Prodigy Centre - Forrest Hill - 11/04/2014

1 Evaluation of Prodigy Centre - Forrest Hill

How well placed is Prodigy Centre - Forrest Hill 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

Prodigy Centre – Forrest Hill, located in Sunnynook on the North Shore, is one of a network of four centres in Auckland. The network provides administration support for the centre. The centre offers all day care and education in a converted villa. The centre relicensed in November 2013 to increase its numbers to cater for 32 children over the age of two years.

The centres philosophy is founded on providing children with experiences based on their interests and learning styles.

The fully qualified staff has been together for several years. Staff members reflect the centre’s multi-cultural community and are able to communicate with parents in their home languages.

The supervisor and teachers have responded positively to the 2010 ERO report and have implemented closer partnerships with whānau Māori and implemented strategies to increase challenge and complexity in children’s learning.

The Review Findings

Children are busy and engaged with their activities and in play. Teachers implement strategies to ensure children are confident and happy at the centre. Some of these strategies include:

  • an emphasis on respect for self, others and the culture, language and knowledge that children bring to the centre
  • encouraging children to communicate in both English and their home languages
  • developing positive adult and child relationships and centre and home partnerships
  • providing many opportunities for children to interact confidently in mixed-age group activities.

The supervisor and her staff value self review to support ongoing centre improvement and provide positive outcomes for children. Self-review processes include an emphasis on making links between parent perspectives, current educational research and good early childhood education (ECE) practice. Self review has resulted in teachers emphasising individual children’s learning.

The supervisor is an effective leader. She uses teachers’ curriculum strengths to provide good outcomes for children. Teachers have opportunities to experience leadership roles to support the sustainability of centre initiatives.

The centre philosophy is highly evident in centre practices. Children’s strengths and interests are extended through the variety of learning experiences offered. There is a focus on developing children's literacy, mathematical and scientific knowledge and skills in age-related groups. ERO recommends teachers review this practice in line with current ECE research to do with children learning through play contexts. It would be useful to share the outcomes of this review with parents.

Teachers do in-depth planning for children's age-related group learning goals. These goals are based on increasing the group’s skills and knowledge in English language, mathematics and fine motor control. Children’s ongoing development of their goals in these areas is well documented in portfolios of learning. Children would benefit from having their ongoing interests and dispositions for learning also identified, planned for and assessed. This would increase the focus on children's individual all round progress.

Partnerships with families are valued and parents have many opportunities to be included in their child’s learning. The supervisor and teachers have identified that they would like to make the philosophy more visible to families within the centre environment.

The bi-cultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand is respected and highly evident in the environment. Children are encouraged to learn te reo Māori through waiata and traditional activities. The multi-cultural centre community is celebrated. Children experience cultural festivals and a variety of home languages that reflect the multi-cultural community. Continuing to emphasise the bi-cultural heritage and supporting multi-cultural learning should further enhance outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre leaders agree that the key next steps include:

  • engaging with parents about current best practice in ECE to promote children’s learning through play contexts
  • developing a more holistic approach to planning and assessment of children's learning
  • involving children in planning for their play.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Prodigy Centre - Forrest Hill 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.

To improve current practice, managers should ensure that all identified risk management strategies are documented prior to going on excursions outside the centre.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Prodigy Centre - Forrest Hill will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

11 April 2014

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

Sunnynook, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20050

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

32

Gender composition

Girls 19 Boys 13

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

other Asian

other

1

6

14

6

5

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2014

Date of this report

11 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2011

 

Education Review

March 2008

 

Supplementary Review

December 2004

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.