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Humanities

At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, we want our children to become passionate, informed and confident learners of the humanities subjects, so they are fully prepared for the next stage in their education.

It is for this reason that we follow the Opening Worlds curriculum for History and Geography. The programme meets and substantially exceeds the demand of the National Curriculum for history and geography. It is characterised by strong vertical sequencing within subjects (so that pupils gain security in a rich, broad vocabulary through systematic introduction, sustained practice and deliberate revisiting) and intricate horizontal and diagonal connections, thus creating a curriculum with effects that are far greater than the sum of its parts. 

Opening Worlds is known for the following distinctive features:

  • Thoroughness in knowledge-building, achieved through intricate coherence and tight sequencing
  • Global and cultural breadth, embracing wide diversity across ethnicity, gender, region and community
  • Rapid impact on literacy through systematic introduction and revisiting of new vocabulary
  • Subject-specific disciplinary rigour, teaching pupils to interpret and argue, to advance and weigh claims, and to understand the distinctive ways in which subject traditions enquire and seek truth
  • Well-told stories: beautifully written narratives and the nurture of teachers’ own story-telling art
  • A highly inclusive approach, secured partly through common knowledge (giving access to common language) and partly through thorough high-leverage teaching that is pacey, oral, interactive and fun
  • Efficient use of lesson time, blending sharp pace, sustained practice and structured reflection
  • Rapid improvement of teachers’ teaching through systematic training in the Opening Worlds evidence-informed, high-leverage techniques

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Updated | 19th March, 2024 |

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