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Our vision statement says:

Be great. 

We recognise that our pupils have varying starting points. As a school, we have made the decision to implement our curriculum utilising methods of direct instruction as they are considered the 'best bet' for teaching and learning, especially for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. If we want our pupils to 'Be great', this is the best choice we can make for our community. 

As a teaching community at St. George’s, we have co-created an evidence-informed, shared language around best practice for teaching and learning: our teaching touchstones.

Teaching Touchstones:



Our teaching touchstones are grouped under ten principles of effective instruction, which are further categorised into three domains: the behaviour domain; the curriculum domain; and the teaching domain.

They are context-free, and retain a consistent reference point to base discussions for developing teaching and learning.

Subject leads and teachers can use the touchstones to guide domain-specific decisions around implementation, systems and processes and identify best bets across subject areas and Key Stages.

The full set of criteria can viewed by downloading the attachment at the end of this page. 

The Gradual Release Towards Independence Model


Our teaching touchstones also work in symbiosis with the Gradual Release Towards Independence model. Eventual independence can be viewed as an aim within a session, over a sequence of lessons, or across a period of time or Key Stage.

Subject Specific Implementation

Each subject has unique systems and processes through which the curriculum is implemented, using our models for implementation as the guide. Please see each individual subject area under the curriculum tab to see how our Teaching Touchstones are used and adapted to ensure there is a transformation in long term memory for our pupils and that they have developed strategies through which to use the powerful knowledge they acquire at each stage.

Use of Teaching Assistants

In line with our Teaching Touchstones, we have developed Teaching Assistant Touchstones, which complement the teaching and learning procedures we have and ensures all staff are clear about what best practice looks like at St George's. These touchstones were made collaboratively with staff, drawing upon guidance from the EEF on best use of Teaching Assistants. 

Please click on the attachement below to access the TA Touchstones