Bubbles Bell Block Junior Centre - 14/12/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Bubbles Bell Block Juniors Centre provides all day education and care, five days a week, catering for children between two and approximately five years of age. The centre is one of six centres operating under a single management umbrella. This and an adjoining centre, catering for children aged up to two years of age, are located on the same site in Bell Block New Plymouth. Bubbles Ltd also operates three centres close to the central business district in New Plymouth and another in Waitara.

Children enthusiastically participate in a varied range of appropriately planned and spontaneous learning experiences informed by Te Whāriki. Programmes and learning experiences support children’s social and emotional competence and enable them to be expressive and creative. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are an integral part of children’s daily life at the service.

A positive tone prevails across the centre. Educators develop and maintain positive respectful relationships with children and their families. Children play amicably with and alongside their peers.

The indoor learning environment and outdoor spaces support children’s active exploration. These and readily accessible resources appropriately encourage children’s engagement.

The service-wide focus to strengthen educational leadership and self review is appropriate. Developing an effective framework that gives priority to centre development, monitoring progress and improving teaching should further enhance outcomes for children.

Future Action

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

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Bubbles Bell Block Junior Centre 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 atBubbles Bell Block Junior Centre.

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.

In addition, ERO decided to evaluate:

  • safe and inclusive culture;
  • curriculum design and review; and
  • sustainable performance.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Context and background

Since the May 2008 ERO report there has been change to staffing in this centre. A new programme manager was appointed during 2011.

A positive rapport and developing collaborative practice contributes to the successful day-to-day operation of the centre. The team is appropriately focusing on reviewing its philosophy to guide teaching practice and support learning for children.

The team recognises constraints in the current planning procedures and are strengthening practice to more fully reflect assessment practice as articulated in Kei Tua o te Pae, the early childhood exemplars.

Areas of strength

  • Interactions

A positive tone and inclusive culture in the centre promotes constructive interactions and supports the well-being and belonging of all children. Developing relationships that support children’s sense of belonging and ongoing learning is paramount. Interactions between children, their peers and teachers are respectful and conducive to learning. Teaching practice supports children’s sustained attention to activities and introduces a repertoire of skills, strategies and knowledge that assist their learning.

  • Curriculum design

Children participate in a varied range of appropriately planned and spontaneous learning experience informed by Te Whāriki. Teachers use their knowledge of children to inform programme content. Learning experiences and activities are increasingly more responsive to children’s interests.

Programmes and learning experiences support children’s social and emotional competence. Planned experiences include those that promote literacy and mathematical concept learning. Children are provided with many opportunities to be creative and expressive. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are an integral part of children’s daily life at the service.

Teachers are developing as reflective practitioners. Spontaneous reviews, ongoing team reflection and inquiring into practice increasingly results in improvement that enhances children’s learning and development.

  • Sustainable performance

The service’s vision and philosophy is clearly articulated, understood and agreed to by the community and supported by staff. Generic policies and procedures to assist the smooth day-to-day operation of centres are well embedded. These contribute positively to consistency of adult practice around health and safety promoting children’s well-being and belonging

Areas for development and review

  • Capability in teaching and self review

Building leadership to effectively develop and guide self review across the service is necessary to further improve teaching and learning for all children.

ERO’s evaluation agrees the current review of assessment, planning and evaluation should be a priority. Consideration should be given to how successfully the planned review will allow rigorous teacher inquiry into the effectiveness of curriculum decision making. Better articulating expectations for educator practice should lead to more consistent teaching and as a consequence, children’s ongoing learning and progress.

Teachers continue to inquire into the effectiveness of programme provision to support children’s literacy learning. Assessment of children’s learning, particularly in Topclass, and evaluation of this programme requires strengthening. Improving assessment to ascertain children’s current skill and knowledge level and using this information to differentiate teaching, should be considered as part of the services literacy review.

While processes are in place to improve the quality and consistency of teaching practice, use of these has not brought about the desired change managers seek. When a shared understanding of formal, in-depth, evidence-based self review and teacher inquiry has been established, it is likely that decision making will be better informed. ERO agree the ongoing review of quality assurance processes that monitor teacher quality and identify individual teacher’s developmental needs should be a priority.

Managers appropriately identify increasing all teachers’ confidence in te reo Māori to better reflect the bicultural nature of Te Whāriki as a next step. Developing shared understandings of Māori children and culture as unique should enhance adult practice. Including a Māori perspective and knowledge in the curriculum should strengthen learning opportunities for Māori, and all, children. Leaders should evaluate how the curriculum and teaching supports cultural literacy and competence as part of the literacy review and the impact of programmes on Māori learners.

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.

Inclusion of children with moderate to severe special needs

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

  • transitions ensure the continuing well-being, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs
  • children with moderate to severe special needs supported to be confident and capable learners
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs.

There are no children with moderate to severe special needs currently or recently enrolled in this centre.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Bubbles Bell Block Junior Centre 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.

5. Future Action

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

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

44 children, including up to 5 aged under 2

Roll number

60

Gender composition

Girls 33,

Boys 27

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 44,

Māori 14,

Other ethnic groups 2

Review team on site

August 2011

Date of this report

14 December 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review May 2008

 

14 December 2011

To the Parents and Community of Bubbles Bell Block Junior Centre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Bubbles Bell Block Junior Centre.

Bubbles Bell Block Juniors Centre provides all day education and care, five days a week, catering for children between two and approximately five years of age. The centre is one of six centres operating under a single management umbrella. This and an adjoining centre, catering for children aged up to two years of age, are located on the same site in Bell Block New Plymouth. Bubbles Ltd also operates three centres close to the central business district in New Plymouth and another in Waitara.

Children enthusiastically participate in a varied range of appropriately planned and spontaneous learning experiences informed by Te Whāriki. Programmes and learning experiences support children’s social and emotional competence and enable them to be expressive and creative. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are an integral part of children’s daily life at the service.

A positive tone prevails across the centre. Educators develop and maintain positive respectful relationships with children and their families. Children play amicably with and alongside their peers.

The indoor learning environment and outdoor spaces support children’s active exploration. These and readily accessible resources appropriately encourage children’s engagement.

The service-wide focus to strengthen educational leadership and self review is appropriate. Developing an effective framework that gives priority to centre development, monitoring progress and improving teaching should further enhance outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in 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.

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 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.