Discoveries on Gadsby Rd - 29/02/2016

1 Evaluation of Discoveries on Gadsby Rd

How well placed is Discoveries on Gadsby Rd 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

Discoveries on Gadsby Rd, in Mangere, Auckland, is one of twelve privately owned centres. The centre offers full and part-time care and education for children up to five years old, and part-time free sessions for three to five year olds. It is licensed for 128 children, including a maximum of 25 under two years of age. Children come from a range of cultural backgrounds and some have English as an additional language.

The owner has passed the centre’s management responsibility to a newly appointed centre manager. Discoveries Educare Gadsby has maintained its past staff and due to occupancy growth, we have employed new staff members. Most teachers are registered. A team leader in each room manages the daily programmes and mentors teachers.

The centre’s clear philosophy and vision promote children’s learning and are evident in teaching practices. The philosophy is closely linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is respected as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand and teachers are developing a bicultural curriculum.

Since the centre’s first ERO review in 2012 significant changes have been made. The centre manager is working collaboratively with the Discoveries business manager to embed management systems. Teacher appraisals and job descriptions have been implemented and teachers have worked collaboratively to strengthen their relationships with parents, whānau and the community.

The Review Findings

Children show a strong sense of belonging in the centre, play cooperatively and enjoy tuakana/teina relationships. They are supported to be confident to lead their learning and negotiate their play. Children develop self-help skills and have good access to resources of their choice. They enjoy a variety of play experiences and choose to play independently or in groups. There are opportunities for children to enjoy music, science, and be involved in imaginative play. The environment provides ample space and resources for many different learning experiences.

Cultural diversity is valued, and relationships and interactions at the centre are respectful. The programme promotes the importance of language, culture and identity. Teachers know children’s home backgrounds and parents’ aspirations. The owner is committed to building partnership with whānau and the community. Whānau contribution is welcomed and parents have enjoyed giving feedback to teachers about their child’s learning. The manager and staff have a wealth of cultural knowledge and can relate well to families and whānau.

Te Whāriki is well integrated through the centre’s curriculum and programme. Planning is based on teachers’ knowledge of children’s interests and strengths. Recently reviewed planning has strengthened the way that teachers notice, observe and document children’s interests. The manager has worked with teachers to improve programme planning and to be more responsive to children’s choices.

The manager and teachers have worked together to update the centre’s strategic plan. It is a comprehensive plan that outlines key priorities for the centre’s future direction and it links well to the centre’s philosophy. Goals and objectives, and the process to measure the achievement of these goals, provide good direction for staff.

There is a good governance framework. The centre benefits from a diverse team and range of systems from the umbrella organisation. A sound framework of policies and procedures guides centre practices. The centre’s vision is to serve the community and families, and to increase children’s participation in quality early childhood education. The owner’s strong commitment to this vision is well understood by the staff and community.

Self review is valued by teachers and staff. Relevant questions guide review processes and whānau perspectives are included. Well documented review has helped teachers to become more focused and reflective in their teaching practice and this is resulting in improved learning outcomes for children.

The manager is building a collaborative teaching team and a culture of respect and high expectations. She knows the value of relationships and trust and has thoughtfully managed change. Her knowledgeable leadership is increasing teachers’ understanding of current teaching theories. Teachers are committed to ongoing and relevant professional learning.

Key Next Steps

The owners and centre leaders have identified appropriate key next steps that include:

  • continuing to develop planning, assessment and evaluation practices that respond to children’s individual interests and strengths
  • further integrating literacy and mathematics concepts in the context of children’s play
  • reviewing the purpose and length of mat times
  • seeking ways to increase parent partnerships and involvement in the programme
  • simplifying the strategic plan and separating out the annually planned strategies.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Discoveries on Gadsby Rd 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 Discoveries on Gadsby Rd will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 February 2016

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

Mangere, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45461

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

128 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

84

Gender composition

Girls 44 Boys 40

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Tokelauan

Fijian

Indian

Niue

Cook Island Māori

other Pacific Islands

12

3

24

13

9

5

5

5

4

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2015

Date of this report

29 February 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2012

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.