PE now a Leaving Cert subject for Cork school

PE now a Leaving Cert subject for Cork school

Fifth year PE students Leah Murray O'Neill, Chloe Fitzgerald and Jessica Corcoran

PRESENTATION Secondary School, Ballyphehane is one of the first Cork all-girls secondary schools offering Physical Education as a Leaving-certificate exam subject. The Leaving-Cert class of 2022 will be the first cohort to sit the exam.

Sport has always played a huge role within the school, in which they offer soccer, gaelic football, camogie, athletics and basketball.

In 2017, the school was crowned FAI Post Primary schools first year National Futsal champions with current Cork City player Alix Mendez, captain of that winning side.

The school has also been very successful with their GAA teams as well as winning numerous basketball titles. The importance of sport has always been key to the staff and having healthy and fit students is always paramount for Prinicpal Nicola Barrett.

"Student well-being is at the forefront of what we are about, here at Presentation Secondary School’, said Ms Barrett.

"If the students feel well in themselves, then everything else will fall into place. When our enthusiastic and energetic teachers came to me about applying to the Department of Education to be able to offer PE as a Leaving-Cert exam subject, I jumped at the chance. Thankfully we were successful as only a selection of schools were approved across the country."

The decision to offer Physical Education as a Leaving Certificate examination subject was an easy one for Presentation Secondary School, Ballyphehane for a number of reasons. The importance of physical education in relation to good mental health is undisputed and the subject is therefore an invaluable opportunity for students to create lifelong skills and habits.

Girls statistically drop out of sport around the age of 15 and have very few female sporting role models to look up to and strive towards. The girls at Presentation Secondary School, Ballyphehane want to be trail blazers for future years and show that girls can be just as physically capable as boys. It is a subject that allows them to learn how to be healthy, stay healthy and help others around them to do the same. The practical element of LC Physical Education allows students to grow in confidence as they learn how to coach others, how to implement various types of training programmes and how to give and receive feedback in a constructive and positive way.

Physical Education has numerous cross-curricular links with subjects such as Biology, Physics, Business, Economics and Home-Economics. Students will learn a variety of topics ranging from Newtons law, to the treatment of specific injuries, to how advertising impacts performers and how all sport can be inclusive of all disabilities and genders.

Physical Education can pave the way to various college courses and careers and can help students to understand the basics of certain areas of their chosen path. Choices can include Physical Education teaching; physiotherapy; coaching; sports injuries; sports nutrition; strength and conditioning coaching; personal training; sport, exercise and performance psychology.

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