Appendix 1: Evaluation framework for early childhood services

Evaluation questions, investigative prompts and indicators 1

Question 1

How responsive is the service's curriculum to the learning interests, strengths and capabilities of children as they approach transition to school? Include focus on children at risk of poor educational outcomes.

Investigative prompts

  • What curriculum decisions are made to support these children?
  • If there are any special programmes, what do these focus on?
  • What do teachers do? (Teaching practices/pedagogy)
  • What/who informs curriculum decisions?
  • What is the influence of Te Whāriki?
  • How does assessment/self review inform the curriculum?
  • How is the curriculum designed to support children at risk of poor educational outcomes?
  • How do leaders support teachers to provide a responsive curriculum for young children?

Indicators of 'very responsive'

  • The curriculum responds to the learning interests, strengths and capabilities of young children, including children at risk of poor educational outcomes
  • The curriculum helps connect young children’s experience with people, places and things
  • The leader promotes quality learning and teaching for young children
  • Teachers understand how their curriculum for young children aligns to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki
  • Teachers have sufficient knowledge, including subject and general knowledge, to build on young children’s existing understandings, working theories and dispositions
  • Teachers have a depth of subject knowledge that enables them to respond meaningfully to young children’s interests and enquiries
  • Young children are supported to understand and contribute to decisions about their learning
  • Teachers’ practices develop young children’s social competencies
  • Assessment information is used to plan and guide the curriculum
  • The service’s curriculum focuses on enhancing dispositional learning as well as skills and ways of knowing
  • Teachers question whose knowledge is valued and reflected in the service’s curriculum
  • There are opportunities for young children to experience unfamiliar routines, new and self directed challenges, co-operative ventures and sustained projects
  • Teachers engage with young children’s first language and the language of their parents/ whanau to make learning more meaningful
  • Self review informs curriculum design
  • There are clear priorities for young children’s learning that align to current theory and practice
  • Parents have opportunities to meet and contribute ideas to the curriculum

Question 2

To what extent do assessment practices and information support children's learning as they approach transition to school?

Investigative prompts

  • What information is recorded about children’s learning as they approach transition to school?
  • What information is shared? With whom and how?
  • How is assessment used to support children as they approach transition to school?
  • What processes are in place for identifying where children need additional support?

Indicators of 'to a great extent'

  • Assessment records and reflects young children’s strong sense of pride and knowledge about their culture, language and identity
  • Assessment information clearly shows young children’s progress over time
  • Assessment information is shared between services and schools, and services are aware of how useful this information is to support transitions for young children moving to school
  • Parents and whanau are well informed about their child’s learning in relation to the service’s curriculum priorities
  • Services are using Te Whāriki to make learning visible in assessment records
  • Teachers involve parents/whanau in assessment in meaningful ways; co-construction of learning outcomes supports transitions to school
  • Teachers reflect on young children’s cultural identity when assessing learning and development (to support transition to school)
  • Assessment is linked to young children’s goals and next steps teachers can take to add value to and extend on young children’s learning
  • Assessment shows deepening and increasing complexity of young children’s learning
  • Assessment illustrates continuity of learning and demonstrates young children’s progress in a range of contexts
  • Assessment builds young children’s identity as a learner

Question 3

In what ways are teachers seeking to maintain children's connections to their language, culture and identity as they approach transition to school? Include focus on children at risk of poor educational outcomes.

Investigative prompts

  • How is knowledge about each individual child’s language, culture and identity shared to support children as they approach transition? With whom?
  • How are teachers and leaders supporting children’s language culture and identity and incorporating this into the programme in a meaningful and respectful manner?
  • How aware are teachers of te ao Maori perspectives across the curriculum?
  • How are teachers recognising the diversity among children of Pacific heritages?
  • How are teachers supporting children for whom English is an additional language?

