Course Overview

The Higher P.E course enables candidates to demonstrate and develop a broad and comprehensive range of complex skills in challenging contexts in physical activities. Candidates should be able to demonstrate initiative, decision making and problem solving by engaging in physical activities. Candidates will develop the ability to use strategies to make appropriate decisions for effective performance. These strategies will be based on an analysis and understanding of the impact of mental, emotional, social and physical factors on performance. The skills, knowledge and understanding that candidates acquire by successfully completing the course are transferable to learning, to life and to the world of work.

The course enables candidates to:

  • develop a broad and comprehensive range of complex movement and performance skills, and demonstrate them safely and effectively across a range of challenging contexts
  • select and apply skills and make informed decisions to effectively perform in physical activities
  • analyse mental, emotional, social and physical factors that impact on performance
  • understand how skills, techniques and strategies combine to produce an effective performance
  • analyse and evaluate performance



The course will follow a structure that initially includes 2 theory lessons per week and 4 practical lessons.  The practical activities covered in Higher P.E are selected to suit the needs of the learners in each class.  The activities that have been covered in 2019-2020 session are volleyball, hockey and football.


Course Assessment

The course assessment is divided between 2 components both with a 50% weighting.

Practical Performance (x2)

Question paper


Practical performance

The performance assesses candidates’ ability to perform in two different physical activities. The context for each single performance event must occur in a challenging, competitive and/or demanding environment. This gives candidates an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:

  • repertoire of skills — a broad and comprehensive performance repertoire (including complex movement and performance skills)
  • control and fluency of complex movement and performance skills
  • effective decision making and problem solving
  • using and applying well established composition, tactics and roles
  • extent to which rules and regulations are followed and etiquette is displayed (including working with others)
  • extent to which emotions are controlled on the day of the performance

The performance has 60 marks out of a total of 110 marks. This is scaled by SQA to represent 50% of the overall marks for the course assessment. Each single performance event is marked out of 30.


Question paper

The question paper has a total mark allocation of 50 marks. This is 50% of the overall marks for the course assessment. The question paper has three mandatory sections and samples from these five broad areas:

factors impacting on performance

  • methods of collecting information to analyse factors impacting on performance
  • key planning information
  • performance development process
  • recording, monitoring and evaluating performance development

Section 1 focuses on the four factors impacting on performance and covers one or more of the five broad areas of skills, knowledge and understanding. This section is worth 32 marks in total.

Section 2 focuses on the candidates’ experience of creating and implementing a Personal Development Plan (PDP) over a minimum of three sessions and covers at least two factors impacting on performance. Marks range from 6–10 marks.

Section 3 is based upon a scenario. The scenario may include text, images, graphs or other information. This section focuses on one or more of the five broad areas of skills, knowledge and understanding, and samples two of the factors impacting on performance. Candidates must respond using the two factors identified in the question. Marks range from 8–12 marks.