FAQ’s Sailing GSCEs and A Levels

Welcome to the FAQs section dedicated to Sailing GSCEs and A Levels

Explore criteria, assessment details, and specific information about exam boards to navigate your way to sailing success.

people sailing

1. Is the exam specification criteria and assessment developed and governed by the RYA?

No. All exam specification criteria are set by the exam boards themselves. In some instances, the RYA have been asked to advise and input in the creation of the criteria, and guidance.

2. Which class of boat may I use to be assessed for GCSE PE?

The Department for Education (DfE) has mandated that all assessments should take place within a BYS Recognised Class, such as ILCA 4, RS Feva, RS Tera Sport Rig, Optimist, Topper, Cadet, Bic Techno (Junior Classes), as well as 420, 29er, Nacra 15, ILCA 6, ILCA 7, and iQFOiL (Youth Classes) for OCR exam board, they specify that sailing must occur within a junior class.

3. May I be assessed as a crew?

No. The DfE has stipulated all assessments must be as a helm. When sailing in a double hander this assessment may count as “team” sport.

4. Do all the exam boards have the same specifications and assessment requirements?

No. It is important you are familiar with the specifics of your exam board as they all have slight differences in how they assess the non-exam assessment.

5. Who assesses and signs my chosen activity off?

A school-appointed teacher will authenticate if an individual meets awarding body criteria. To sign off any part of the criteria, the teacher will need to either physically see an individual participating in their chosen activity, or be provided with clear footage of the individual, which evidences all areas of the criteria at a given level. The teacher may consult a coach or professional in the sport to gain advice.

6. Do I have to race to be assessed for GCSE PE?

No. Two assessment routes exist, recreational and competitive. Choose based on your activity involvement and skill level. The recreational route typically awards fewer points due to lower competency criteria. The competitive route demands higher personal ability, allowing for higher marks and grades.

7. For GCSE does the video evidence of competitive sailing need to be from national events?

No. Video evidence is needed in two parts. Firstly, showcasing skills during training sessions. Secondly displaying skills in a competitive sailing event, such as club level, regional level, or national competitions.

8. Which class of boat may I use to be assessed for A Level PE?

The DfE has stipulated all assessments must be in a BYS Recognised Youth Class (420, 29er, Nacra 15, ILCA 6, ILCA 7, iQFOiL and R:SX*) *for OCR exam board, sailing must be in a junior class.

Exam boards and syllabus links

Each exam board has been linked to its specific syllabus, indicating the relevant page numbers for Sailing and Windsurfing criteria or additional guidance for reference.

GCSE Non-exam assessment

AQA. Sailing criteria (p151-157), Administration (p223-229)

OCR.Sailing criteria (p52), Windsurfing (p88), Administration (p90-98), Filming guidance (p103)

Pearson Edexcel.Sailing criteria (p131-137, p299-304), Administration (p5-6)

WJEC.Sailing criteria (p57), Windsurfing (p65)

A Levels Non-exam assessment

AQA. Sailing criteria (p79-81)

OCR.Sailing criteria (p90-91), Windsurfing (p109), Appendix B: Additional guidance for filmed evidence (p119-120)

Pearson Edexcel. Filming guidance (Appendix 5, p81-85)

WJEC. Sailing criteria (p78), Windsurfing (p86)