Canberra Girls Grammar School Early Learning Centre recognised for exceptional practice

Date first awarded 21 August 2014

Date awarded: 17 August 2017

Valid until: 16 August 2020

Canberra Girls Grammar School Early Learning Centre has been 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.

Services that receive an overall rating of ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ can apply for the Excellent rating. The Excellent rating is awarded for three years. After this time services have the option to re-apply. 

This is the second time the Deakin based service has been awarded the Excellent rating. For this second award, the service was recognised for its practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth, sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators, and inclusive partnerships with children and families.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • Learning experiences that are guided by the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) which is designed for children between the ages of three and twelve and is an international transdisciplinary programme that views inquiry as the leading vehicle for learning. 
  • Exposing children to a science, health, history, research and experimentation experiences on a regular basis through incursions and excursions to enable children to gain a sense of the world in which they live, including engaging with a local Aboriginal Elder as part of exploring their local bushland.
  • Providing children with a multitude of opportunities by utilising the expertise in the Junior School teaching staff and the facilities available such as weekly library and music sessions.  
  • Maximising children’s development through specific programs such as a gross motor program which is led by a specialist Teacher and targeted at enhancing children’s balance, coordination, eye tracking, hand-eye coordination and kinaesthetic awareness.
  • Promoting a sense of school community and peer relationships through a ‘Buddy Program’ that also supports children’s transitions to school and creates a sense of belonging beyond the service doors and into the school environment.
  • A sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators and a commitment to developing educators’ skills and knowledge through a variety of programs and practices such as a Staff Training and Enrichment Program (STEP), and a mentoring support system which includes one-on-one discussions about professional strengths, career aspirations and encouragement to participate in further studies.
  • Committing to partnering with children and families which is evident through its comprehensive enrolment and orientation process and its multiple and responsive ways of communicating and engaging with families such as mid-year Student Led Conferences where children share their learning journeys with their families.


As a leader in the sector, Canberra Girls Grammar School Early Learning Centre mentors and shares its practice and learnings with other education and care services; in particular to embed the values of the IB PYP and the importance of play based learning.

About the Excellent rating

Services that receive an overall rating of ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ can apply for the Excellent rating. The Excellent rating is awarded for three years. After this time services have the option to re-apply.

More information is available on the ACECQA website.