Clendon Christian Preschool - 25/09/2019

1 Evaluation of Clendon Christian Preschool

How well placed is Clendon Christian Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Clendon Christian Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Clendon Christian Preschool is part of the Manukau Christian Charitable Trust and operates under the trust's vision and policies. The preschool is licensed for 80 children, including 10 up to two years of age. Māori children make up 25 percent of the roll and almost 75 percent have Pacific heritage, with Samoan being the largest group.

The preschool's vision is 'love God, love people, love learning' and its promise is to prepare children to read and write. Children are separated by age into four rooms and all of them have access to a three-tiered outdoor environment, with a small two-tiered sandpit.

Since the 2015 ERO review, there have been significant staff and leadership changes, including the appointment of three new team leaders. The 'Amazing Ants' programme for children from four-and-a-half to six years of age has also been developed.

The 2015 ERO report identified positive aspects such as warm trusting relationships, and teachers valuing children's cultural identity. These aspects continue to be evident. Areas for improvement included strategic planning, appraisals, programme planning and evaluation. There has been some progress in addressing strategic planning and appraisals. There is a need to continue building shared understandings about assessment, programme planning and evaluation.

The Review Findings

Children experience respectful relationships with teachers and their peers. They are familiar with the predictable routines in their room and with their teachers' expectations for their learning. Children have opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori and other home languages, including Samoan. Children with additional learning needs are well supported and experience positive outcomes.

Parents are encouraged to be involved in and contribute to the centre's programme. They share their aspirations for their children's learning. Parents who spoke with ERO, expressed their appreciation of the preschool's support for their children's settling in and transition to school. They acknowledged the commitment and care shown by teachers towards their children. Teachers have established intergenerational relationships with some families.

Teachers' inclusive and responsive practices support success for all children. Having a teacher dedicated to work with children under two years of age, fosters the formation of strong relationships and trust. Teachers engage with children in small groups and respond to their involvement in the programme. They place an emphasis on developing children's oral language and skills.

Teachers prepare the environments to foster children's literacy, numeracy and social skills. The centre layout presents some challenges for supervision. Staff decide where to place themselves, and how and when children access different spaces. Teachers should review the variety of resources provided and consider adding more natural resources.

Centre leaders and teachers should review the extent to which the structured programme for older children aligns with relevant early childhood education theories and practices in relation to literacy learning. They should establish strategies for promoting child-initiated complex play and fostering creative exploration throughout the programme. Increasing opportunities for children to make independent choices about their learning activities would support them to become self-managing learners.

Teachers have worked to increase the visibility of children's learning and links to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, in their assessment and planning. They plan activities based on observations of children's interests, record children's participation in the programme and set individual goals for them. Teachers have identified that there is a need to continue improving assessment of learning and programme planning.

The preschool has a clear vision, philosophy, and strategic direction. Policies and procedures guide the service's operations. Teachers enact the Christian-based philosophy underpinned by aroha, whanaungatanga, and manaakitanga. The strategic plan is monitored regularly, and its impact is recorded. Internal evaluation is collaborative and documented, and evidence is presented to support the decisions made. Leaders have considered both Te Whāriki and the Ministry of Education's Tapasā resource, in their curriculum review and decision making.

The preschool is implementing a new appraisal system that encourages teachers to reflect on their practice and try new approaches to support progress towards their goals. Adding regular documented observations to the appraisal process would ensure that it meets requirements and supports teachers' professional growth.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps include further developing:

  • assessment, programme planning and evaluation that focuses on children's learning and the effectiveness of teaching strategies in relation to the learning outcomes of Te Whāriki

  • internal evaluation, by establishing a shared understanding of the use of quality indicators related to best practice in early childhood, and evaluating the impact of teaching strategies on outcomes for children.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that leaders access external professional advisory support for teachers to:

  • increase the extent to which the programme for older children reflects the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, and relevant theory and practices in early childhood education.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Clendon Christian Preschool 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, teachers and leaders are taking steps to record:

  • parental approval for adult:child ratios for excursions on parent permission slips

  • relevant emergency drills on a three-monthly basis.

Since the on-site phase of the ERO review, centre managers have amended several policies to ensure that they align with current requirements, including those of the Children's Act 2014.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

25 September 2019

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

Clendon, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

46327

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

86

Gender composition

Girls 45 Boys 41

Ethnic composition

Māori
Samoan
Tongan
Cook Island Māori
Niuean
other ethnic groups

22
28
17
11
4
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:1

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

25 September 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2015

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.