Indicators

  • Teachers are aware of, and value, young children’s language, culture and identity
  • Teachers use a range of teaching strategies and practices to respond to cultures, languages and identities of young children
  • Young children’s language, culture and identity are reflected in assessment records in meaningful ways - their cultural capital is acknowledged and celebrated
  • Leaders and teachers acknowledge whakapapa as integral to the development of a sense of self, belonging and connectedness
  • Leaders and teachers recognise the importance of Pacific children’s culture, language and identity and provide a culturally responsive environment that reflects Pacific ethnicities
  • Cultural events are celebrated in ways that maintain and build on young children’s language, culture and identity
  • Young children contribute to the development of a curriculum that is responsive to their culture, language and identities
  • Appropriate teaching and learning resources are available and include relevant displays
  • Teachers and leaders are aware of and use Ka Hikitia, the Pacific Education Plan, and Tataiako
  • Teachers move beyond ‘Pakeha ways’ to engage with whanau in ways that foster a climate of collaboration and genuine power sharing
  • Leaders are involved in professional learning development relevant to the language, culture, identity of young children
  • Teachers encourage parents and whanau to take leadership roles where appropriate

Question 4

To what extent does the service develop and engage in collaborative relationships that support children as they approach transition to school?

Investigative prompts

  • How does the service collaborate with parents and whanau to support children as they approach transition to school?
  • How does the servicwwe build collaborative relationships with staff at schools children are transitioning to?
  • What understanding do leaders and teachers have of The New Zealand Curriculum?
  • How does the service build collaborative relationships with staff at external support agencies that children are involved with?

Indicators of 'to a great extent'

a. with parents and whanau

  • Partnerships with parents are well established and their aspirations and expectations are valued and acted on
  • Teachers involve parents/whanau in assessment in meaningful ways; co-construction of learning outcomes supports transitions to school Teachers spend time talking with, and listening to, whanau and building relationships with them
  • Teachers value whakapapa, context and connections with whanau Leaders are responsive to issues, concerns and questions from parents/ whanau about transition to school
  • Teachers talk with parents/whanau where they have concerns about their child’s learning and/or transition to school
  • Teachers/leaders provide appropriate information about transition to school to parents/whanau that support young children and their whanau Leaders and teachers seek ways to increase parents’ understanding of curriculum areas in ECE
  • Teachers provide opportunities for parents/whanau to contribute their perspectives to the transition process

b. with schools that children are transitioning to

  • Collaborative relationships with schools are established
  • The service shares information with schools to support continuity of learning between centre and school
  • Assessment information is shared between services and schools, and services are aware of how useful this information is to support transitions for young children moving to school
  • Teachers and leaders in services are aware of The New Zealand Curriculum and its links to Te Whāriki

c. with external support agencies

  • Collaborative relationships with external support agencies are established Staff work closely with multidisciplinary teams which include the early intervention teacher, speech therapist, physiotherapist and occupation therapist (for children with special needs) and have plans in place to support young children as they approach transition
  • Leaders and teachers understand the importance of relationships in supporting young children as they approach transition

Question 5

To what extent does the service's self review identify the impact of practices and processes that support children as they approach transition to school? Focus on curriculum, assessment and collaborative relationships.

Investigative prompts

  • What does the service know through its self review about its effectiveness in supporting children’s transitions?
  • What policies or procedures does the service have to guide transition to school?
  • How do leaders promote and implement effective self review as a means to improve the quality of children’s transition journeys?
  • Whose perspectives are sought?
  • How do services use self review information to support children’s smooth transitions?
  • Is there evidence of change from this process?

Indicators of 'to a great extent'

  • Self review informs curriculum design
  • Self review is ongoing and responsive to identified priorities for learning
  • Self review is used for ongoing improvement and modification of practice, programmes, interaction and assessment
  • Self review is used to modify planning to meet young children’s changing interests and build on their strengths
  • Leaders and teachers evaluate the impact for young children of curriculum design decisions and implementation (teaching practice)
  • Leaders and teachers review and reflect on their transition practices and seek to make improvements for the benefit of young children and their whanau - identifying and removing barriers to successful transition is evident