Rock climbing

Rock climbing can be assessed indoors or outdoors.

Students who wish to be assessed in climbing should practice beforehand at an appropriate climbing wall. We also recommend that students follow the NICAS or NIBAS Award schemes, under advice from a qualified professional.

Students should be working towards level HVS 5A/5B which will be required at A-level.

They should use of a minimum of two different climbs to demonstrate the following:
  1. Rope work: Students, in a top rope capacity, should be able to tie in, belay and lower partners consistently and safely with effective communication. This could begin in a peer belay situation and progress through to students belaying independently although this would be with backup.
  2. Three points of contact: Students should be able to climb a route of their choice showing three points of contact between moves. This could progress from a slab to overhanging terrain.
  3. Traversing/climbing: Students should be able to climb a route of their choice demonstrating clear use of weight transfer and climbing techniques associated with this. This could progress from moves on a slab with three points of contact through to students only using two points of contact and effective body positioning to make the movement successful on steeper terrain.
  4. Demonstrate a set of progressive techniques to climb at limit: Students should be able to demonstrate climbing at their limit using a variety of techniques in a progressive manner to make a successful ascent; this could progress from a rehearsed route through to a student on sighting at their limit.
  5. Overhanging/steep ground: Students should be able to climb successfully on overhanging terrain; this could be progressively overhanging through to very steep.

Part 1 – Skills (10 marks)

Students should perform the core skills/techniques in increasingly demanding and progressive drills. Progressive drills may start with the skill in isolation but should aim to increase in difficulty by linking skills together and by increasing the difficulty of the route. This must not be in a fully competitive climb.

Level Mark Description
5 9–10 The quality of technique is maintained for all skills and throughout all practices, even when they are linked together. When faced with a harder route, decision making in relation to when to perform the skill is consistently effective. There are very few errors and the student is adaptive when faced with progressively challenging situations. They almost always produce the intended results/accuracy.
4 7–8 The quality of technique is maintained for all skills but may start to deteriorate when they are linked together in the most challenging practices. When faced with a harder route, decision making is usually effective in relation to when to perform the skill and at what angle. There may be occasional minor errors but the student is usually adaptive when faced with progressively challenging situations. They regularly produce the intended results/accuracy.
3 5–6 The quality of technique is maintained for most skills but may deteriorate when they are linked together in the most challenging practices. When faced with a harder route, the effectiveness of decision making is inconsistent. The student makes more effective decisions on slightly easier routes. There may be occasional errors and the student is sometimes adaptive when faced with progressively challenging situations. They sometimes produce the intended results/accuracy.
2 3–4 The quality of technique is maintained for some skills but frequently deteriorate when they are linked together in the most challenging practices. When faced with a harder route, decision making is only occasionally effective. They are significantly more proficient on easier routes. There may be frequent errors and the student is only occasionally adaptive with progressively challenging situations. They infrequently produce the intended results/accuracy.
1 1–2 The quality of technique is maintained for few skills but they cannot be linked together in the most challenging practices. When faced with harder routes, decision making may be ineffective. Any proficiency is shown on easier routes. There are likely to be frequent errors and the student may be unable to adapt with progressively challenging situations. They rarely produce the intended results/accuracy.
0 0 Nothing worthy of credit.

Part 2 – Full context (15 marks)

Students should perform a climb, either in competition or against a suitably challenging environment, demonstrating the skills appropriate to their chosen route. The difficulty of the climb should be appropriately challenging for the performer.

Level Mark Description
5 13–15 The student shows a high level of ability to make successful and effective tactical and strategic decisions, almost always fully relevant to their position on the wall/rock face. The student’s contribution is highly effective, significant and sustained for almost all of the climb, due to a highly developed level of suitable fitness. The student maintains a high level of technical consistency in the performance of all skills within each climb. The application of skill is fully appropriate to their position on the wall/rock face. The student demonstrates a high level of ability to perform the most appropriate skills/techniques and is usually successful in outperforming others/the environment.
4 10–12 The student shows the ability to make successful and effective tactical and strategic decisions, usually relevant to their position on the wall/rock face, with only minor lapses. The student’s contribution is usually effective and significant and is sustained for the majority of the climb, due to a good level of suitable fitness. The student maintains technical consistency in the performance of all skills in the climb. The application of skill is usually appropriate to their position on the wall/rock face, though there may be some lapses. The student demonstrates an ability to perform the most appropriate skills/techniques and is usually successful in outperforming others/the environment. Occasionally however, they are outperformed.
3 7–9 The student shows the ability to make successful and effective tactical and strategic decisions but there may be some obvious weaknesses and they are occasionally not relevant to their position on the wall/rock face. The student’s contribution is sometimes effective and significant but it is not entirely sustained throughout the climb, with the student’s contribution occasionally lacking due to a slight lack of suitable fitness. The student maintains technique and accuracy in the performance of most skills in the climb but it is not always consistent. The application of skill is not consistently appropriate to their position on the wall/rock face. The student demonstrates an ability to perform appropriate skills/techniques and is sometimes effective in outperforming others/the environment, although only low level performers. However, there may be some obvious areas of weakness and they are often outperformed.
2 4–6 The student shows some ability to make tactical and strategic decisions but there are significant weaknesses and inconsistencies in their relevance to their position on the wall/rock face. The student’s contribution is evident but only occasionally effective or sustained within the climb due to a lack of fitness. The student shows some technical consistency in the performance of some skills during the climb but there are obvious inconsistencies and weaknesses. The application of skill is only occasionally appropriate to their position on the wall/rock face. The student demonstrates a limited ability to perform appropriate skills/techniques and is seldom effective in outperforming others/the environment. There are likely to be some obvious areas of weakness and they are usually outperformed.
1 1–3 The student shows only a limited ability to make tactical and strategic decisions and they are seldom relevant to their position on the wall. The student’s contribution is limited, seldom effective or sustained during the climb with fitness a distinctive weakness. The student shows only limited technical consistency in the performance of a few skills during the climb. The application of skill is rarely appropriate to their position on the wall/rock face. The student demonstrates only very limited ability to perform appropriate skills/techniques, but seldom outperforms anyone/the environment.
0 0 Nothing worthy of credit.