Variety and characteristics of living things

Animal and plant life 

In the infant classes children should begin to observe and identify a wide variety of living things. Common local plants and animals should be observed and identified in the immediate environment of the school. Similarities and differences among living things should be noted, and pupils will be encouraged to recognise different groups of living things, for example birds, farm animals and pets.

In first and second classes children should be able to identify, using common names, a range of birds, mammals, trees, flowers and insects that they have observed directly in a variety of habitats. They should become more aware of the differences between plants and animals and should begin to recognise living and non-living things in the environment. The concept of life cycle will become more familiar to children at this stage.

In third and fourth classes children should sort and group animals according to observable features, and they will begin to use charts, posters, videos and simple keys to aid their identification.

In the middle and senior classes children should recognise that animals of the same species vary from individual to individual. For example, humans all belong to the same species, but we look very different from each other. They should also investigate variation in behaviour from one individual to another.