When studying plants, pupils in year 1 will focus primarily on understanding what plants are and describing their basic structure e.g. stem, leaves, petals, fruit and roots. This knowledge is then built upon in year 2 where pupils learn about how seeds and bulbs grow into plants. During this learning, pupils explore the requirements for plants to grow healthily.
In lower key stage 2, pupils will use the previous knowledge from both year 1 and year 2 to explore the functions of the different parts of plants in maintaining a healthy life in more depth. This knowledge is then used and built upon in even more depth to better understand living things and their habitats in later key stage 2. Throughout these units, pupils draw on their understanding of how seasonal changes can affect the growth of plants.
When studying animals, including humans, pupils will begin by exploring and grouping common animals into basic classification systems. In a similar way to the plants units, pupils will also learn about the different parts of the human body and link this to senses.
In year 2, pupils will build upon their previous knowledge and look at the basic needs for survival, focusing on animals and humans. Pupils will explore the similarities and differences between the needs of plants and those of animals. They will explore how a healthy lifestyle is important for growth. In key stage two, pupils will learn about how the human body works through learning about its key systems in more depth. In lower key stage 2, pupils will be taught about the muscular, skeletal and digestive systems.
In upper key stage 2, pupils will build on their previous learning by looking at how humans change and grow throughout their life, starting from birth and finishing in old age. Pupils will also be taught about the circulatory system and its component parts. They will use their knowledge to understand how the body’s systems can be affected by lifestyle changes.
When studying living things and their habits, pupils bring together the knowledge and understanding from units within the plants and animals, including humans sequence of learning. In year 2, pupils use their knowledge of plants and animals to begin understanding how habitats comprise of both plants and animals, which are dependent on each other for life. Pupils will begin to explore life cycles within these habitats and how they play a part in growth. In lower key stage 2, pupils will develop a deeper understanding of classification and how habitats and environments can change, which can either support or pose danger to animal and plant life. Throughout these units, pupils will draw on their understanding of seasonal changes and their impact on life. In upper key stage 2, pupils will use their knowledge of classification to explore variations in life cycles. They will also describe reproduction, making links to life cycles and human growth. In year 6, pupils will explore classification in more depth, incorporating micro-organisms. The final unit of biology uses previous knowledge of living things to explore and learn about evolution and inheritance, paying particular attention to how living things and their characteristics change over time. Knowledge taught previously about fossils, will be revisited to support exploration and find evidence for these changes. When studying evolution, teachers will handle the topic with sensitivity ensuring that they do not imply that science contradicts religious beliefs.