Leaps and Bounds Westport - 14/01/2016

1 Evaluation of Leaps and Bounds Westport

How well placed is Leaps and Bounds Westport to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Leaps and Bounds, Westport, is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

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

Background

Leaps and Bounds, Westport, is part of the Evolve Education Group. The privately-owned company purchased the centre in December 2014. Evolve provides the policy and administration framework. The centre is well supported by the new owners with an area manager who regularly provides professional support and guidance to the centre manager and staff. Since the centre was bought there have been significant changes in management and staff.

The centre provides education and care for infants, toddlers and children to school age. Children have opportunities to learn in mixed-age groups, or in a room with their own peers.

The spacious, renovated building provides a range of indoor and outdoor spaces for children’s play and development. There is a small team of qualified teachers and other staff. This is the centre’s first Education Review.

The Review Findings

Children are focused and work positively together. They are supported to be independent learners and have the freedom to explore the environment and make choices about their play. Children’s ideas and opinions are valued and extended. They experience responsive, respectful relationships with their teachers and each other. Children have opportunities to hear and speak te reo Māori in the learning programme. Bicultural practices are becoming more established across the centre.

Teachers use a range of practices to support and develop children’s ideas, skills and interests. They are responsive to children with diverse learning needs. Teachers provide a wide range of learning experiences that promote science, literacy and mathematical concepts. They build on previous learning and affirm children’s progress. Teachers have made a number of appropriate changes to resources and the environment to further support children’s learning.

Children under two years have warm, positive relationships with their key teachers who foster a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing. They experience calm and unhurried routines and have access to an appropriate range of resources and equipment. The younger children enjoy opportunities to play with older children at various times of the day.

Transitions into and within the centre are child led and flexible. Relationships with parents and whānau are well established. Centre leaders continue to work on ways to deepen learning partnerships with parents.

Centre leaders are fostering a culture of reflective practice. Shared leadership has helped to build teachers’ commitment to ensuring the quality of learning and teaching over a time of change. Leaders ensure that staff appraisal processes are focused on improving teaching practice.

Key Next Steps

The managers and ERO agrees, that the following developments will further strengthen consistent practices across the centre. These include strengthening:

  • the processes used to assess, plan and evaluate children’s learning
  • bicultural practices and concepts in the learning programme
  • approaches to transition to school
  • the appraisal process to include the Education Council requirements
  • teacher-leadership capacity.

It is timely to revisit and define what the centre’s philosophy looks like in practice and to refine self-review practices to ensure an effective, systematic process of inquiry.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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 Leaps and Bounds Wesport will be in three years.

Chris Rowe

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Acting)

14 January 2016

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

Westport

Ministry of Education profile number

46060

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

72 children, including up to 18 aged under 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Boys 34; Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Māori

African

Other

44

9

1

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

14 January 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports

 

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.