Topkids Lynmore - 23/08/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Topkids Lynmore is located in the eastern suburbs of Rotorua and provides education and care for children from birth to school age. There are currently 42 children enrolled, 12 of whom are of Māori descent. The centre operates under the ownership, governance and management of Kidicorp Limited. The centre and staff benefit from Kidicorp’s resources, professional services and advice. An appropriate range of policies and procedures contribute to provision for children’s wellbeing and safety.

Relationships between teachers and children are positive and affirming. Teachers respect parents as being the experts about their own children and encourage their views and involvement.

There is a positive emphasis on reflecting and respecting the Māori language and culture. Children’s interests and learning in literacy, mathematics and science are fostered in the context of play and self-initiated learning. Close relationships with the adjacent primary school support positive attitudes and transition to school for children and their families.

ERO, Kidicorp and centre managers have identified some important next steps for ongoing centre improvement that will be supported through focused centre-wide professional learning and development for management and teachers.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Topkids Lynmore was 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 the management 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 atTopkids Lynmore.

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

The centre’s response to previous ERO review recommendations, which were related to learning and teaching interactions and assessment practice, has been significant. However, the high number of staff changes has made it difficult to achieve sustainable changes in practice. The new team is still forming and cohesion is yet to develop. A current priority is the review of the centre’s philosophy. This review is seen as having strong potential for shared understandings about good practice within the context of bicultural early childhood education and care.

Centre managers recognise the need to strengthen documentation and staff understanding in relation to self review practices.

Areas of strength

Clear curriculum priorities underpin the centre’s philosophy and programme. There is a strong emphasis on te Ao Māori that recognises and values the unique place of Māori as tangata whenua. This provides all children with the opportunity to learn about and appreciate te reo and tikanga Māori. Elements of literacy, mathematics and science are naturally integrated throughout the programme in the context of children’s play and exploration.

Teachers encourage children’s imagination, creativity and independent decision making. Flexible routines foster self responsibility and social skills. Children’s communication and oral language are promoted through responsive interactions, leadership opportunities, whānau time, stories, waiata and karakia.

An extensive programme of professional learning and development since 2010 has focused on respectful and reciprocal relationships with children up to two years, and has resulted in positive changes to practice in this area. Children benefit from teachers’ sensitive response to individual rhythms, pace and preferences.

Teachers have developed attractively presented assessment portfolios for each child. Parents are encouraged to contribute to assessment and planning and are recognised as being the experts in regard to their own children. Formal interviews provide valued opportunities for parents to voice their ideas and aspirations, and collaborate in planning for their own children.

Agreed priorities for development and review

ERO, Kidicorp and centre managers have identified important next steps for the centre which include:

  • accessing external support for the continued development and professional growth of the team;
  • continuing to develop assessment practices that more clearly reflect children’s dispositions, continuity of learning and evaluation of planned programmes;
  • strengthening teachers’ confidence to add complexity to learning processes and pose questions that extend children’s thinking, ideas and developing theories;
  • investigating options for enhancing the outdoor environment and natural exploration for children up to 2 years; and
  • strengthening teachers’ understanding of, and documentation in relation to, centre self-review practices.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Topkids Lynmore completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their 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.

4. Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again within three years.

 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

 

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Roll number

42

Gender composition

Girls 23 Boys 19

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 25

New Zealand Māori 12

Asian 3

Other Ethnicity 2

Review team on site

July 2012

Date of this report

23 August 2012

Previous three ERO reports

 

Education Review September 2009

Education Review October 2006

Education Review January 2004

 

23 August 2012

To the Parents and Community of Topkids Lynmore

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Topkids Lynmore.

Topkids Lynmore is located in the eastern suburbs of Rotorua and provides education and care for children from birth to school age. There are currently 42 children enrolled, 12 of whom are of Māori descent. The centre operates under the ownership, governance and management of Kidicorp Limited. The centre and staff benefit from Kidicorp’s resources, professional services and advice. An appropriate range of policies and procedures contribute to provision for children’s wellbeing and safety.

Relationships between teachers and children are positive and affirming. Teachers respect parents as being the experts about their own children and encourage their views and involvement.

There is a positive emphasis on reflecting and respecting the Māori language and culture. Children’s interests and learning in literacy, mathematics and science are fostered in the context of play and self-initiated learning. Close relationships with the adjacent primary school support positive attitudes and transition to school for children and their families.

ERO, Kidicorp and centre managers have identified some important next steps for ongoing centre improvement that will be supported through focused centre-wide professional learning and development for management and teachers.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore 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.

 

Makere Smith

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.
  • 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.