John Paul College Outside School Hours Care has been re-awarded an Excellent Rating

Date re-awarded: 21 November 2019

Valid until: 20 November 2022

John Paul College Outside School Hours Care has been re-awarded the Excellent rating by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), the highest rating a service can achieve under the National Quality Framework. This is the very first education and care service in Australia to be awarded the Excellent rating for a third time.

The Brisbane based service was recognised for its:

  • commitment to children that respects, reflects and celebrates culture and diversity, including place of origin,
  • inclusive partnerships with children and families,
  • practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth,
  • positive workplace culture and organisational values, and sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • A student leadership program to showcase children’s skills and interests and recognise children’s efforts.This includes:
    • During group planning meetings for vacation care, children asked for a range of sporting experiences to be included.  In response, the service selected student leaders, recognised for their knowledge and skills in volleyball and tennis, to assist. The student leaders organised the sports experiences, providing explanations, instructions and demonstrations to their fellow peers during the round robin sports week.
    • Recently changing the program to include younger children. For example, Year Two and Year Three children have become student leaders to support John Paul College Kindergarten children with transitioning into the service through hosting service tours and setting up play experiences with younger children.
    • The service has a student leader garden monitor with a keen interest in gardening, who guides the children in watering, replanting, weeding and harvesting.
  • Demonstrating support for its school community and celebrating the culture and diversity of its children through support for the school’s mother tongue cultural club. This includes:
    • educators and staff attending the cultural sessions to ensure continuity of learning across the school
    • making resources used within the cultural sessions accessible to all of its children, and purchasing literacy resources used within the sessions for the service
    • documenting the sessions for children to revisit. The service acknowledges children share their learning with peers and family members who may not have been able to attend the cultural sessions.
  • The service has continued to build on its six year partnership with Griffith University. This includes participating in a talking circles research project, with children and educators providing program and conversation samples. A research paper will soon be made available about the project in addition to a video resource to complement the talking circles research.
  • Maintaining its ongoing commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s perspectives through:
    • extended art projects
    • redesign of its Indigenous garden to establish a grounded in truth tree
    • introducing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander library for its children and families, and
    • being the first Out of School Hours Care service within Queensland to have its Reconciliation Action Plan published on the Narragunnawali platform.
  • Revising its homework club based on family feedback that quality time was being impacted at home, and children had challenges completing their homework after leaving the service of an afternoon. In response, the service employed qualified learning enhancement teachers and tutors to run the daily homework club sessions. During these, children receive one on one targeted assistance to complete homework in a dedicated space. The homework club occurs directly after school to support children’s knowledge transfer from the classroom. Family feedback acknowledges the program has increased quality time spent with their children after leaving the service of an afternoon.

As a leader in the sector, John Paul College Outside School Hours Care has mentored local, regional and international services through providing service tours, professional discussions, hosting sector network events and assisting services to develop and publish their own Reconciliation Action Plan and establish relationships with Aboriginal Elders.

Through these leadership practices, the service ensures their positive impact reaches beyond the children and families who access their service.

About the Excellent rating

Services that receive ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ in all seven quality areas can apply for the Excellent rating. The Excellent rating is awarded for three years. After this time services have the option to re-apply.