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Classification and Evolution and Inheritance

During the spring term, in science, year 6 will be exploring Classification and Evolution and Inheritance. Below, you will find some useful links which children can access at home.





Evolution and Inheritance


Classification is putting things into groups. Living things can be divided into these groups or 'classified' by looking at similarities and differences between the way they look and behave.




Animals are divided into two main groups. Animals that have a backbone (spine) are called vertebrates. Animals that don't have a backbone are called invertebrates.

Vertebrates and invertebrates are divided into smaller groups.

Vertebrates, for example, are divided into five groups:

  • fish
  • amphibians (like frogs and toads)
  • reptiles (like snakes and crocodiles)
  • birds
  • mammals (like humans, dogs and dolphins)


There are many different groups of invertebrates too. They include invertebrates which have:

  • soft bodies such as jellyfish, worms and molluscs (like slugs and squids).
  • hard bodies such as insects, crustaceans and spiders.


 Evolution explains how the living things on our planet today have slowly developed from simpler life forms that lived millions of years ago. The first person who explained how evolution happens was Charles Darwin with his scientific theory of evolution.


Charles Darwin published his scientific theory of natural selection in a book called ‘On the Origin of Species’ in 1859.

Darwin’s theory explained how every living thing is connected in a family tree that stretches back billions of years to the beginning of life on Earth.




Have you ever noticed that offspring often look a little like both of their parents? A puppy might have the same colour fur as its mother but have a face that looks more like its father. When living things reproduce they pass on characteristics to their offspring. This is known as inheritance.

There are some key characteristics that we inherit from our birth parents. These include your eye colour, skin colour, shape of your ears and whether you can roll your tongue or not.