, techniques and tactical ideas in both an individual and a team sporting activity. They will also develop their understanding of the rules to allow them to act in several different officiating roles.  Following this, they will also consider a range of practice methods in order to improve practical performance.  Learners will need to produce a portfolio of evidence ranging from video footage of sports performance, witness statements, presentations and action plans. 
  • Sports Leadership is a coursework unit.  This unit will enable learners to develop some of the knowledge, understanding and practical skills required to be an effective sports leader. Learners will then plan, deliver and review safe and effective sporting activity sessions that they have led themselves.  These sessions will be delivered to their peers as well as younger students; they will then need to evaluate the effectiveness of these sessions in order to improve further. Learners will need to produce a portfolio of evidence for this unit, which will include video footage/written evidence of the planning, delivery and review of a sports session.
  • Sports and the Media is a coursework unit.  This unit will enable learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of the relationship between sport and the media, plus their ability to evaluate/interpret the different ways in which sports items are represented by the media.  This will require a written portfolio of evidence.

More information about this course can be found on the OCR website ( The Sports Studies Course can be found from their homepage by navigating to Cambridge Nationals under Qualifications.  The Curriculum Leader for Sports Studies is Mr. Lynch who will gladly answer any further questions you may have about this qualification.