Kererū Children's Learning Centre Limited - 11/05/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Kereru Children’s Learning Centre is situated near Levin in the rural community of Koputaroa. The centre is a converted home, set in spacious grounds, complementing the philosophy of providing a family atmosphere.

Staff develop close links with families to support children’s education and development. Parents are encouraged to take an active interest in their child’s learning and development. Teachers clearly acknowledge parents as first educators and encourage parents in forming home-centre partnerships.

The principles of empowerment and holistic development guide centre practice. Teachers work closely alongside children to support their learning and play activities. Interactions are gentle and responsive to the holistic development of children. Relationships between teachers and children are mutually respectful and affectionate. Behaviour expectations are clear and a calm tone is constantly maintained.

The programme clearly caters for the learning of individuals and groups and also extends children’s social and emotional development. Children are given genuine choices and are seen as competent and capable learners. Through professional development, teachers are working to refine their approach so that the programme is more flexible and responsive to children’s demonstrated needs or strengths.

The centre provides ample opportunities for easy access to a range of interesting activities to promote learning and social development. The indoor and outdoor environments are attractive, warm and welcoming.

The head teacher leads her staff effectively and models the expected standards for providing high quality teaching and learning. The team members collaboratively share ideas and are enthusiastic about improving outcomes for children.

As part of the culture of reflection, continuing to strengthen the self-review process is an agreed priority for centre development.

Future Action

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

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Kereru Children's Learning Centre Limited 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 atKereru Children's Learning Centre Limited.

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.

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

The Quality of Education

Background

The teaching team comprises an experienced head teacher and two full-time teachers, including one who is provisionally registered. A further team member is in training.

Staff are involved in professional development to refine programme planning and provision.

Areas of strength

Interactions Teachers work closely with children and respond to their interests and developmental needs. Interactions are gentle and responsive to the holistic development of children. Behaviour expectations are clear and a calm tone is consistently maintained. There are high levels of shared dialogue and questioning to extend children’s reasoning and problem solving.

Relationships Children are sociable and friendly and their voices and contributions are valued. They cooperate and support each other to a high degree. Relationships between teachers and children are mutually respectful and affectionate. Staff know families well.

Programme provision The programme clearly caters for the learning of individuals and groups and extends children’s social and emotional development. Early literacy and mathematics, in the broadest sense, is encouraged and incorporated through interactions, language and resources. Children are given genuine choices and are seen as competent and capable learners. Teachers are working to make the programme more flexible and responsive to children’s demonstrated needs or strengths.

Portfolios Children’s learning journeys are recorded and attractively presented in their individual portfolios. Many portfolios are good quality, showing continuity of planning, effective analysis and identification of possible future learning directions. They are a celebration of achievement and progress.

Learning environment There is a peaceful, purposeful atmosphere. The environment is warm and welcoming. The converted modern home provides ample opportunities for easy access to a range of interesting activities to promote learning and social development. The extensive outside area is attractively laid out with natural plantings and has a variety of suitable equipment for physical activities and challenges.

Partnerships with parents Maintaining close reciprocal links with families is regarded as paramount to the success of the centre. Teachers encourage parents to take an active interest in their child’s learning and development and clearly acknowledge parents as first educators. The licensee/head teacher provides a transportation service for those parents unable to bring their children to the centre. There is a strong sense of belonging and ownership displayed by parents.

Team culture The head teacher leads her staff effectively and models the expected standards for providing high quality teaching and learning. Team members collaboratively share ideas and are enthusiastic about improving outcomes for children.

Appraisal system Teachers receive constructive and timely feedback including areas for development. The process includes setting goals with clear links to professional development to support continuous centre improvement. The advice and guidance programme for provisionally registered teachers is thorough and progress well monitored.

Areas for development and review

Self review Reviewing how well the strategic planning goals and annual objectives have been achieved requires development. An evidence-based approach, with documented links between strategic goals, success indicators and intended outcomes is likely to assist the head teacher and team with monitoring and evaluating centre-wide progress.

Programme Using external professional advice, the team is further refining their understanding of child-led learning to encourage children to more fully explore their own interests. ERO’s external evaluation supports this development.

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.

Partnerships with whānau of Māori children in early childhood services

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

  • this service understands and values the identity, language and culture of Māori children and their whānau, particularly when the child and whānau transition to the service;
  • managers and educators have built relationships with whānau of Māori children;
  • this service works in partnership with whānau of Māori children.

Background

At the time of this review, twelve Māori children attend this centre.

Areas of strength

The head teacher effectively leads the strong focus on building meaningful relationships with whānau. This is central to the centre’s philosophy of providing a family atmosphere. Staff acknowledge and value the connections between the child, their whānau and the centre.

The holistic approach to tamariki and their whānau is highly evident. Parents are warmly welcomed and many informal opportunities to discuss progress and well-being are provided. Children are effectively supported in an unhurried fashion, when their whānau leave in the mornings.

Importance is placed on pronouncing children’s names correctly. Language prompts and posters are displayed throughout the centre and basic phrases in te reo Māori are used. Teachers show a commitment to biculturalism.

Area for development and review

Teachers have identified the need to increase their confidence in te reo Māori, including whakapapa and mihi knowledge, and understanding of local contexts and iwi histories. ERO’s evaluation supports these developments.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Kereru Children's Learning Centre Limited 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. Agreed priority

ERO and the centre manager agree that:

  1. teachers will continue to develop a more systematic self-review framework to monitor and evaluate strategic planning goals and reflect on the long term operation of the centre.

6. Future Action

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

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Roll number

32

Gender composition

Boys 18, Girls 14

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 18, Māori 12, Other ethnic groups 2

Review team on site

March 2011

Date of this report

11 May 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review March 2006

Education Review July 2003

To the Parents and Community of Kereru Children's Learning Centre Limited

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Kereru Children's Learning Centre Limited.

Kereru Children’s Learning Centre is situated near Levin in the rural community of Koputaroa. The centre is a converted home, set in spacious grounds, complementing the philosophy of providing a family atmosphere.

Staff develop close links with families to support children’s education and development. Parents are encouraged to take an active interest in their child’s learning and development. Teachers clearly acknowledge parents as first educators and encourage parents in forming home-centre partnerships.

The principles of empowerment and holistic development guide centre practice. Teachers work closely alongside children to support their learning and play activities. Interactions are gentle and responsive to the holistic development of children. Relationships between teachers and children are mutually respectful and affectionate. Behaviour expectations are clear and a calm tone is constantly maintained.

The programme clearly caters for the learning of individuals and groups and also extends children’s social and emotional development. Children are given genuine choices and are seen as competent and capable learners. Through professional development, teachers are working to refine their approach so that the programme is more flexible and responsive to children’s demonstrated needs or strengths.

The centre provides ample opportunities for easy access to a range of interesting activities to promote learning and social development. The indoor and outdoor environments are attractive, warm and welcoming.

The head teacher leads her staff effectively and models the expected standards for providing high quality teaching and learning. The team members collaboratively share ideas and are enthusiastic about improving outcomes for children.

As part of the culture of reflection, continuing to strengthen the self-review process is an agreed priority for centre development.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again within 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