Henbury Court Primary Academy


The ‘Opening Worlds’ Curriculum:   

From April 2024, we have adopted the Opening Worlds humanities curriculum for history, geography and RE.    

Opening Worlds curriculum and its associated teaching approaches will secure the highest possible quality of education for pupils. This is because the curriculum ensures that the subjects reflect the wide reference and academic practices, outside of school, to which they refer. In addition, the material is organised so that pupils use earlier material to access to later material and so that pupils start to see how everything connects within a subject. 

Opening Worlds has strongly recommended that the material is taught in sequence because each part makes the next part much more understandable.  All key stage 2 children have, therefore, started with the Year 2 implementation unit before moving on to the Year 3 Opening Worlds curriculum.  As a result of moving from the school’s previous curriculum to Opening Worlds, the school has identified a small number of content gaps.  These have been noted and will be addressed through our choice of books that are used in English, books that are read to children and during Collective Worship and assemblies.  Each Geography, History and RE session lasts 75 minutes and each subject is taught each week.


Intent of the ‘Opening Worlds’ curriculum: 

The uniqueness and background of every child is recognise and valued. Because of this, our curriculum covers a range of cultural, historical and ethical backgrounds and offers purposeful and meaningful experiences to apply, share and develop this knowledge . Our diverse, culturally rich, wide-scoping and rigorous/coherent curriculum is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values in a rigorous and coherent way. Explicit links to story telling and creativity are made to ensure children to engage and enthuse learners.  Many enhancement and enrichment activities are used throughout the curriculum to engage learners and create purposeful, high leverage outcomes that give children the opportunity to use and apply their developing knowledge and skills. Our aim is to create an environment that prompts curiosity, critical thinking and allows learners to connect strands of learning across all aspects of the curriculum. 


The Structure of the curriculum:  

This approach has a coherent, chronological and rigorous structure that ensures that links are not only made across individual subjects but also across each of the topics covered. This means that knowledge is gradually and successfully built upon and children make explicit links using their previous knowledge. This is consistently revisited and retrieved. Below, the coverage of each humanities subject.  


Opening Worlds is rapidly becoming 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.

Perhaps the most noticeable impact is that pupils can access the rich, extended text in the booklets because all new vocabulary is pre-taught and practised through blends of direct instruction, engaging story-telling and other activities. 






The following table below shows how the curriculum will progress over the coming years. 


September 2024 

September 2025 

September 2026 

September 2027 

Year 6 cohort 2024-2025 

Year 3 curriculum  




Year 5 cohort 2024-2025 

Year 3 curriculum 

Year 4 curriculum 



Year 4 cohort 2024-2025 


(mixed Y3/4) 

Year 3 curriculum 

Year 4 curriculum 

Year 5 curriculum 


Year 3 cohort 2024-2025 


(mixed Y3/4) 

Year 3 curriculum 

Year 4 curriculum 

Year 3 curriculum 

Year 4 curriculum 


Year 3 


Ancient Egypt 

Cradles of Civilisation -Ancient Mesopotamia 


Mountains and Famous Mountain Ranges 

A Hindu Story – Rama and Sita 

Hinduism origins: places and stories from the Indus Valley. 


Indus Valley Civilisation 

Ancient  Greece 

Settlements and Cities 

Agriculture and Farming 

Living as a Hindu 

Judaism How have stories from the Hebrew Bible shaped Judaism? 


Ancient Greece – The Culture 

Alexander the Great 

Volcanoes and the earth’s structure 

Climate and Biomes 

Moses and Exodus 

Samuel, Saul and David Stories 



The Opening Worlds programme has three types of assessment: 


 i) Routine, embedded, informal formative assessment.

This happens all the time. It is built into every lesson. Adults are constantly checking that knowledge is secure and that pupils are learning to think historically or geographically with their new knowledge. The regular quizzing and short tasks are always giving ongoing information about how well pupils have remembered and understood, so that teachers are able to adapt and/or re-teach immediately, or at least in the next lesson, ensuring no pupil ever gets left behind. 


  1. ii) End of unit synoptic tasks

After the sixth lesson of each unit, pupils do an extended, synoptic task. This is often a piece of extended writing. It might also be an annotated diagram or a more creative outcome such as a story about the past or a little problem to solve using their historical or geographical knowledge. These extended tasks allow pupils both to further develop and to demonstrate, their new knowledge, both substantive and disciplinary, from the unit of work. 


iii) End of term multiple choice tests 

At the end of each term, multiple choice tests randomly samples pupils’ history, geography knowledge and RE knowledge from across the whole term. These are termly summative tests, giving data about how well pupils are mastering the curriculum. Each test has 18 questions (History, Geography and RE) questions. With thorough teaching, all pupils should gain at least 15 marks every time. If pupils' marks are constant at this level, they are making excellent progress. Teachers will have clear evidence that pupils are mastering the curriculum. 

Please see the information below for a thorough curriculum overview and plan of progression.