Physical Education - S3/S4 Course

Physical Education - National 4 & 5


The PE National 4 and 5 courses enable all learners to succeed in a range of physical activities. Through analysing performance, learners will understand what is required to improve performance and to become more effective performers. Learners will specifically develop decision making and problem solving skills.

There are 2 mandatory units: 

Performance Skills

Learners will experience a range of activities with the focus on two main activities to be agreed after a discussion between staff and pupils. Performers will build their capacity to perform in these key activities.

Factors Impacting on Performance

Pupils will be taught to talk, write and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of key features which impact on improving sporting performance. They will then be able to consider if their training and practicing was effective and made an impact on future performances.

Some lessons will be classroom based and others will involve worksheets and ICT (especially video work) to support learning in the practical setting.

Added Value Unit

Learners will be offered more challenge than the basic minimum requirements to pass the course. This will require extension of knowledge and skills.


National 4 is internally assessed by class teachers and on-going, end of unit class tests, peer and self assessment will form the core of this process. The course may be assessed on a unit by unit basis or through a combined approach but outcome will be based on a pass/ fail basis. There is no final SQA exam. If pupils have experienced core PE in S1 and S2 this will allow them to enter this course.

National 5 has the same internal assessment but will also have a final SQA exam paper.


There will be worksheets set as homework tasks with around 30 minutes each week expected of the learner.

Skills and personal qualities useful to the course

  • A genuine interest in participation in sport and practical activities and a willingness to learn new skills and techniques. If you have a significant record of no kit in S1 or S2 you should not choose these courses.
  • An ability to listen and learn by observing your teacher and peers
  • To understand that there are written elements to the course and that these are introduced when the teacher and course content require.

Value of the course

Participation in this course will improve performance levels in sporting activity, fitness, health and well-being as well as build the fundamental skills and knowledge for the Higher course. This progression route will help those pupils who wish to find employment in the leisure industry and these courses are valued by university and colleges who appreciate the personal skills and attributes that come out of these experiences.

Meet the PE Staff