Hadlow Preschool - 22/09/2015

1. Evaluation of Hadlow Preschool

How well placed is Hadlow Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Hadlow Preschool is located in the grounds of Hadlow Preparatory School in Masterton. The service is owned by the Trinity Schools’ Trust Board, the proprietor of three Anglican schools in the Masterton area. It is governed by the preschool governance board on behalf of the Trinity Schools’ Trust Board. Since the December 2012 ERO review, the parent committee has been dissolved.

The centre is licensed for 30 children over the age of three. Since the previous ERO review the centre has extended its hours to three days a week.

Teachers are qualified and registered. The teaching team is longstanding.

Centre philosophy focuses on providing a respectful environment in which children feel safe and happy and are supported to reach their potential.

The Review Findings

Children actively participate in planned and spontaneous experiences. Their literacy and mathematical skill development is an integral part of the programme. Children are articulate and confident.

Individual learning plans are underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. They are used to identify teaching strategies to support children’s learning. The recent introduction of eportfolios makes documentation of children’s learning more immediately available to parents and extended family members. This new initiative reflects strategic plans to establish a future-focused curriculum.

Assessments in the form of learning stories are of variable quality and do not consistently show the progression of children’s learning over time. Leaders and teachers agree that they should continue to develop assessment practices to include evaluation of how effectively teaching strategies extend children’s learning. The cultural identity of Māori children is yet to be reflected through assessment. Teachers should seek ways to include parents’ aspirations for their children’s learning in assessment and planning.

It is timely to review group learning experiences at mat times to ensure they are responsive to all children’s strengths, interests and needs. This should support a stronger reflection of the philosophy, vision and mission in practice.

Respectful, reciprocal and warm relationships exist between parents and teachers. Families have opportunities to contribute to their children’s learning assessments and preschool events. They demonstrate that they feel comfortable and welcome at the preschool. Many stay to participate alongside their child at the start of the day.

Teachers are building their capability to provide a culturally responsive curriculum. They are developing Te Tiriti o Waitangi based practices. ERO affirms this direction.

When children are able to lead their learning they engage in sustained conversations with adults and each other. Interactions are warm and positive and they play together cooperatively. Their social competencies are promoted.

Teachers extend children’s language and thinking using a range of appropriate teaching strategies. Adults are gentle and caring. The atmosphere is calm and purposeful. Children are happy and settled.

Transitions into the preschool are well considered and nurture children’s sense of belonging and wellbeing. Partnerships between the centre and schools, in particular Hadlow Preparatory, and parents, promote successful and seamless transition for children and their families.

Teachers are reflective practitioners. They participate in an improvement focused appraisal process that links to well-considered professional learning and development. The head teacher receives useful feedback and feed forward from an external appraiser. A next step for appraisal should be to strengthen the focus on building leadership capability and ensuring that trustees receive evidence of teachers’ performance management.

While an improvement-focused strategic plan is in place, it is not sufficiently understood by teachers. Therefore, strategic goals and desired outcomes are difficult to meet. Strategic planning should involve staff to support their ownership of the future direction for the Preschool.

The dual purpose of self review for improvement and accountability are well understood and has potential to guide ongoing development and change. However, the evaluation of the impact of teaching practice and curriculum decisions does not occur. Teachers should seek ways to improve evaluation practices.

Key Next Steps

Centre management, teachers and ERO agree that they should further improve:

  • self review
  • evaluative practices
  • consistency of assessment practices
  • a wider understanding of strategic planning
  • teaching practices that provide children with greater opportunity to lead their learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hadlow Preschool completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Hadlow Preschool will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

22 September 2015

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2. Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Masterton

Ministry of Education profile number

60238

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll

33

Gender composition

Girls 21

Boys 12

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

2

31

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

22 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2012

 

Education Review

October 2009

 

Education Review

September 2006

3. General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children

Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.