Melrose Centre - 26/04/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Melrose Centre in Devonport continues to provide good quality education and care for children between two and five years of age. The centre is independently owned and operates out of a converted villa. It has been purposefully refurbished and provides a home-like environment where teachers foster children’s interests.

Children are affirmed and valued. They settle quickly and are well cared for in the inclusive culture. They enjoy access to a range of activities and experiences that support mainly uninterrupted play. Teachers acknowledge that the next step is to review the programme to ensure that each child is being sufficiently challenged in their play.

Teachers welcome children and their families warmly. They model respectful and cooperative relationships. Teachers provide a variety of opportunities for parents to discuss their children’s care. They are considering further ways of encouraging parents’ input into their child’s learning.

The well-qualified teaching staff support children’s learning within an increasingly effective programme. Teachers plan and assess children’s programmes of learning based on teacher selected themes and what they have noticed about children’s interests. ERO recommends and centre management agree, that targeted professional learning would help to further improve planning, assessment and evaluation of children’s learning.

Centre self-review practices are developing. The owner undertakes a variety of formal and informal reviews of centre operation. Processes have been extended to give staff and parents opportunities to be consulted. Self review could be further enhanced by encouraging teachers to review their own practices and the impact of these practices on children’s learning.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Melrose Centre 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 atMelrose Centre.

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
  • the interactions between children and adults.

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

The Quality of Education

Background

ERO’s 2009 review noted the many good practices that contributed to good quality care and education for children. Good progress has been made in addressing the recommendations of the report.

Areas of strength

Interactions. Children and teachers interact positively and converse with each other about personal and centre experiences. Children are aware of what they are able to do independently and they confidently seek assistance when needed. They have opportunities for leadership, to work by themselves and in groups. Older children benefit when teachers use open-ended questions to develop their thinking.

Programme provision. The programme is designed to develop children’s independence and effective communication skills. It is soundly based on Te Whariki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. Teacher’s observe children’s emergent interests and support these interests during play. Children feel secure and respected, and teachers consider them to be capable and confident learners.

Broadening the curriculum. Teachers provide good support for children’s early literacy learning alongside useful opportunities to engage in art and dramatic play. The centre ensures that children gain an understanding of life outside the centre through the many planned excursions.

Learning environment. A wide range of good quality resources are easily accessible by children to support their self-initiated play. There is good flow between the indoor and outdoor areas. Teachers set up different areas of play during the day to give children variety and stimulation.

Developing complexity. Children spend the majority of their time in self-initiated play. However the timetable can disrupt children’s play at times and could result in limiting children’s opportunities to extend their explorations. As they consider ways to increase the complexity of children’s play teachers should also consider how to sustain activities better. This could also help to provide opportunities for increasing problem solving for older children.

Building partnerships. Teachers provide a variety of opportunities for parents to discuss their children’s care. The owner continues to explore appropriate ways of strengthening the relationship between home and the centre.

Areas for development and review

In order to further develop positive outcomes for children, the centre owner and teachers could:

  • review the preschool programme to ensure it is catering for children’s interests and strengths
  • strengthen planning and assessment processes to meet children’s individual interests and strengths
  • make evaluative judgements about children’s learning progress to increase the effectiveness of self review
  • integrate more te reo and tikanga Māori within the context of the programme.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Melrose Centre completed an ERO CentreManagementAssurance Statement and Self-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
  • 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
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4. Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

 

About the Centre

Type

All day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

18 children over 2 years of age

Roll number

37

Gender composition

Girls 19

Boys 18

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 31,

Irish 2,

British 2,

Australian 1,

French 1

Review team on site

January 2012

Date of this report

26 April 2012

Previous three ERO reports

 

Education Review, March 2009

Education Review, June 2006

Education Review, September 2002

26 April 2012

To the Parents and Community of Melrose Centre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Melrose Centre.

Melrose Centre in Devonport continues to provide good quality education and care for children between two and five years of age. The centre is independently owned and operates out of a converted villa. It has been purposefully refurbished and provides a home-like environment where teachers foster children’s interests.

Children are affirmed and valued. They settle quickly and are well cared for in the inclusive culture. They enjoy access to a range of activities and experiences that support mainly uninterrupted play. Teachers acknowledge that the next step is to review the programme to ensure that each child is being sufficiently challenged in their play.

Teachers welcome children and their families warmly. They model respectful and cooperative relationships. Teachers provide a variety of opportunities for parents to discuss their children’s care. They are considering further ways of encouraging parents’ input into their child’s learning.

The well-qualified teaching staff support children’s learning within an increasingly effective programme. Teachers plan and assess children’s programmes of learning based on teacher selected themes and what they have noticed about children’s interests. ERO recommends and centre management agree, that targeted professional learning would help to further improve planning, assessment and evaluation of children’s learning.

Centre self-review practices are developing. The owner undertakes a variety of formal and informal reviews of centre operation. Processes have been extended to give staff and parents opportunities to be consulted. Self review could be further enhanced by encouraging teachers to review their own practices and the impact of these practices on children’s learning.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in 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.

 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.