- National Quality Framework
- Guide to the NQF
- Section 3: National Quality Standard and Assessment and Rating
- Quality Area 3: Physical environment
- Standard 3.2: Use
- Exceeding guidance for Standard 3.2: Use
Exceeding guidance for Standard 3.2: Use
The following guidance is questions for services to ask of their own practice to consider whether their service Exceeds the NQS in Standard 3.2.
Authorised officers determine the rating of each Standard by considering each theme in relation to each Standard descriptor.
For further information on the three Exceeding themes, including what authorised officers consider when reviewing whether evidence demonstrates a theme, see Exceeding NQS theme guidance.
You can find case studies describing examples of practice for this Standard at https://www.acecqa.gov.au/assessment/exceeding-themes
Questions to guide reflection on practice for Standard 3.2
Exceeding theme 1: Practice is embedded in service operations
- How do educators, the educational leader, and the co-ordinator demonstrate a deep understanding of the requirements of the Standard, concept and the component elements, and a commitment to high quality practice at all times?
- How are children actively engaged in child-directed learning experiences that demonstrate environmental awareness and/or responsibility?
- How do observed practices and discussions demonstrate a whole-of-service approach to the use of space and resources that is inclusive, purposeful, creative, and flexible, and enhances learning and development outcomes for all children?
- Are all educators:
- able to explain how the use of the physical environment is organised to be flexible, support safe and inclusive access by all children and promote each child’s engagement in play-based learning?
- confidently able to organise and adapt spaces and resources as needed throughout the day, week, and month to ensure a consistently inclusive and flexible play-based learning environment for all children?
- able to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to caring for the natural environment and fostering environmental awareness and responsibility in children, and aware of how their practice aligns with practice across the service?
- How does the service’s approach to creating inclusive learning environments, engaging in sustainable practice and supporting environmental responsibility reflect the service’s philosophy?
Exceeding theme 2: Practice is informed by critical reflection
- How is the service’s approach to organising inclusive, play-based learning environments and to supporting environmental responsibility:
- reflective of robust debate, discussion, and opportunities for input by all educators, and informed by critical reflection?
- informed by current recognised guidance?
- Is any change to the service’s approach to organising inclusive, play-based learning environments and to supporting environmental responsibility understood by all and implemented appropriately?
- How do all educators regularly reflect on opportunities to:
- support every child’s participation and further enhance children’s learning and development through the creative and flexible use of space, equipment and resources?
- support children’s environmental awareness and responsibility?
- How does the service team reflect together on opportunities to:
- further enhance children’s learning and development through the creative and flexible use of space, equipment and resources?
- strengthen the service’s engagement in environmental sustainability, and work together to implement agreed changes across the service?
Exceeding theme 3: Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families and/or the community
- How does the service’s use and organisation of space and resources:
- reflect the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service and welcome, respect and draw on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service?
- In what ways does the service’s approach to environmentally sustainable practice and support of environmental responsibility:
- reflect the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service?
- welcome, respect and draw on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service?
- How does the service collaborate with family and/or community partners to:
- foster an inclusive, welcoming and flexible play-based learning environment?
- design indoor and outdoor spaces that draw on and reflect the diverse cultures of the broader community, for example engaging with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to design an environment that reflects their culture?
- engage in sustainable practices within the service and support environmental awareness and responsibility across the service community?
- How are children engaged in excursions that utilise community environments and support child-directed exploration and discovery?
- How do educators support families to develop understanding and engage in environmentally responsible and sustainable practices?
See the ACECQA Educational Leader Resource for information for educational leaders.