Learning Adventure Flaxmere - 03/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Learning Adventure Flaxmere

How well placed is Learning Adventure Flaxmere 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

Learning Adventure is a privately owned centre based in Flaxmere, Hastings. It is licensed to provide all day education and care for 60 children aged over two years. The centre philosophy is focused on giving children the skills and knowledge to be lifelong learners.

Learning Adventure, Flaxmere opened in 2012. The owner also owns the Learning Adventure centre in Maraenui, Napier. She has a vision based on children having equitable access to early childhood education and care.

This is the service's first ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children keenly engage in play on arrival. They are familiar with and confidently manage routines that encourage their independence and a sense of community.

Children develop leadership during mealtimes and through play. Warm, positive relationships are evident amongst children and with staff.

Teachers know the children well and take time to listen to them. They support children to develop independence as learners. Some staff effectively question children to extend their interests. Managers agree that improving the quality of teachers’ conversations that explore children’s learning is an area for further development.

Relationships with families and whānau are an ongoing area of focus and challenge for teachers. A diverse range of approaches is used to connect parents with the centre and their child’s learning. Staff use the Whānau Hui Committee, parent interviews and evenings to engage with significant numbers of families and whānau and learn about their aspirations for the education and care of their children.

Portfolios record children’s progress with their interests, learning and social development over time. Children often revisit these portfolios and the stories.

Transitions into the centre and to school are sensitively managed and responsive to the needs of each child, their family and whānau. Collaborative relationships with schools are established. Families and whānau are provided with useful information about visits and supported to make the experience positive for them and their child.

The curriculum responds to the learning of young children, including priority learners. It is based on children’s individual and group interests. Experiences in the community and visitors to the centre enrich children’s learning experiences. Mathematics is evident in conversations, play and resources. There is a variety of learning experiences which support children to become confident and capable mathematical learners.

Children with special needs are integrated into the centre and provided with individual programmes. These enable learning experiences that cater for their needs. Some agency support is available.

Teachers include aspects of Māori and Pacific groups’ cultures, languages and identity in the programme, protocols and interactions. Leaders and teachers agree with ERO that there is a need to make the environment more reflective of the cultures of these two priority groups of children.

Appraisal supports teachers to think about how well they are teaching and making changes to their practices. They share their knowledge and professional learning with each other. Teachers contribute to leadership roles in the centre. External professional support is based on individual and team needs and used to improve teaching.

Self review is a shared process and improvement focused. It is a well documented process of inquiry into the effectiveness of programmes, policies and centre operation.

The centre’s strategic and annual plans identify important areas to guide the future development of the programme, policies and procedures. Including timeframes and staff responsibilities for tasks in the action plan should strengthen its usefulness as a document to monitor progress throughout the year.

Key Next Steps

As next steps, management, staff and ERO agree on:

  • using observations of teachers’ practice to provide feedback on how well they are embedding changes to their teaching
  • including whānau and children’s perspectives in self review to strengthen evaluation for ongoing improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Learning Adventure Flaxmere 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 Learning Adventure Flaxmere will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

3 February 2015

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

Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

46035

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

60 children aged over 2

Service roll

95

Gender composition

Girls 51

Boys 44

Ethnic composition

Māori

Cook Island Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Other Pacific

Other ethnic groups

54

14

13

6

6

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

3 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

This is the service's first ERO report

 

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.