Orewa Private Kindergarten - 08/04/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Orewa Private Kindergarten is an established early childhood centre that provides full day or sessional programmes for children between two and five years of age. In 2008, ERO reported on the positive, supportive relationships evident between children, families and teachers in the centre.

Childrensettle quickly into the programme. They display a sense of pride and achievement as they learn new skills. Daily routines support lengthy periods of child-initiated play and exploration, and the well resourced environment enables children to engage in a variety of experiences and learning opportunities. Teachers promote the development of children’s social skills in meaningful situations. They encourage children to manage their own behaviour and to solve minor conflict situations independently.

Reciprocal relationships between children, families and teachers continue to be a feature of the centre. Families report that they feel welcome and express a strong sense of satisfaction with centre practices. Whānau Māori report that they have positive relationships with the teaching team and are pleased with the inclusion of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in the learning programme. Parents appreciate the feedback they receive from teachers about their child’s learning. Teachers plan to include parent/whānau aspirations in assessment processes. The teaching team could now encourage families to contribute to the assessment of children’s learning.

Teachers provide a learning programme that responds to children’s emergent interests. They use relevant resources to extend children’s knowledge and to facilitate discussions about children’s understandings. Programme evaluation practices could now be strengthened by focusing more clearly on learning outcomes for children and using the findings to guide future planning.

The licensee is committed to providing ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers. Centre managers and staff are developing long-term goals and self-review processes. Self review could be used to evaluate the extent to which centre goals have been achieved.

Future Action

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

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the licensee of Orewa Private Kindergarten was invited to consider 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 the licensee and staff. 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 atOrewa Private Kindergarten.

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

In 2008, ERO noted that responsive teaching practices and a richly resourced environment were contributing to a programme that supported children’s purposeful engagement in learning. ERO recommended that a more systematic approach to self review and strategic planning be developed. The licensee and teaching team have since written a framework for a strategic plan that is beginning to inform review and long-term planning goals.

Areas of strength

Confident and capable children. Children settle quickly into the programme, make choices for themselves, and engage in a variety of experiences and learning opportunities. Their sense of pride and achievement is evident as they master new self-care skills and challenge their own abilities. Children interact confidently with their peers and are able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly.

Child-centred teaching and learning. Teachers work as a team to provide a learning programme that responds to children’s emergent interests. The effort put into extending current interests is reflected in the relevant and interesting natural resources provided for children. Thoughtful, organised routines support extended periods of child-initiated play and exploration. Teachers’ assessment narratives are beginning to show children’s learning and progress over time.

Relationships. Reciprocal and trusting relationships between teachers, families and children continue to be a feature of the centre. Families report that they feel welcome and express a strong sense of satisfaction with centre practices. The centre’s inclusive values are evident in the ways in which teachers value and respect children and their families. Teachers support the development of children’s social skills. They encourage children to develop self-management skills and to solve minor conflicts independently.

Collaborative teaching team. Open and honest relationships contribute to a positive team culture and enable teachers to work together to extend children’s learning. This supportive professional environment offers opportunities for teachers to reflect on and enhance their individual teaching practices. The licensee provides teachers with professional development opportunities and continues to support the development of teachers who are new to the teaching profession.

Areas for development and review

Strengthen teacher evaluation. Programme evaluation practices could be further improved by teachers focusing more specifically on the extent to which children have achieved learning outcomes. More regular planning meetings and ongoing opportunities to evaluate the learning that has taken place may enable teachers to identify how children’s learning has been extended over time. This analysis could be used to inform review of the effectiveness of the programme and to guide future planning.

Refine management systems to support ongoing improvement. The licensee could strengthen management systems by:

  • clarifying long-term and annual goals;

  • documenting more clearly the extent to which centre goals have been progressed and achieved;

  • ensuring that teachers receive regular feedback on their professional performance; and

  • implementing an external appraisal process for the licensee.

Continue to enhance reciprocal partnerships. Teachers plan to enhance partnerships with families. By seeking information about parent/whānau aspirations for their children’s learning, teachers could increase opportunities for parents to share valuable information for use in planning. Teachers could also encourage families to contribute to the assessment of their child’s learning.

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.

Partnerships with whānau of Māori children in early childhood services

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • this service understands and values the identity, language and culture of Māori children and their whānau, particularly when the child and whānau transition to the service;
  • managers and educators have built relationships with whānau of Māori children;
  • this service works in partnership with whānau of Māori children.

Background

Currently, five children of Māori descent are enrolled in the centre. The environment has a welcoming atmosphere that is reflective of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. Whānau Māori report that they have positive relationships with the teaching team and are pleased with the inclusion of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in the learning programme.

Areas for development and review

Teachers could now strengthen relationships with whānau Māori by:

  • including te reo me ngā tikanga Maori in incidental learning situations; and

  • revisiting strategies that invite families to share information about their children.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the licensee of Orewa Private Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents it was attested that all reasonable steps have been taken to meet the legal obligations related to:

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

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that 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.

In order to improve current practice, the licensee should:

  • ensure that earthquake drill practices are implemented and documented.

5. Recommendations

ERO and the licensee agree that centre managers and staff could:

5.1 further strengthen strategic planning and self-review processes to guide ongoing improvements in the centre; and5.2 refine programme evaluation systems so that they support teachers to analyse and extend children’s learning.

6. Future Action

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the Centre

Type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over the age of 2 years

Roll number

53

Gender composition

Boys 31

Girls 22

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 45, Māori 5, other 3

Review team on site

February 2011

Date of this report

8 April 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, February 2008

Education Review, April 2005

Accountability Review, May 2002

To the Parents and Community of Orewa Private Kindergarten

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Orewa Private Kindergarten.

Orewa Private Kindergarten is an established early childhood centre that provides full day or sessional programmes for children between two and five years of age. In 2008, ERO reported on the positive, supportive relationships evident between children, families and teachers in the centre.

Childrensettle quickly into the programme. They display a sense of pride and achievement as they learn new skills. Daily routines support lengthy periods of child-initiated play and exploration, and the well resourced environment enables children to engage in a variety of experiences and learning opportunities. Teachers promote the development of children’s social skills in meaningful situations. They encourage children to manage their own behaviour and to solve minor conflict situations independently.

Reciprocal relationships between children, families and teachers continue to be a feature of the centre. Families report that they feel welcome and express a strong sense of satisfaction with centre practices. Whānau Māori report that they have positive relationships with the teaching team and are pleased with the inclusion of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in the learning programme. Parents appreciate the feedback they receive from teachers about their child’s learning. Teachers plan to include parent/whānau aspirations in assessment processes. The teaching team could now encourage families to contribute to the assessment of children’s learning.

Teachers provide a learning programme that responds to children’s emergent interests. They use relevant resources to extend children’s knowledge and to facilitate discussions about children’s understandings. Programme evaluation practices could now be strengthened by focusing more clearly on learning outcomes for children and using the findings to guide future planning.

The licensee is committed to providing ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers. Centre managers and staff are developing long-term goals and self-review processes. Self review could be used to evaluate the extent to which centre goals have been achieved.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again within 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 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.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern 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 contributes 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.