Staff Contact Details

Mrs Jane Lilley (Head of Department)

Mr Chris O'Donnell

Mrs Lucy Cobb

Mr Anthony McCormack

Mrs Chloe Barton 

Time Allocation

The school provides all pupils in Years 7 to 11 with the full entitlement of 2 hours of high quality PE a week. This is delivered through 2 lessons of 1-hour duration. Units of work are blocked in most cases for a set period of time to allow the most effective learning.

Our Facilities

The department enjoys superb sporting facilities with the following areas for sole use of pupils throughout the school day until 5.30pm:

State of the Art sports centre containing a large multi-purpose Sports Hall with 6 badminton courts, basketball, netball, indoor football, indoor hockey, volleyball marking and 4 cricket nets. The building also houses a Dance Studio.

Extensive grounds containing a hard-court area with 4 netball courts, 4 tennis courts, 2 mini-tennis courts and a basketball court.

A floodlit, full-size astro-turf pitch for hockey and football as well as our playing field for football, cricket, rounders and athletics.

Slough School Sport Network

We work closely with the network to provide a range of opportunities to take part in sport as competitors but also in developing our pupils as leaders in the local community. This includes helping to organise and run a range of competitions for local primary and secondary schools. We regularly officiate Key stage 1 and 2 Sportshall Athletics championships, Key Stage 3 & 4 county badminton championships, district primary cricket championships and the Y7 Quadkids athletics competition.

Extra Curricular Activities

The Department has a strong and varied programme of activities after school and regularly competes against other schools in Football, Netball, Hockey, Badminton, Rounders, Cricket & Athletics as well as performance activities like Dance, Gymnastics and Martial Arts. The school enters teams and individuals in both district and county competitions, and our stronger competitors are given the opportunity to trial for representative honours.

The department runs most extra-curricular sessions on an open basis in that all pupils are welcome to attend and the majority are free of charge. Selection for school teams is based upon trials, attendance at extra-curricular sessions and performance in lessons. Clubs are advertised in weekly Sports Bulletin which can be found on the news area of the school website and emailed to all pupils on a Friday.

Snowsports Tour

The department runs an annual ski & snowboard trip. We usually travel to different resorts during February half-term provided there is sufficient demand. Pupils from year 8 to 13 are able to go on the trip and they enjoy 25 hours of ski or snowboard instruction over 5 days. It is hard work, but hugely enjoyable and the pupils always make a lot of progress during the week.

Recent trips include: Killington, Vermont, USA (2010), Folgaria, Italy (2011), Bad Kleinkircheim, Austria (2012), Katchberg, Austria (2014), Sestriere, Italy (2015), El Tarter, Andorra (2017 & 2018).

Sports Day

This is held annually in June at Thames Valley Athletics Centre in Eton. All pupils participate in the inter-form athletics competition. A wide range of events take place and it provides the opportunity to beat some of our long-standing school records (see document at bottom of page).

Gymnastics and Dance Show

This is held annually in the week before the Easter holiday. Pupils take part in Artistic and Acrobatic Gymnastics, Vaulting and several types of Dance. Parents, pupils and staff are invited to attend and watch the routines developed both inside curriculum lessons and at extra-curricular clubs. The show always ends with a spectacular display of vaulting to music.

Curriculum Overview

Pupils are taught the following areas across a range of activities in the PE curriculum in 2 x 60 minute lessons per week:

  • Developing skills in PE
  • Making and applying decisions
  • Developing physical and mental capacity
  • Evaluating and improving performance
  • Making informed choices about healthy active lifestyles

Year 7 & 8


Gymnastics, Football, Hockey, Basketball, Badminton, Athletics, Tennis, Cricket


Gymnastics, Dance, Netball, Hockey, Football, Rounders, Tennis, Athletics

Year 9


Football, Hockey, Gymnastics, Fitness, Basketball, Badminton, Cricket, Athletics, Tennis


Netball, Football, Hockey, Fitness, Gymnastics, Dance, Rounders, Tennis, Athletics

Curriculum Overview

Pupils in Years 10 and 11 also follow National Curriculum in their core PE lessons. All pupils receive 2 x 60 minute lessons per week.

Year 10 Activities

  • Football
  • Netball
  • Hockey
  • Badminton
  • Table Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Dance
  • Gymnastics
  • Athletics
  • Rounders
  • Tennis
  • Softball
  • Cricket
  • Boxercise
  • Circuit Training

Year 11

Pupils in Year 11 are allowed to opt for activities from the list above in order to allow a degree of specialism and personal choice. They complete units in 6 of the activities above.

Curriculum Overview

The department offers AQA GCSE Physical Education.

Pupils can opt for GCSE PE during the options process. They start the 2 year course in Year 10. This provides an additional 3 x 60 minute lessons as well as the 2 x 60 minute lessons enjoyed by all pupils in core PE lessons. Lessons are a combination of theory based in a classroom and practical.

Pupils need to complete 3 sporting activities for the practical section, a short written project and 2 final examinations at the end of year 11.

The final grade is achieved by assessments in Practical activities worth 40% and Theory Exams worth 60%.

The exam board is AQA and details of the specification can be found here:

Curriculum Overview

A Level PE has much in common with other subjects, but in particular Biology and Psychology. It is the study of sports performance and how it can be achieved by analysing the human body, its functions and movements, as well as the making and applying decisions which will result in both success and failure.
The course is ideal for those who enjoy watching and performing sport, students considering sports related careers such as physiotherapy, sports science or sports journalism. 

In Year 12 you will study:

  • Applied anatomy & physiology
  • Skill acquisition & learning
  • History of sport
  • Sport Psychology
  • Begin written coursework (20% of A Level)

In Year 13 you will study:

  • Exercise physiology
  • Biomechanics
  • Sports psychology - elite
  • Sport in society
  • Commercialism 
  • Technology in sport

Practical Assessment: Ongoing throughout the course but final submission of evidence in March of Year 13. 

Students must be assessed competing in the full context of one sporting activity recognised by AQA (eg. play 11-a-side football for a team with opponents and a referee, abiding by FA rules). Alternatively they can count coaching in a similar context but must be doing this on a regular basis with a qualification in the appropriate sport to count this at Herschel.

A Level Assessment at the end of Year 13:

Paper 1: 2 hour written exam total 105 marks (35% of A Level)

Paper 2: 2 hour written exam total 105 marks (35% of A Level)

Practical: Performance evidence + submission of written coursework (30% of A Level) by March of Year 13.

External Links

Exam board specification:

Contemporary Issues:

More contemporary issues:

Revision websites:


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