Big idea: Heredity and life cycles

Genetic information is passed from each generation to the next; this information and the environment affect the features, growth and development of organisms.

"Heredity and life cycles" is one of 15 big ideas of science in the Best Evidence Science Teaching collection. Understanding of the big idea is built up by a series of key concepts at age 11-16, which have been organised into teaching topics.

The research-informed resources for each key concept make up a progression toolkit that provides:

  • appropriately-sequenced steps for learning progression
  • diagnostic questions to reveal preconceptions and common misunderstandings
  • response activities to challenge misunderstandings and encourage conceptual development

Download teacher guidance notes for this big idea

 

 

Resources for age 11-14

Topic 1: Inheritance and the genome

Topic 2: Changes within an organism’s lifetime

Topic 3: Reproduction

Resources for age 14-16

Topic 4: Inheritance and the genome

  • Key concept 1
    DNA and the genetic code

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in spring 2021.
     
  • Key concept 2
    Genome, environment and phenotype

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in spring 2021.
     
  • Key concept 3
    Modelling inheritance

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in spring 2021.
     

Topic 5: Growth and development

  • Key concept 1
    Cell division

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in spring 2022.
     
  • Key concept 2
    Stem cells and differentiation

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in spring 2022.
     
  • Key concept 3
    Plant hormones

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in spring 2022.
     

Topic 6: Reproduction

  • Key concept 1
    Hormones and human reproduction

    Resources for this key concept will be uploaded in spring 2022.
     

Is there a recommended teaching order?

The Best Evidence Science Teaching resources can be incorporated into your existing scheme of work, if desired. 

However, we have used research evidence on learning pathways and on effective sequencing of ideas to develop maps that suggest how key concepts can be sequenced to build understanding of big ideas of science. These maps can help with curriculum planning. 

View the key concept map for biology