Home Page

Progression in Science: Biology

Science National Curriculum


Progression in Biology


Subject Key Objective Progression & Development by Year Group


The following is a guide to help you understand your child's progression through school.

All lessons are effectively differentiated to ensure that all children can achieve the objective set.


Biology Knowledge - EYFS


In Nursery, children will:


  • use all of their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials;
  • talk about what they can see, using a wide vocabulary;
  • plant seeds and care for growing plants;
  • understand the key features of the life cycle of a plant and an animal;
  • begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things;
  • make healthy choices about food, drink, activity and tooth brushing.


In Reception, children will:


  • explore the natural world around them;
  • describe what I can see, hear and feel when outside;
  • recognise that some environments are different to the one in which I live;
  • ask questions to find out more and to check what has been said to them;
  • manage their basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet, oral health and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.



Biology Knowledge - Year 1


In Year 1, children will:


  • name a variety of animals, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals;
  • know how to classify a range of animals by amphibian, reptile, mammal, fish and birds;
  • name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivore;
  • know and classify animals by what they eat (carnivore, herbivore and omnivore);
  • know how to sort by living and non-living things;
  • know the name of parts of the human body (head, neck, arms, elbows, legs, knees, face, ears, eyes, hair, mouth, teeth) that can be seen;
  • know which part of the body is associated with each sense;
  • know and name the petals, stem, leaves and root of a plant;
  • know and can name the roots, trunk, branches and leaves of a tree;
  • know and can name a variety of common wild and garden plants;
  • name deciduous and evergreen trees. 






Biology Knowledge - Year 2


In Year 2, children will:


  • classify things by living, dead or never lived;
  • know how a specific habitat provides for the basic needs of things living there (plants and animals);
  • match living things to their habitat;
  • name some different sources of food for animals;
  • know about and can explain a simple food chain;
  • know the basic stages in a life cycle for animals, (including humans);
  • know that animals have offspring which grow into adults;
  • describe the basic needs of animals for survival (water, food and air);
  • know why exercise, a balanced diet and good hygiene are important for humans;
  • know and can explain how seeds and bulbs grow into plants; 
  • know what plants need in order to grow and stay healthy (water, light & suitable temperature).




Biology Knowledge - Year 3


In Year 3, children will:


  • identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat; 
  • identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement;
  • identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers;
  • explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant;
  • investigate the way in which water is transported within plants explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal.




Biology Knowledge - Year 4


In Year 4, children will:


  • identify and name the parts of the human digestive system;
  • know the simple functions of the organs in the human digestive system;
  • identify and know the different types of human teeth;
  • know the functions of different human teeth;
  • use and construct food chains to identify producers, predators and prey;
  • use classification keys to group, identify and name living things in their local and wider environment;
  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways; 
  • know that environment can change and that this can sometimes endanger living things.







Biology Knowledge - Year 5


In Year 5, children will:


  • know the differences between life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird;
  • know the life process of reproduction in some plants;
  • know the life process of reproduction in some animals;
  • describe the changes as a human develops towards old age. 





Biology Knowledge - Year 6


In Year 6, children will:


  • identify and name the main parts of the human circulatory system;
  • describe the function of the heart, blood vessels and blood;
  • recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function;
  • describe the ways in which nutrients and water are transported within animals, including humans;
  • classify living things into broad groups according to observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences including micro-organisms, plants and animals;
  • give reasons for classifying plants and animals based on a specific characteristic;
  • recognise that living things have changed over time;
  • recognise that fossils can be used to find out about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago;
  • recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents;
  • identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways;
  • link adaptation over time to evolution.