Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

Internal Assessment

Reading and writing about science

The Science in Society course includes two extended pieces of coursework that are internally assessed:

  • A critical account of scientific reading
    in which students are asked to read a substantial piece of popular science writing and provide a succinct account of the science content and reflect upon their personal response and how well the author achieves his/her purpose. The aim is to encourage discovery by students of the pleasure of such reading while developing the necessary skills to reflect and report on their experience.

AQA provides guidance on the choice of reading.

  • A research report on a topical issue
    in which students are asked to develop a research question on an issue, research widely, and argue their response to the question in the form of a formal research report. The aim is to provide an opportunity for students to explore an issue of their choice – it might be of personal or local interest, or more current than those in the set topics – while developing the necessary research and argument skills to report formally on their work.

Assessment of these two pieces of work forms Unit 2, Reading and writing about science, of the AS level assessment (40%).

Chapter 12 of the AS textbook is devoted to student-friendly advice on both components.

This section consists of advice and important links relating to the formal assessment procedures and official guidance.

It also contains specific activities that can be used to introduce the required tasks and links to other activities that help develop the necessary skills.