Melodies Preschool - 11/06/2020

1 Evaluation of Melodies Preschool

How well placed is Melodies Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Melodies Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Melodies Preschool is a small, privately-owned, early childhood education and care service, based in the Lincoln township near Christchurch. It is licensed to cater for up to 34 children over the age of two years. The centre has one large room and smaller rooms for specialist activities, such as music and art. There is also a natural outdoor area. Children learn and play in a mixed-age setting.

The owner is also the manager and works at the centre each day as part of the teaching team. All the permanent staff are qualified and registered teachers.

The service philosophy and values are underpinned by Te Whāriki (the early childhood curriculum), the Smart Steps programme and Carl Orff theory and practice. There is a focus on providing a holistic approach to building physical, mental, social and emotional foundations for children's future learning and development. Emphasis is given to the provision of performing arts experiences, such as music, dance and drama, and physical challenges within a perceptual motor programme.

Since the 2017 ERO review, the owner and staff have worked together to address the recommendations in the report. These included developing internal evaluation and bicultural practices. The owner and staff have identified that they want to continue to strengthen these areas.

The Review Findings

The service philosophy and values are very evident in practice. Leaders and teachers model care and respect for one another and for children and families. They foster supportive relationships and a positive sense of belonging and wellbeing for everyone involved in the service. Emphasis is placed on promoting children's social and emotional competencies to help them develop and maintain friendships that reflect kindness and care for others.

The culture, language and identity of children and families are appreciated and celebrated. Teachers are providing an increasing focus on bicultural practices and understandings. They are using core Māori concepts to enrich the curriculum in ways that are meaningful to children and families, and respectful of the Māori culture. Parents' views and aspirations are acknowledged and well used to inform children's learning. Teachers know children well in the context of their family and culture.

Teachers are strongly responsive to children’s individual interests, strengths and capabilities. They provide a calm, well-presented and well-resourced environment. The child-centred curriculum reflects the centre's priorities for creative and expressive play, and the provision of physical challenge. Literacy and numeracy are purposefully integrated into the curriculum. Children with additional needs, including English language learners, are well supported within an inclusive learning programme. Children's transitions are personalised and well paced to support successful learning and pathways to school.

The service is well led and managed. Its strategic and annual plans are embedded in centre improvement practices. This includes ongoing evaluation of key priorities and identification of next steps for continued improvement. The centre manager makes good use of individual teacher's strengths and encourages a positive team culture. Targeted professional development effectively builds teacher capability and fosters growth in leadership. Leaders and teachers work collaboratively and take collective responsibility for children’s wellbeing and learning.

Key Next Steps

The centre owner/manager and ERO agree that the key next steps are to continue to:

  • use evaluative practice to ensure internal evaluations identify how effectively explicit teaching practices and innovations are supporting positive learning outcomes for children

  • extend bicultural perspectives in key documentation, including the philosophy, assessment and planning, to ensure te ao Māori perspectives are clearly evident.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Melodies 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.

During the on-site stage of the review ERO identified that:

  • the annual summary of appraisal needs to be more explicit in stating whether teachers have met, or have not met, each of the professional teaching standards

  • parents need to sign acknowledgement that medication has been given each day it is administered.

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

Lincoln

Ministry of Education profile number

45697

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

34 children aged over 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Girls 26, Boys 29

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Chinese
Indian

4
45
5
1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2020

Date of this report

11 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2017

Education Review

January 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.