Sailing and windsurfing return to GCSE and A-level PE

Whilst the start of the school term has looked very different for many this year, there’s positive news for young sailors and windsurfers with both activities now offered once again for GCSE, AS and A-level physical education (PE). 

Last September, the Department for Education (DfE) published revised activity lists for GCSE, AS and A-level PE. The new activities, including sailing and windsurfing, are now able to be taught and will be assessed in 2021 for AS-level and 2022 for GCSE and A-level.  

Awarding Body, AQA recently published new specification documents, which include the assessment criteria for sailing and windsurfing and are now available on its website.  

Amanda Van Santen, Chief Instructor of the RYA Sailing and Windsurfing training schemes comments: “It’s fantastic to see sailing and windsurfing ‘officially’ reinstated within the PE activity lists. The RYA has worked closely with AQA over the last year to develop the specified criteria for assessment, and we’re delighted to now see this come into effect.”

Outdoor activities like sailing and windsurfing are hugely beneficial for both our physical and mental health, and have also been shown to help young people develop self-confidence, independence and other positive character attributes as evidenced in the recent RYA OnBoard Impact Report. 

“We hope that the inclusion of sailing and windsurfing within the PE curriculum will not only provide a means of recognition of the hard work and dedication of the many young people already participating on a regular basis, but that it will also inspire even more to get afloat and benefit from taking part in these activities,” Amanda adds.      

The RYA is continuing to work with the other Awarding Bodies to assist with the development of assessment criteria and reinstatement of the activities, although the final decision and content of the criteria remains with each individual body.  

Students wishing to take PE at GCSE, AS or A-level, and have sailing or windsurfing assessed as one of the activities, should speak directly to their school to determine which Awarding Body they use and the criteria, assessment and evidence required.

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