ABC Rotorua East - 16/02/2011

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

ABC Rotorua East Learning Centre is located in Rotorua and caters for children from birth to school age.  It is a full day education and care centre that operates under the umbrella of ABC Learning Centres.  Since the last ERO review in 2008, a centre manager has been employed along with several new staff members.  A head teacher has yet to be employed.

The centre manager is creating a team culture where staff work collaboratively in the interests of children.  She has reviewed and refined centre systems and practices.  Due to ongoing staff changes there is a need for management to continue to provide ongoing professional development for the centre manager and staff related to assessment for learning and self review.

Teachers have a well-developed ability to establish an easy rapport with children within a short time frame.  They interact with children in a caring, nurturing way and children are confident to approach adults for support and assistance.  Children interact well with teachers and each other, showing respect and cooperation.

Key aspects of the programme include teachers setting up resources to capture children’s interests and children being able to move freely around the indoor area and make choices about their play.  Meal and mat times provide opportunities for children to engage in song, rhyme and waiata.  Te reo me ona tikanga Māori practices are naturally integrated into interactions, the programme and routines.  Children are developing their understanding of the Māori culture and language.

A feature of this centre is the positive and supportive partnership established between the centre and its families.  Parents spoken to during this Education Review expressed confidence that children’s diverse needs were being catered for.  They feel well informed through regular newsletters and informal conversations with staff.  Teachers know children and their families well and are responsive to children’s care and learning needs.  Children benefit from a sense of well being and belonging.

Staff and management work collaboratively to provide a safe environment for children.  Well-managed procedures promote children’s health and safety.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of ABC Rotorua East Learning Centre was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO.  ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff.  This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atABC Rotorua East Learning Centre.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education.  For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Since the last ERO review the centre has experienced considerable staff changes including several centre managers.  The centre manager has reviewed and refined centre systems and practices.  A new head teacher has yet to be employed. Teachers have participated in ongoing professional development to enhance their professional practice. 

Areas of strength

Interactions:  Teachers have established positive and reciprocal interactions with children that promote high levels of trust.  ERO observed:

  • teachers encouraging children’s self-care and independence;
  • children playing cooperatively with their peers;
  • teachers responding with care and respect to children’s emotional and physical needs; and
  • teachers using, and children experiencing, consistent approaches to learning and behaviour.

Children are confident and interact well with teachers and each other showing respect and cooperation.

Programme:  Teachers engage with children in play and activities throughout the day.  Key features include:

  • teachers setting up resources to capture children’s interests;
  • children being able to move freely around the indoor area and make choices about their play; and
  • meal and mat times that provide opportunities for children to engage in song, rhyme and waiata.

Children and teachers enthusiastically learn alongside each other.

Partnerships with parents:  A feature of this centre is the positive and supportive partnership established between the centre and its families.  Parents feel welcomed into the centre and are comfortable approaching staff.  There are many opportunities for parents to be informed about children’s progress and achievements and to be actively engaged in centre activities and decision-making processes.  Teachers know children and their families well and are responsive to children’s care and learning needs.  Children benefit from a sense of well being and belonging.

Areas for development and review

Assessment for learning:  Due to ongoing staff changes there is still a need to continue to develop assessment practices.  These include:

  • developing a consistent approach to the analysis and interpretation of learning dispositions;
  • revisiting the ‘next steps’ to show how previous learning has been extended and supported; and
  • evaluating programmes to inform ongoing improvement of learning programmes and teaching practices.

Self review:  Self-review processes are at early stages of development.  There is a need for the centre manager and teachers to understand self-review practices in order to bring about ongoing improvement.  Areas for consideration include programme evaluation practices, the ‘kindy’ programme and a learning environment that is richly resourced with curriculum areas where children can explore their ideas and interests.

Learning conversations:  To enhance the quality of interactions teachers need to consistently give consideration to developing meaningful conversations that include building on the complexity of children’s learning, developing literacy skills, and challenging and extending children’s thoughts and ideas.

3 National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports.  This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement. 

Partnerships with whānau of Māori children in early childhood services

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • this service understands and values the identity, language and culture of Māori children and their whānau, particularly when the child and whānau transition to the service;
  • managers and educators have built relationships with whānau of Māori children;  and
  • this service works in partnership with whānau of Māori children.

Background

At the time of this review the majority of children at this centre identify as Māori.  The centre philosophy includes a focus on valuing and respecting tikanga Māori. 

Area of strength

Engaging with Māori families:  Teachers are implementing a range of strategies to promote Māori language and culture.  A feature of the centre is the opportunities provided for whānau to share information about their children with the centre.  Māori parents feel well informed about their children’s progress and are able to be actively engaged in centre activities and decision making.  Teachers have worked hard to establish a learning environment that values and promotes te reo and tikanga Māori through conversations, waiata, karakia and kapa haka.  These good practices are affirming Māori children’s cultural identity and sense of belonging to the centre.

4 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of ABC Rotorua East Learning Centre completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement  and Self-Audit Checklist.  In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures.  ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

 In order to improve current practice the managers should:

  • provide adequate shade for all outdoor play areas.

5 Recommendation

ERO and the centre managers agree that:

5.1         management continues to provide ongoing professional development for the centre manager and staff related to assessment for learning and self review.

6 Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again within three years. 

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region 

About the Centre

Type

All day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

36 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Roll number

40

Gender composition

Girls         24
Boys        16

Ethnic composition
 

New Zealand Māori               20
New Zealand European        13
Samoan                                   3
Other                                       4

Review team on site

November 2010

Date of this report

16 February 2011

Previous three ERO reports

 

Education Review June 2008
Education Review June 2005
Accountability Review February 2000

16 February 2011

To the Parents and Community of ABC Rotorua East Learning Centre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on ABC Rotorua East Learning Centre.

ABC Rotorua East Learning Centre is located in Rotorua and caters for children from birth to school age.  It is a full day education and care centre that operates under the umbrella of ABC Learning Centres.  Since the last ERO review in 2008, a centre manager has been employed along with several new staff members.  A head teacher has yet to be employed.

The centre manager is creating a team culture where staff work collaboratively in the interests of children.  She has reviewed and refined centre systems and practices.  Due to ongoing staff changes there is a need for management to continue to provide ongoing professional development for the centre manager and staff related to assessment for learning and self review.

Teachers have a well-developed ability to establish an easy rapport with children within a short time frame.  They interact with children in a caring, nurturing way and children are confident to approach adults for support and assistance.  Children interact well with teachers and each other, showing respect and cooperation.

Key aspects of the programme include teachers setting up resources to capture children’s interests and children being able to move freely around the indoor area and make choices about their play.  Meal and mat times provide opportunities for children to engage in song, rhyme and waiata.  Te reo me ona tikanga Māori practices are naturally integrated into interactions, the programme and routines.  Children are developing their understanding of the Māori culture and language.

A feature of this centre is the positive and supportive partnership established between the centre and its families.  Parents spoken to during this Education Review expressed confidence that children’s diverse needs were being catered for.  They feel well informed through regular newsletters and informal conversations with staff.  Teachers know children and their families well and are responsive to children’s care and learning needs.  Children benefit from a sense of well being and belonging.

Staff and management work collaboratively to provide a safe environment for children.  Well-managed procedures promote children’s health and safety.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take.  You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz. 

Richard Thornton
National Manager Review Services
Northern Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews.  The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s  self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review.  ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • National Evaluation Topics – This strand contributes to the development of education policies and their effective implementation.  The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports.  Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information. 
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues.  The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement.  A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue.  There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.