The Yellow Cottage Scone Grammar School Preschool has been awarded the Excellent rating

Date awarded: 18 November 2020

Valid until: 17 November 2023

The Yellow Cottage Scone Grammar School Preschool 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.

The Upper Hunter Valley based service was recognised for its:

  • collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations,
  • positive workplace culture and organisational values, sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators, and
  • practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • A partnership with the Upper Hunter Valley positive education and wellbeing organisation, Where There’s a Will (WTaW), which has resulted in:
    • Being the first early childhood service nationally to undertake visible wellbeing training through WTaW.
    • Collaborating with WTaW and Professor Lea Waters to create a visible wellbeing framework, resources, experiences and training reflecting early years education research and the needs of early childhood services.
    • Co-presenting training to over 100 early childhood education and care services from the Upper Hunter Valley region.
    • Promoting and embedding a cross-community and capacity building approach to wellbeing to its children, families, educators and local community members.
  • The use of focus groups including a Reconciliation focus group, which has led to:
    • Relationship and community building with its Local Aboriginal Land Council, the Hunter Valley Aboriginal Corporations, the Upper Hunter Shire Council and local language groups.
    • Development of a Reconciliation Action Plan, permission to use local language within the service and the respectful inclusion of an Acknowledgement of Country and welcome song which children take part in daily.
    • Educators attending local and interstate professional development opportunities to further develop their cultural understanding, confidence and cultural competence.
  • The use of a strength-based approach and strength-based language which has led to:
    • Children expressing the need to dial up, pair their strengths or use their strengths to support others. This relates to completing challenging tasks such as bush walks, focusing during group times and assisting younger children to be active participants in library sessions.
    • Children displaying leadership at the service’s bush kindy site when guiding family members and fellow bushwalkers through bush trails and completing bush walks.
    • Children developing their strengths of empathy, kindness and social intelligence through cultivating a giving garden and sharing the produce with family members, local primary school students, elderly neighbours and residents from a local retirement village.

As a leader in the sector, The Yellow Cottage Scone Grammar School Preschool develops and inspires the practice of educators locally and nationally, school representatives and community members through:

  • Providing phone, email and face to face support to over 30 early childhood education and care services in the Upper Hunter region on strength-based experiences and supporting children’s wellbeing.
  • Presenting at a local Positive Education Schools Association meeting, Upper Hunter Schools Visible Wellbeing Showcase, Upper Hunter Appreciative Inquiry Summits and Scone Grammar School Appreciative Inquiry Summits to share and inspire with its wellbeing and strengths-based practices.
  • Advising on early years educational theorists and approaches, the use of the approved Early Years Learning Framework and the inclusion of children’s voices and ideas within wellbeing resources and training promoted by WTaW.

About the Excellent rating

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