Bubbles New Plymouth Preschool - 14/12/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Bubbles New Plymouth Preschool is one of six centres operating under a single management umbrella. The preschool is one of three licensed centres located on the same site in central New Plymouth. This centre provides all day education and care, five days a week, catering for children aged approximately three to five years of age. Bubbles management also operate two centres in Bell Block and another in Waitara.

Children learn and play in an attractive and well-resourced environment. The newly extended and refurbished space invites curiosity, active investigation and discovery. Children move freely within the centre, choosing from individual or group activities. Adults care about the children’s physical and emotional well-being while allowing them to challenge their capability.

Programmes are generally child focused, promoting their social and emotional competence. Planned experiences include literacy and mathematical concept learning and creative, expressive activities.

Children know the routines and make their own decisions within the flexible organisation. Interactions are happy and cooperative.

Transition into the service and from centre to centre is thoughtfully managed. Parents are welcome to be part of the programme and enjoy comfortable relationships with teachers.

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 New Plymouth Preschool 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 New Plymouth Preschool.

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

Background

Since the May 2008 ERO report external support has been sourced to assist in redefining curriculum priorities. Educators use Te Whāriki to guide teaching and learning. The curriculum includes programmes of learning and experiences that focus on language and languages, mathematics, science, technologies, social sciences, the arts and health and well-being. These aspects of the curriculum continue to be part of the current, programme-planning review.

Developing assessment and planning practice has been an ongoing focus, emulating strategies set out in Kei Tua o te Pae, the early childhood exemplars. Supporting children’s developing literacy is also a consideration in strengthening teaching and planning.

The overarching Bubbles Philosophy guides decision-making and provides a framework for consistent practice across centres. Teaching teams are currently reviewing individual centre philosophies and developing a shared understanding for effective teaching and learning, appropriate to each age group. ERO agrees this is a priority.

Areas of strength

  • Interactions

A quiet, positive and encouraging tone pervades this centre. Children engage confidently with adults and in small, social groups. Teachers and parents enjoy supportive and respectful relationships, centred on children’s care and well-being. Transition into the centre is respectful of the needs of children and their families.

Children’s active exploration of their surroundings is encouraged and stimulated. Indoor and outdoor spaces are well-resourced for imaginative play. New spaces add to children’s opportunities to engage in extensive and uninterrupted learning activities. A settled and productive atmosphere is evident as children move freely, choosing activities and persevering with interests.

  • Curriculum design and review

The centre’s vision and values are shared and understood. Together with the strands of Te Whāriki, they provide a sound foundation for planned programme review. Teachers are working to improve their knowledge and use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, collecting resources and using collegial support.

Opportunities for children to increase their understanding of reading, writing and mathematics are meaningfully integrated throughout the daily programme. Teachers take a low-key approach to helping children solve their own problems. Language is promoted with adults having lengthy conversations with children. Portfolios are regularly revisited and shared. Children are confident and articulate.

  • Sustainable performance

Teachers work collaboratively as a team. Well-embedded policies and procedures assist the smooth running of the centre. The efficient structure contributes positively to consistent health and safety practices to promote children’s well-being and sense of belonging.

Areas for development and review

  • Self review for improvement

While processes are in place to improve the quality and consistency of teaching, initiatives have, so far, not brought about the desired change. Developing an in-depth understanding of evidence-based self review, including better knowledge of teacher inquiry, is likely to improve teaching and consequently, children’s engagement, learning and progress. ERO agrees that reviewing the advice and guidance programmes for provisionally registered teachers and strengthening teacher appraisal should better identify individual teacher’s development needs.

  • Building teacher capability

Teachers continue to inquire into the effectiveness of programmes to support children’s literacy learning. ERO’s external evaluation found that assessment, particularly in Topclass, and programme evaluation needs strengthening. Improving assessment to ascertain children’s current skill and knowledge level and using the information to differentiate teaching should be part of the service’s literacy review. ERO agrees that the current review of assessment, planning and evaluation should be a priority.

Centre leaders appropriately identify increasing teachers’ confidence in te reo Māori to better reflect the bicultural nature of Te Whāriki as a next step. Developing shared understanding of Māori children and their culture as unique, should enhance adult practice. Including Māori perspectives and knowledge in the curriculum should strengthen learning opportunities for Māori and for all children. How the curriculum and teaching support cultural literacy and competence and the impact of programmes on Māori learners, should be part of the literacy review.

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 New Plymouth Preschool 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

50 children aged over 2

Roll number

56

Gender composition

Girls 31,

Boys 25

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 46,

Māori 6,

Other ethnic groups 4

Review team on site

August 2011

Date of this report

14 December 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review May 2008

Education Review October 2004

 

14 December 2011

To the Parents and Community of Bubbles New Plymouth Preschool

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Bubbles New Plymouth Preschool.

Bubbles New Plymouth Preschool is one of six centres operating under a single management umbrella. The preschool is one of three licensed centres located on the same site in central New Plymouth. This centre provides all day education and care, five days a week, catering for children aged approximately three to five years of age. Bubbles management also operate two centres in Bell Block and another in Waitara.

Children learn and play in an attractive and well-resourced environment. The newly extended and refurbished space invites curiosity, active investigation and discovery. Children move freely within the centre, choosing from individual or group activities. Adults care about the children’s physical and emotional well-being while allowing them to challenge their capability.

Programmes are generally child focused, promoting their social and emotional competence. Planned experiences include literacy and mathematical concept learning and creative, expressive activities.

Children know the routines and make their own decisions within the flexible organisation. Interactions are happy and cooperative.

Transition into the service and from centre to centre is thoughtfully managed. Parents are welcome to be part of the programme and enjoy comfortable relationships with teachers.

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.