The framework for senior cycle physical education provides opportunities for learners to prepare for further study in a range of areas, for example in the teaching, coaching and healthcare professions. In addition to its vocational value, students’ learning in physical education provides them with knowledge, skills and understanding that will support lifelong informed participation and/or the pursuit of excellence in their own sporting and physical activity pursuits. There is a substantial body of research which identifies the lifelong benefits of regular participation in physical activity for health and wellbeing (C3 Collaborating for Health, 2011).
The emphasis on the development of key skills in the SCPE framework will support learners’ effective engagement in a variety of further education opportunities where self-direction, leadership, organisational skills and reflection are important.
The SCPE framework has the potential to make a significant contribution to enhancing learners’ commitment to lifelong participation in physical activity. Learners can be encouraged to explore physical activity opportunities within and beyond the school. As they do so, they can become informed participants in physical activity as they reflect on the community and societal factors that support or hinder lifelong participation in physical activity. Learners can be encouraged to act as advocates for physical activity, both by their personal example and in their contribution to the various initiatives in sport and physical activity, in school and in the community.