Cambridge IGCSE Physical Education Subject Brief – First Examination 2019

Timothy Hoffmann

Cambridge IGCSE Subject Briefs: Physical Education. This subject brief covers the syllabus for 2019 onwards.

This Cambridge IGCSE curriculum is made for students who wish to learn about the practical and theoretical aspects of physical education. The aim is to encourage enjoyment in sports and physical activity by providing students with the opportunity to take part in a range of physical activities and develop an understanding of effective and safe physical activity.  It focuses mainly on the principles, practices and training that underpins performance, health and well-being. You do not necessarily have to be ‘sporty’ to undertake the course – and instead need to have an interest in health practices and be willing to engage in physical activity.

Topics covered:

The syllabus covers four main topics, which are Anatomy and Physiology, Health, Fitness and Training, Skill acquisition and Psychology, Social, Cultural and Ethical Influences


Topic Overview
Anatomy and Physiology Skeletal System; Respiratory System; Muscular System; Circulatory System; Energy Supply; Biometrics
Health, Fitness and Training Well-being; Fitness; Health; Diet; Fitness Testing; Methods of Training
Skill Acquisition and Psychology Skill and Ability; Stages of Learning; Simple information processing model; Arousal; Anxiety; Goal Setting; Motivation; Personality Types
Social, Cultural and Ethical Influences Leisure and Recreation; Growth in Leisure Activities; Sports Development Pyramid; Sponsorship; Media; Global Events; Technology; Factors Affecting Performance; Performance-Enhancing-Drugs; Risk; Injuries

For more information on each topic area, check out the Cambridge syllabus. The below tweet exemplifies the different lenses you could be considering sports from – both a historic, social and physiological perspective; how did she do it? why? what was the impact of her performance? 

Assessment and Grading:


Paper 1: Theory
Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Number of marks 100
Percentage of total grade 50%
Type of questions Mix of Long and Short Answer Questions


Paper 2: Coursework
Number of marks 100 (25 per activity)
Percentage of total grade 50%
The coursework component assesses candidates’ performance in four physical activities from at least two of the seven categories listed above.