Unit 3: Practical Biology and Research Skills (6BIO3) is the AS coursework. It consists of two parts: Part 1 Practical biology skills and Part 2 the Visit or Issue report.
Students carry out the recommended core practicals and other practical investigations to develop practical skills. They learn to use apparatus skilfully and safely, produce and record reliable and valid results, and present and analyse data. Teachers verify the students’ ability in these areas. There are no marks associated with this part of the coursework. But the Unit 1 and 2 written papers contain questions that test a student’s understanding of How Science Works practical biology and investigative skills.
Students prepare a report, that may be a related to a visit to a site of biological interest, or a report of non-practical research into a biological issue. The aim is for students to look at how biologists work in the 'real world'. Students and teachers need to be aware that it is not an essay. The report is 100% assessing How science works, it does not need to relate to the specification content.
There are 40 marks for the visit or issue report. It can be marked externally or internally with external moderation. The assessment criteria for both the visit and issue report are identical.
Preparing students for the Edexcel visit/issue report: Nowgen video featuring Dr John Dunkerton who is Edexcel Chief Examiner, Dr Lisa Melton who is News Editor at Nature Biotechnology journal, and students who recently completed their visit issue reports.
Link to Nowgen video