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Children’s School Lives Study: Report 7

Children’s School Lives Study: Report 7

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Assessment for certification in physical education is based on the aim, objectives and learning outcomes outlined in the specification. There are three assessment components in Leaving Certificate Physical Education: A physical activity project, performance assessment and written examination. Differentiation at the point of assessment will be achieved through examinations at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level.  The performance assessment will be at a common level.

Assessment component  Weighting  Level 
Physical activity project  20% Higher and Ordinary
Performance assessment  30% Common level
Written examination 50%  Higher and Ordinary

The learner will be required to complete the physical activity project and performance assessment in two different activities.

Learners are required to complete a physical activity project. Each learner can choose which activity to focus on for their physical activity project. However, it is recognised that the particular context of the school, the physical education programme it can facilitate and the level of community facilities, will have a bearing on the level of choice that can be managed. The physical education teacher, in consultation with the learners, will agree the range of activities that can be accommodated and supported for their physical activity project.

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.

Learners choose one of the three selected physical activities being studied by their class in Leaving Certificate Physical Education for their performance assessment. Learners are required to demonstrate the range of skills, techniques and/or compositional elements outlined for the physical activity in Physical Activity Areas in LCPE. (pg. 50)

Learners are required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles of play/performance, an understanding of the rules and conventions of the activity and adherence to safe practice before, during and after the performance. Learners are assessed in a variety of contexts including personal performance, fully competitive and/or conditioned practices.

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.

The written examination is based on the aims, objectives and learning outcomes outlined in the specification. It 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 physical activity project
  • 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.

Assessment Guidelines

More detailed material on the coursework assessment in Leaving Certificate Physical Education will be available in separate Assessment Guidelines.  This document will include the assessment criteria and details of the practical arrangements related to each component.


In common with other specifications, physical education is assessed at Higher and Ordinary level. In the written examination, differentiation at the point of assessment will be reflected in the structure of the examination paper and in the style of questioning. Consideration will be given to the language level in the examination questions, the stimulus material provided, the structure of the questions and the amount of scaffolding provided for the learners, especially at Ordinary level.

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