Teaching primary biology: classification NE010

Develop your knowledge of biology to support your pupils' learning as part of the primary science curriculum.


Teach primary science effectively by developing your subject knowledge and confidence in science topics. This course will examine key subject knowledge within the biology elements of the primary science curriculum, focusing on the topic of classification. Classification is how we group living things based on features, similarities and differences. Through the course, we will demonstrate common misconceptions children may have and show how to identify and overcome them.

“This course has helped me to consider how we can enable progression across the year groups with classification.”  Participant, UK

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Who is it for?

This online course is for primary teachers and trainee teachers for primary education (pupils aged 5-11 years). Teaching assistants may also be interested in developing their subject knowledge through this course. The English National Curriculum will be referred to, but teachers will be able to apply subject knowledge to their own curricula.

What topics are covered?

This course covers:

  • why good subject knowledge is essential when teaching primary science.
  • developing subject knowledge for the biology content of the primary science curriculum.
  • understanding children’s misconceptions about classification and identifying teaching strategies to identify and overcome them.
  • subject knowledge to teach classification, including classifying animals, plants and grouping by invertebrate and vertebrate.

How will you learn?

This course is not facilitated. You can learn independently or with colleagues to directly address your individual needs.

How long is this course?

This course takes around 6 hours to complete and you do not need to be online at any specific time. You can take the course at your own pace.


By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • identify the importance of good subject knowledge when teaching primary science

  • develop personal subject knowledge of classification to teach this topic as part of the biology primary science curriculum

  • apply subject knowledge of biology to class teaching of pupils aged 5-11 years old

  • explore practical activities to teach scientific concepts in the primary curriculum

  • identify common misconceptions children may have in primary science concepts

  • develop teaching strategies to identify and overcome children’s misconceptions



Scheduled courses

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