Higher PE


Any pupil who is to be excused from participation must always bring a signed note from home along with their PE kit. Unless it is physically uncomfortable, pupils will be expected to change and be part of the class by taking on duties such as officiating, scoring, timing and coaching.


Entry to this Course is at the discretion of Islay High School. However, learners would normally be expected to have attained the skills, knowledge and understanding required by the following or by equivalent qualifications and/or experience:

  • National 5 P.E at Bands 1-3 and English at N5 Bands 1-3.

Throughout, it should be borne in mind that the ability to pass this course requires high practical performance levels along with excellent investigative and literacy skills.


The aim of the New Higher course is to engage students in an increasingly sophisticated and rigorous study of the ways in which physical activities are performed. Performance will be the prime focus and through a practical experiential base upon which practical skills, knowledge and understanding, analysis and evaluation are developed.

The course is built around two key units.


Physical Education: Performance Skills

In this Unit, learners will develop a broad and comprehensive range of complex movement and performance skills through a range of physical activities. They will select, demonstrate, apply and adapt these skills, and will use them to make informed decisions. They will also develop their knowledge and understanding of how these skills combine to produce effective outcomes.

Physical Education: Factors Impacting on Performance

In this Unit, learners will develop their knowledge and understanding of mental, emotional, social and physical factors that impact on personal performance in physical activities. Learners will consider how these factors can influence effectiveness in performance.

They will create personal development plans, modify these and justify decisions relating to future personal development needs.


The course assessment is as follows:

Performance = 40% of final mark + a further possible 20% on the planning, preparation and evaluation of performance

Question paper (exam = 40% of final mark) analysing factors that impact on performance, explaining a range of approaches for developing performance and analysing the recording, monitoring and evaluation of performance development.


The assessment demands of Higher P.E. are considerable. To work at a pass level, students need to be practically very able as well as requiring excellent language skills for the analysis exam. Students also need to be capable of working through the scientific process involved in analysing and developing the factors that impact on performance.


Homework will be a regular feature of Higher P.E. There will be on-going requirements for

Students to up-date their study notes as well as completing more formal pieces of homework.


Useful Links



SQA Past Papers:


BBC Bitesize Higher: