Ngaio Playcentre - 30/09/2010

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Ngaio Playcentre is one of 21 parent-led centres that operate under the umbrella of the Wellington Playcentre Association (the Association). In accordance with the centre’s management system parents work in teams planning and implementing learning opportunities. They communicate across teams to plan for children’s continual learning. A collaborative, cooperative culture of support for adults and children is evident. Adults know children and their learning well.

Children’s emerging stages of development are noticed throughout the session. The learning is recognised, recorded and shared with families and other teams. At times, emerging interests and relationships are responded to immediately while, at other times, adults make deliberate, considered decisions about whether to intervene or give the child space to develop independently. These interactions are skilfully managed.

Children learn using a variety of resources and equipment. Literacy has been of particular interest to centre members recently. Through review and professional development, adults are more knowledgeable about literacy experiences. Children are active participants in well-planned literacy learning. Mathematics language is heard often between children and adults. Science is a centre strength. Children access books, resources and materials to explore their own world. Particular child-initiated themes are planned for so that extension of an idea continues.

Self review is robust and gives clear direction for centre programmes and operations. Children’s needs are the purpose of spontaneous and planned reviews. The ongoing use of these practices should encourage evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme and of strategies that impact positively on children’s learning opportunities.

Since the 2008 ERO review, centre members have increased their knowledge of biculturalism. It is timely to now review children’s use of te reo Māori. Adults sharing their language knowledge should extend children’s appreciation of other languages and te ao Māori.

Ngaio Playcentre is surrounded by bush and a well-planned, interesting outdoors area for children to explore. A growing awareness of environmental issues with composting, gardening, care of native trees and birds is valued by adults and children.

ERO spoke with centre parents who feel included, supported and that their children are happy within the learning environment that respects them as individuals within a family context.

Future Action

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

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, members of Ngaio Playcentre were 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 centre members. 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 atNgaio Playcentre.

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

Ngaio Playcentre operates each weekday morning and on Thursday afternoon. Centre members have a range of playcentre qualifications and other experiences that contribute to the family atmosphere and efficient management processes. The siblings of children who attend the centre are frequent visitors and continue to participate in special events.

Areas of strength

Programme Children appropriately lead the programme. Centre members are facilitators of learning. The programme:

  • provides experiences where adults trust children’s decisions, value their contribution and respect their choices;
  • incorporates children’s individual strengths and interests;
  • demonstrates a priority for self-initiated play;
  • builds on social competencies;
  • provides opportunity for leadership potential to be encouraged;
  • is deliberately planned for exploration of the physical world;
  • can be tracked through individual portfolios where learning is well documented;
  • is linked from session to session by strong, useful communication systems;
  • is evaluated for ongoing improvement for individuals and groups of children;
  • is inclusive of the aspirations of families; and
  • allows for assessment of children’s learning that is reflected upon both formally and informally.

Learning environment The well-planned and carefully considered environment fosters children’s learning, their creativity and exploration. They independently access a wide range of resources. Children’s sense of belonging and well-being is supported by:

  • a calm, positive environment;
  • the provision of well-maintained resources and materials;
  • the outside learning area, which challenges and stimulates children of all ages;
  • adults who check with each other regularly to sense the direction and pace of an activity;
  • high levels of child participation with literacy resources;
  • mathematics integrated throughout the session;
  • science learning opportunities to develop inquiry;
  • inside-outside flow which allows for small and large-group activity whatever the weather; and
  • a clear and shared understanding of the centre philosophy, implemented to support children and their learning.

Interactions Children work well together. Relationships between children and with adults promote active learning and engagement through:

  • children being viewed by adults as confident, competent learners;
  • respectful interactions;
  • children’s participation being nurtured and encouraged;
  • cooperative play;
  • children enjoying being in the company of their peers and sustaining activity for extended periods of time;
  • opportunities to revisit learning later in the session or on another day;
  • adults encouraging across-age, inclusive play and skilfully facilitating learning;
  • children taking responsibility for their environment;
  • shared strategies that support individual children and their particular stage of development; and
  • responsive conversations and questioning that provide opportunities to negotiate, problem solve and seek clarification.

Children’s developing emotional and social competence is nurtured throughout the programme by challenging and exciting interactions. They express themselves confidently making choices that are valued and supported by adults.

Self review Centre members are improvement focused. They effectively use self-review processes to inform the direction of programme management and operations. Data are gathered and analysed to inform planned review. Actions taken are observable as having an impact on children. The induction of new members is well managed, maximising the strengths of those new to playcentre while retaining the expertise of others. Members with specific roles and responsibilities continually challenge themselves and each other to make decisions that benefit all children.

Areas for development and review

Use of te reo Māori Since the 2008 ERO review, there is significant progress in becoming a bicultural centre. It is now timely for centre members to review the use of te reo Māori. Strengthening children’s use of te reo, through their exposure to adults sharing language knowledge, should extend children’s appreciation of te ao Māori and of other languages.

Self review for improvement Centre members undertake regular, rigorous review and reflection on planning and outcomes for children. Continuation of self-review processes, to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme and of practices, should impact positively on children’s learning opportunities.

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.

Promoting Children’s Social and Emotional Competence

As children learn to make sense of their world they develop an understanding of themselves in social contexts, including the early childhood service. As part of this review ERO looked at how each service’s curriculum supports children’s developing social and emotional competence.

The findings are reported in The Quality of Education section of this report and used as part of a national evaluation report on this topic.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, members of Ngaio Playcentre completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to:

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

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they 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.

5. Future Action

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

 

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

30 September 2010

 

About the Centre

Type

Playcentre

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to18 aged under 2

Roll number

56

Gender composition

Girls 33,

Boys 23

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 43,

Māori 4,

Japanese 2,

Samoan/Māori 2,

Thai /Indian 1

Review team on site

August 2010

Date of this report

30 September 2010

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review January 2008

Education Review February 2005

Accountability Review May 1998

 

30 September 2010

To the Parents and Community of Ngaio Playcentre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Ngaio Playcentre.

Ngaio Playcentre is one of 21 parent-led centres that operate under the umbrella of the Wellington Playcentre Association (the Association). In accordance with the centre’s management system parents work in teams planning and implementing learning opportunities. They communicate across teams to plan for children’s continual learning. A collaborative, cooperative culture of support for adults and children is evident. Adults know children and their learning well.

Children’s emerging stages of development are noticed throughout the session. The learning is recognised, recorded and shared with families and other teams. At times, emerging interests and relationships are responded to immediately while, at other times, adults make deliberate, considered decisions about whether to intervene or give the child space to develop independently. These interactions are skilfully managed.

Children learn using a variety of resources and equipment. Literacy has been of particular interest to centre members recently. Through review and professional development, adults are more knowledgeable about literacy experiences. Children are active participants in well-planned literacy learning. Mathematics language is heard often between children and adults. Science is a centre strength. Children access books, resources and materials to explore their own world. Particular child-initiated themes are planned for so that extension of an idea continues.

Self review is robust and gives clear direction for centre programmes and operations. Children’s needs are the purpose of spontaneous and planned reviews. The ongoing use of these practices should encourage evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme and of strategies that impact positively on children’s learning opportunities.

Since the 2008 ERO review, centre members have increased their knowledge of biculturalism. It is timely to now review children’s use of te reo Māori. Adults sharing their language knowledge should extend children’s appreciation of other languages and te ao Māori.

Ngaio Playcentre is surrounded by bush and a well-planned, interesting outdoors area for children to explore. A growing awareness of environmental issues with composting, gardening, care of native trees and birds is valued by adults and children.

ERO spoke with centre parents who feel included, supported and that their children are happy within the learning environment that respects them as individuals within a family context.

Future Action

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

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage talking to the contact person 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.

 

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central 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 contribute 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.