Learning Adventure Flaxmere - 19/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Learning Adventures Flaxmere

How well placed is Learning Adventures Flaxmere 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

Learning Adventures Flaxmere is operated by Evolve Education Group Ltd (Evolve). It was purchased from its previous owner in 2015 and rebranded in 2017. The service is licensed for a maximum of 60 children aged over two. At the time of this ERO evaluation, of the 72 children enrolled, 38 are Māori and 22 of Pacific heritage. The majority of children go to and from the centre in one of two vans driven by two fulltime drivers.

Governance and management is provided by Evolve and is currently in a period of change. A regional business manager guides the service. A centre support manager was recently appointed to work alongside the centre manager and her team. The team leader began her position in September. There has been a high turnover of centre staff in the past two years.

The philosophy reflects the culture of the service. It was recently reviewed to reflect the teaching team beliefs, centre values, rebranding and Te Whāriki (2017). Ongoing evaluation is planned as Evolve develops a curriculum framework for the Learning Adventures brand in 2018.

The Review Findings

Children experience a strong sense of belonging. Teachers are attentive and responsive to children. They demonstrate respect for children's needs and show they understand priorities for their learning.

Children are seen as confident, competent learners. They are given the space and time to develop their own ways of doing things. Staff work collaboratively to provide an environment where children choose and follow their learning pathways.

Clear expectations for assessment, planning and evaluation guide teachers to focus on positive outcomes for children. They set goals that build on children experiencing success as learners. Teachers plan and implement a curriculum based on the observed interests of children.

A wide selection of literacy and mathematics activities and resources are available. Children engage independently and with teachers and their peers to enjoy these literacy and numeracy experiences.

Leaders and staff establish a culture in which children are valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. Teachers understand children in the context of their families and whānau and the wider community.

Children participate in a wide range of community experiences to support their learning. The service is involved in a healthy lifestyle pre-pilot programme, with other early learning services and local schools, that supports children and families.

Teachers engage with children and their families' language and culture to make the setting meaningful for children. This is evident within routines, the learning environment and teacher interactions. The new team has identified that further developing a curriculum that provides teachers and children with a deep understanding and appreciation of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, should strengthen outcomes for children.

Evolve has made a number of changes and improvements to the centre. The outdoor area was recently upgraded and includes children's gardens. A new appraisal system guides leaders and staff to maintain high standards of teaching. Strategic and annual planning continue to develop as Evolve improves systems and processes.

A recent restructure within Evolve has led to the introduction of new management roles that aim to provide increased support for centre staff. Evolve managers should continue strengthening systems to provide ongoing guidance and support to centre leaders and teachers for continuous improvement of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

The centre manager and staff have identified priorities in:

  • extending learning partnerships with parents and whānau

  • growing and maintaining relationships with local schools to strengthen children's transitions

  • building on relationships with local iwi, tangata whenua and Ngā Kohanga Reo.

ERO has identified through its external evaluation process that the service needs to further strengthen:

  • internal evaluation for improvement

  • implement an appraisal system that supports inquiry, to align with the service's valued outcomes for children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Learning Adventures Flaxmere 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 Learning Adventures Flaxmere will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

19 February 2018

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

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

46035

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children aged over 2

Service roll

72

Gender composition

Boys 50, Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pacific
Pākehā

38
22
12

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2017

Date of this report

19 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

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.