Leaps and Bounds Preschool - 11/06/2020

1 Evaluation of Leaps and Bounds Preschool

How well placed is Leaps and Bounds Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Leaps and Bounds Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Leaps and Bounds Preschool is a privately-owned service, providing all-day care and education in Rangiora. It is licensed for 56 children, including up to eight children under two years of age. Children learn and play in three age-defined learning and care spaces: nursery, foundation and kindergarten. Each area has its own outdoor space.

The service was re-licensed in May 2018 under new ownership, and a new governance and leadership structure was established. Two owners (directors) provide governance, and a centre manager, supported by two head teachers, manages the day-to-day operation and planning for the service. The teaching team has remained relatively consistent over the last nine years. Most of the teachers are qualified and registered, including six who are fully Montessori trained and three who are partly trained.

The service's philosophy includes ideas about respectful relationships, resilience, valuing cultural diversity, respect for Māori as tangata whenua and children as kaitiaki of the environment. The vision states that: 'We will provide a modern Montessori environment driven by our passion to nurture and inspire children to be motivated and independent global citizens.

The November 2016 ERO report identified there was a need for staff to: increase bicultural understandings; develop confidence in self review; improve staff appraisal and strengthen strategic planning. Good progress has been made in some of these areas.

The service is a member of the Puketeraki Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

The Review Findings

Teachers and leaders respond thoughtfully to the learning and wellbeing needs of children. They work alongside them to meaningfully promote engagement and respond to their needs and interests.

The learning and play environments for all ages are well-resourced, welcoming and inclusive. Teachers in the Montessori 'classroom' for older children foster independence and promote responsibility. The nursery environment is a calm and unhurried space for under two-year-olds to play and learn.

Transitions into, within and out of the centre are well managed and personalised to meet the needs of children. Well-established relationships with local schools also assist effective transitions.

The importance of home culture for children in their learning and play environment is recognised and valued. There are well established and maintained home-service connections. Aspects of Māori culture are evident in learning spaces and in everyday practices. Understanding and integration of bicultural components in programmes and practices has improved. Very good support is in place to meet the needs of diverse learners. This includes working with whānau to source external support as appropriate.

Relevant professional learning, effective strategic/annual planning and the use of internal evaluation for improvement are driving a positive and collaborative working environment for teachers and leaders. Strategic plans are monitored and evaluated in relation to identified priorities. The development of leadership capability for head teachers is supported by clearly defined roles and responsibilities, as well as appropriate mentoring and coaching.

An internal evaluation framework is in place which links to strategic planning. It is used effectively to guide decisions about change and improvement for the benefit of children and their whānau.

Key Next Steps

The current appraisal process is not sufficiently robust. This is a self-identified area for improvement and an internal evaluation of appraisal is in progress. Any adjustments to appraisal should ensure that it aligns with Teaching Council expectations for a process that 'meaningfully supports' teacher development. The appraisal process needs to attest in relation to each standard in a 12 month period as well as provide formal feedback for teachers against the teaching standards.

Aspects of planning and assessment are inconsistently applied. To further improve outcomes for learners, planning and assessment processes should be monitored to ensure that:

  • language, culture and identity are visible and well-considered in planning and assessment documents and practice

  • bicultural perspectives are actively promoted and present in planning and assessment

  • a localised curriculum (including Māori perspectives) is visible in planning and practice

  • parent voice is included and effective learning partnerships with whānau are promoted.

Internal evaluation could be made more effective by incorporating specific and measurable outcomes for teachers and children in the action planning phase.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Leaps and Bounds 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

11 June 2020

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

Rangiora

Ministry of Education profile number

65015

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

56 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Female 32, Male 25

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

5
47
5

Percentage of qualified teachers

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 2019

Date of this report

11 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2016

Education Review

September 2013

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.