Khandallah Little School - 10/07/2018

1 Evaluation of Khandallah Little School

How well placed is Khandallah Little School 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

Khandallah Little School is a privately owned early learning service located in Wellington. It is one of a number of services under the Little Schools' umbrella. It provides education and care for up to 30 children aged over two years.

The philosophy places importance on developing foundations for lifelong learning and enabling a smooth transition to primary school.

Little Schools' management team comprises three qualified and experienced early childhood and primary school teachers. The owner has a clear vision for the organisation and is responsible for setting overall strategic and policy direction. Mentor teachers monitor the quality of teaching and learning and support teachers’ ongoing professional learning, growth and development. At this centre, an acting head teacher has been appointed for a year. There have been other staff changes.

The April 2015 ERO report identified that the Khandallah Little School team should continue to improve understanding of review and appraisal. Some progress is evident.

This review is one of three reviews of centres in the Little Schools' organisation.

The Review Findings

Teachers and leaders are highly committed to the Little Schools' philosophy and vision. Strong values underpin the preschool and its culture. Leaders acknowledge that it is timely to review the philosophy in consultation with the school community. ERO affirms this decision.

Children confidently engage in a range of teacher-designed activities. Literacy, oral language, mathematics and science are strongly promoted. Teachers make connections to children's cultures, languages and identities through the environment, activities and celebrations. Good support is provided for children transitioning from the neighbouring Little School Nursery.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are evident in the programme. Children have opportunities to become familiar with te ao Māori. Teachers are increasing their use of te reo Māori within the programme. Leaders and ERO agree that this should continue to be an area for development.

Teachers have positive, responsive relationships with children. Developing learners' thinking, independence and social competence is a focus. A range of strategies to extend children's learning through their self-chosen play is evident.

Learning partnerships with families are in place. Many parents are actively involved in aspects of the programme. Good communication keeps them informed of children's participation and development. Their aspirations are sought and used as a basis for children's goals.

Group planning aligns well with Little Schools' philosophy and is linked to individual children's goals and interests. Evaluation of the programme should be more clearly focused on outcomes for children. Assessment for individual children identifies emerging friendships and aspects of communication. Teachers should continue to strengthen in learning records:

  • how they show what learning is taking place
  • acknowledgment of children's progress over time
  • reflection of children's individual culture, language and identity
  • identification of relevant, specific next steps for children's learning.

The use of self review to promote improvement is limited. A key next step is for leaders and teachers to develop shared understanding and use of internal evaluation.

Good support is available for leaders and teachers to develop their practice. Professional learning is valued and suited to their needs and ongoing development. The head teachers seek ways to build teachers' knowledge and practice. However, appraisal requires strengthening. The process should be revised so all aspects of the Education Council's expectations are implemented, and to ensure the process better supports teachers' and leaders' development.

A strong policy framework guides centre operation. Managers are currently working to document and align systems and processes to promote consistency across the Little School organisation. Better monitoring of the quality of their implementation should also support this aim. While the strategic plan identifies business priorities, further consideration should be given to creating strategic goals that are linked to positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

ERO, managers and leaders agree that priorities at centre level are to continue to strengthen:

  • use of te reo Māori
  • assessment, planning and evaluation in relation to individual children's learning.

At governance level, priorities are to develop:

  • a revised philosophy
  • understanding and use of internal evaluation at all levels
  • the teacher appraisal process
  • strategic planning that promotes outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, teachers and management of Khandallah Little School 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.

In order to improve practice, and ensure endorsement of teachers' practising certificates meets a reliable and consistent standard, the service provider must ensure that all teachers are formally appraised annually, and all Education Council requirements are met.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Khandallah Little School will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

10 July 2018

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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

50054

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children aged over 2

Service roll

41

Gender composition

Girls 24, Boys 17

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

1
36
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

10 July 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2015

Education Review

January 2012

Education Review

December 2008

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.