Kidz Planet Preschool Ltd - 14/02/2013

1. Background

Introduction

A Supplementary Review is undertaken at the discretion of a National Manager, Review Services in the Education Review Office (ERO).

A supplementary review evaluates the extent and effectiveness of actions a centre has taken towards addressing issues specified in a previous education review and/or any additional areas identified since that review.

Terms of Reference

This supplementary review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the Kidz Planet Preschool Ltd governing body and management in relation to areas identified in the June 2011 ERO report or issues identified since that review. The terms of reference for this review are to investigate:

  • curriculum and interactions;
  • guiding children’s behaviour;
  • learning environment;
  • assessment, planning and evaluation;
  • self review, appraisal and support for provisionally registered teachers;
  • partnership with whānau Māori; and
  • any other relevant matters that arise during the course of this review.

2. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Kidz Planet Preschool is licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The centre is organised into two areas, one for infants and toddlers and the other for children aged from 2 to 5 years. The staff have been working with two external consultants since the previous ERO review to address the areas of concern identified in that report.

There has been high turnover of staff during the past year. Three new staff have been appointed, including a new head teacher. All teaching staff are qualified with two holding full teachers’ registration and four who are provisionally registered teachers (PRT).

The centre has recently reviewed its philosophy and it is evident in practice. Opportunities for children to extend their interests are provided through resources, conversations between teachers and children and the use of deliberate teaching strategies. Children’s emerging interests are noticed daily and used in planning. An interest in recycling generated a centre-wide project on sustainability.

Interactions between teachers and children are warm, supportive, respectful and encouraging. Children are positive and caring towards each other.

The assessment, planning and evaluation cycle has improved. Clear expectations are documented for how teachers should write children’s learning stories.

The process of self review has become more robust and well used. An appropriate appraisal and PRT support process is in place, however implementation is limited.

Relationships with personnel from the local marae and a nearby school provide positive opportunities for children and staff to interact, communicate and establish connections with others.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again in three years.

3. Findings

Curriculum and interactions

Background

The previous ERO report identified that the centre’s philosophy, based on developing confident and competent children, was not evident in practice. It also identified that interactions between teachers and the older children did not sufficiently promote children’s independence, leadership, self care or decision making skills. Key opportunities were missed to build on children’s interests and to extend learning conversations. Opportunities for children to explore and investigate the environment and learning required further improvement and the provision of adequate challenge for both age groups of children was an area for development.

Areas of progress

The centre has recently reviewed its philosophy and it is evident in practice. Opportunities for children to extend their interests are provided through resourcing, conversations between teachers and children and the use of deliberate teaching strategies. Children’s emerging interests are noticed daily and used in planning. An interest in recycling generated a centre-wide project on sustainability.

Opportunities for all children to explore and investigate their environment are encouraged by teachers. The use of open-ended questions allows children to further develop their working theories and become researchers of their learning. Teachers encourage children to challenge themselves, particularly in the under-twos area where development milestones for children are often a focus.

Children readily take on leadership roles in their play. The centre routines and programme allow for children to be independent in their own development and learning. Children show a sense of ownership and enjoyment of their environment.

Interactions between teachers and children are warm, supportive, respectful and encouraging. Teachers often place themselves at the same level as the children when working with them. Interactions between children are positive and caring.

Area for further improvement

Involving parents and whānau in reviewing the philosophy, to include their aspirations for their children, is likely to promote ownership for all involved.

Guiding children’s behaviour

Background

The previous ERO report identified that expectations and positive behaviour management strategies were not consistently applied by staff, resulting in children choosing when to listen or not knowing what was expected of them.

Areas of progress

There has been a significant improvement in teachers’ use of strategies to guide children’s behaviour. This has enhanced the way in which children respond to teachers.

Teachers have attended workshops on behaviour guidance and have recently reviewed the policy. Staff now have a shared understanding of how to guide children’s behaviour positively. Changes to the physical centre layout and increased learning opportunities for children within the programme have also contributed to a positive emotional environment.

Learning environment

Background

In June 2011 ERO identified that younger children did not have access to literacy, mathematical, natural or heuristic resources that added challenge to learning. Displays in the under-two area were inaccessible to children. Te ao Māori was not reflected throughout the centre environment.

Areas of progress

The learning environment has been reviewed and redeveloped. Mathematical, literacy, natural and heuristic resources are available and accessible to children in both age groups.

Children interact with these resources when they choose and have access to displays within the environment. Learning environments are stimulating and provide opportunities for children to explore, challenge and problem solve.

Teachers and leaders have begun to add displays and elements within the environment that promote a bicultural curriculum.

Area for further improvement

An area for ongoing development is to continue to explore ways in which the bicultural curriculum can be further promoted.

Assessment, planning and evaluation

Background

The previous ERO report identified that assessment for learning, and evaluation were not well understood. Entries in children’s profiles were not regular and seldom identified learning progression or showed how teachers responded to support children’s interests.

