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Curriculum Aims and Intent


The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows

Sydney J Harris


At the Opossum Federation, we aim to provide a highly effective education which prepares pupils for life, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to contribute to a thriving society (cultural capital). It is our intention to enable all pupils to acquire knowledge that takes them beyond their personal experience, exposing them to the powerful knowledge of each subject discipline.


We intend that all pupils secure fundamental literacy and numeracy as well as giving them the knowledge, skills and confidence they will need to succeed in the 21st Century world. This will provide young people with understanding and motivation for further studies and enable them to make informed decisions in their everyday lives, including about their education and employment.


It is our intention to inspire young people and enable each child to discover the joy of learning and to nurture their individual talents, helping them to fulfil every aspect of their potential and to encourage their growth into ambitious and effective citizens, ready to play their part in their community and the world.


Preparation for life

To equip pupils to contribute to a thriving society we believe that our role is to develop pupils who:

  • Are able to communicate effectively and with confidence in a wide range of situations and audiences
  • Have a secure understanding or their rights and a respect for the rights of others
  • Develop healthy, positive relationships with others
  • Understand how to care for both their physical and mental health and make positive lifestyle choices
  • Know how to constructively challenge injustice
  • Understand issues affecting the planet e.g. climate change and take a role in addressing them
  • Have secure literacy, numeracy and a good understanding of how to use technology to support learning
  • Possess skills to enable creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration


We recognise that barriers and disadvantages are inherent in wider society and therefore intend, through our curriculum, to limit the impact of bias, including relating to gender, ethnicity and disability. We acknowledge the challenges experienced by many of our pupils in becoming fluent English speakers, whilst valuing greatly the richness that diversity contributes to our school communities.


The Opossum Curriculum


The curriculum is the substance of what learners know and can do. Through our curriculum, we intend that pupils will be able to know more, do more and remember more.


Learning is defined as an alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has altered in the long-term memory, nothing has been learned.  Sweller,J, Ayres, P and Kalyuga S (2011)


What pupils learn is organised into a framework, sequenced appropriately for each subject discipline, creating carefully designed programmes of study. The Opossum curriculum is rich in scope. It fulfils the National curriculum and exceeds it through the inclusion of locally relevant content and activities such as, Shakespeare week, sporting competitions and pupil leadership,  which increase the breadth of the offer for pupils.


The Opossum curriculum design is subject-centred, with inter-disciplinary links made, where they naturally occur. Each subject discipline has its own timetabled space to ensure pupils know which subjects they are studying and can make connections with prior learning.


As the progression model, the curriculum builds on the foundational learning which begins in the Early Years. Our learning journeys are sequenced to enable pupils to make connections with previous learning, enriching their schemata as they progress through each stage of the curriculum. Connections to future learning are explicitly highlighted so that pupils recognise the purpose of learning specific knowledge and skills, and the relevance of current learning in their learning journey.


The Opossum curriculum emphasises knowledge, supported by communication and language development, and provides a secure base on which to develop skills, including those needed for problem solving and innovation.