BOP Polytechnic Early Childhood Education Centre - 20/10/2015

1. Evaluation of BOP Polytechnic Early Childhood Education Centre

How well placed is BOP Polytechnic Early Childhood Education Centre 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

The Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Early Childhood Education Centre is located at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Windermere campus in Tauranga and is well supported by the Polytechnic, under the School of Humanities and Design, with the head of this school as the licensee. The BOP Polytechnic provides strategic direction, policies and procedures. The service provides all-day education and care for 87 children including 36 children who are identified as being of Māori descent. It is licensed for 115 children and 45 children up to two years old.

The service consists of four age-appropriate learning centres and caters for a diverse range of whānau. These whānau include staff and students from the Polytechnic and associated networks such as the School for Young Parents, local community, University of Waikato, and Waiariki Polytechnic. Parents and caregivers include students completing short-term courses, those with placement and practicum requirements, and those in full-time employment. Although there is a high turn-over of children from year to year, staff foster a strong partnership with parents/whãnau and the community.

The majority of teachers are long serving, which provides continuity of care for children within each learning centre. All teaching staff are qualified. High teacher/child ratios support the delivery of a stimulating and bicultural curriculum in a nurturing and caring environment, while promoting a passion for lifelong learning.

A virtues-based programme is effectively implemented throughout the centre in conjunction with the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. This programme is designed to support children’s holistic development and promotes characteristics that will enable them to effectively and positively contribute within society.

Since the previous ERO review in 2012 the service has focused on developing sustainability, planning and assessment. The healthy eating and baby sign programmes continue to be implemented effectively across the centre curriculum. Previous ERO reports show that the centre has consistently provided high quality education and care.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from extensive opportunities to engage in sustained play and exploration. There is a strong emphasis on fostering independence, social skills and promoting children’s interests. Teachers value parents’ and whānau aspirations for their children and take account of these in assessment and planning processes. Children use their imagination and creativity during a wide range of self-directed learning experiences. Teachers provide high quality programmes and resources that motivate and challenge children.

Infants and toddlers are very well nurtured and cared for in attractive, spacious and comfortable environments. A strong emphasis on establishing warm relationships with key teachers and other staff provides a sense of security and belonging for young children. Teachers use verbal and non-verbal communication well to extend infants’ interests, and respond to their individual rhythms and routines, including the use of baby sign language. They promote opportunities for infants and toddlers to explore natural and outdoor equipment, and resources that stimulate curiosity and problem solving.

Teachers are attuned to the variety of ways children express ideas and explore their environment. Excursions provide opportunities for children to learn about the local and wider community. Teachers provide meaningful learning contexts for children to develop oral language, literacy and numeracy skills. They know about current theories of learning, teaching and development and have used this knowledge to design comprehensive curriculum documents specific to this centre.

Teaching practice includes in-depth conversations and questioning to extend children’s thinking. There is a continuing focus on sustainable environmental practice. Leaders and teachers work in partnership with parents of children with diverse needs to enhance their learning, and ensure that these children participate in all aspects of the programme alongside their peers.

High quality learning environments support children to choose activities, experience challenge and revisit prior learning. Children can access a wide range of natural materials and cultural artefacts that reflect the backgrounds of children, their families and whānau. Programmes include Māori concepts, knowledge, attitudes, customs and te reo Māori. Children learn in a calm, settled atmosphere across the centres.

Successful transitions are supported by effective partnerships between families, services and schools. Children’s sense of belonging is nurtured during and after transitions into and within the service, and when moving to school. A group of teachers have engaged in formal research, collaborating with local schools and parents to establish shared understandings about the virtues programme and its contribution to effective transition processes. This research is currently being shared with the wider education sector.

Effective head teachers and teachers work collaboratively with the knowledgeable and experienced team leader. Teachers participate in rigorous self-review practices that involve monitoring and promote improvement of the quality of education. Management are continuing to review and refine assessment and appraisal practices in relation to recent professional development and best practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of BOP Polytechnic Early Childhood Education Centre 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 BOP Polytechnic Early Childhood Education Centre will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

20 October 2015

2. Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

40042

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

115 children, including up to 45 aged under 2

Service roll

87

Gender composition

Boys 47

Girls 40

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Other

36

45

3

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

20 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

November 2012

 

Education Review

October 2009

 

Education Review

December 2006

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.