Areas of progress

Processes for assessment, planning and evaluation have recently been developed and are now used regularly. Clear expectations are documented about how teachers should write learning stories.

A new, detailed planning template is based on a ‘notice, recognise and respond’ approach. This is used by the teachers in each of the age groups to describe children’s emerging interests and plan for their learning. Weekly and monthly evaluations guide future planning for teachers. Links to planning are evident in the individual assessments for children.

Children’s profile books describe what they are doing in their play and often include children’s conversations. Teachers identify what they did to extend the child’s interests and learning and document next steps. There is an increased focus on identifying children’s dispositions and the skills they are developing. Profile books are starting to show threads of learning for the children through the learning stories so that a journey of the child’s progress can be clearly recognised.

Areas for further improvement

ERO identified and leaders agreed that the next steps for assessment, planning and evaluation are to:

  • modify the process of planning for teachers of the over-two year olds so that it is manageable. This should provide teachers with a focus on learning within the interests of the children and allow for teachers to consider how they may add depth to children’s learning
  • continue to work on how teachers will show progress and learning over time within the children’s profile books.

Self review, appraisal and support for provisionally registered teachers

Background

The previous ERO report identified that self review was not well understood. There was no appraisal or PRT processes to support teacher development and improvements in teaching and learning.

ERO suggested that staff review the philosophy to develop a shared understanding of teachers’ values and beliefs about how these contribute to the curriculum.

Areas of progress

Self review has been used effectively to review:

  • positive guidance in behaviour for children
  • planning and evaluation
  • the learning environment.

The process of self review has become more robust and well used. There is now reference to research and best evidence synthesis through the process. Positive outcomes for children have resulted from these reviews.

An appropriate appraisal and PRT support process is in place, however the implementation is limited.

Areas for further improvement

Self review could be further improved by making it more evaluative.

The owner and head teacher need to urgently implement the appraisal system to provide appropriate support and guidance for teachers.

Partnership with whānau Māori

Background

In June 2011 ERO identified that building relationships with whānau and increasing teachers’ integration of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori into the programme needed to be improved. Formal processes for gathering parents and whānau aspirations for their children had not been developed. The reflection of children’s whānau, heritage and the use of te reo Māori in profiles had not been established.

Areas of progress

Positive relationships with personnel from the local marae and a nearby school provide opportunities for children and staff to interact, communicate and establish connections with others.

Opportunities for children to participate in kapa haka and visit the marae are provided. Te reo Maōri is used by a teacher with the children. Within the environment, there are purposeful displays of whakapapa and family trees that parents have contributed to.

Parents and whānau spoken with value the efforts being made to promote aspects of te ao Māori within the centre.

Areas for further improvement

Leaders have identified that the next steps are to:

  • continue to develop the Marae and school relationships established to further enhance a bicultural curriculum
  • provide professional development to support teachers confidence to use te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in their teaching practice.

4. Future Action

ERO will review the service again in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Acting National Manager Review Services

Central Region

14 February 2013

About the Centre

Location

Stokes Valley, Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

55436

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Roll number

38

Gender composition

Female 21

Male 17

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākeha 20

Pacific 10

Māori 6

Asian 2

Review team on site

December 2012

Date of this report

14 February 2013

Previous ERO reports

Education Review June 2011

To the Parents and Community of Kidz Planet Preschool Ltd

This supplementary review evaluates the quality of education and care received by the children and the performance of the centre’s management in relation to specific terms of reference.

The Education Review Office [ERO] evaluation of Kidz Planet Preschool Ltd follows.

Kidz Planet Preschool is licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The centre is organised into two areas, one for infants and toddlers and the other for children aged from 2 to 5 years. The staff have been working with two external consultants since the previous ERO review to address the areas of concern identified in that report.

There has been high turnover of staff during the past year. Three new staff have been appointed, including a new head teacher. All teaching staff are qualified with two holding full teachers’ registration and four who are provisionally registered teachers (PRT).

The centre has recently reviewed its philosophy and it is evident in practice. Opportunities for children to extend their interests are provided through resources, conversations between teachers and children and the use of deliberate teaching strategies. Children’s emerging interests are noticed daily and used in planning. An interest in recycling generated a centre-wide project on sustainability.

Interactions between teachers and children are warm, supportive, respectful and encouraging. Children are positive and caring towards each other.

The assessment, planning and evaluation cycle has improved. Clear expectations are documented for how teachers should write children’s learning stories.

The process of self review has become more robust and well used. An appropriate appraisal and PRT support process is in place, however implementation is limited.

Relationships with personnel from the local marae and a nearby school provide positive opportunities for children and staff to interact, communicate and establish connections with others.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again in 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 do. You should talk to the management or licensee 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.

Joyce Gebbie

Acting National Manager Review Services

Central Region