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Cotmanhay Junior School

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Evolution and inheritance

Evolution and inheritance


National curriculum content

  • Recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information 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 and that adaptation may lead to evolution


Lesson objectives

  1. Explain the timeline of the Earth up to the modern day
  2. Explain who Mary Anning was and why her discoveries are important to science
  3. Understand how some features are inherited
  4. Describe how living things have adapted to survive
  5. Explain how natural selection works using Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution
  6. Explain how natural selection works using Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution


What we want children to know

  • How characteristics are passed form parents to their offspring
  • Some evolutionary changes can be quick
  • How variation over time makes animals less or more likely to survive
  • The importance of Mary Anning and Charles Darwin and their ideas of evolution


What skills we want children to develop

  • Develop an understanding of how life on Earth began and continued to evolve over time
  • Highlight which traits have been inherited
  • Name some ways in which species have evolved in order to survive
  • Use Darwinian theory to describe changes in living things



Adaptation, dinosaur, evolution, fossil, inheritance, inherited, natural selection, prehistoric, trait, variety