Newbees Preschool - 14/10/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Lanark House is located in Kerikeri, Northland, and caters for children over two years of age. Nearby Sylvan House, under the same ownership and management, caters for younger children. Since ERO’s review in 2008, building alterations have changed the way spaces are used, enabled a roll increase from 30 to 45 children, and have facilitated more prompt transitions for three year olds who are enrolling from Sylvan House.

Significant work has been done in response to ERO’s 2008 recommendation to develop a systematic cycle of self review. Increasingly reflective, collaborative practices lead to improvements in centre operations. Managers and teachers should continue to use self review to inform and guide the development of the programme.

Children are settled and well engaged in cooperative play. They have ongoing opportunities to explore areas of interest. Children are well supported to develop skills for managing themselves and establishing positive relationships with each other.

Teachers know children and families well and make good links with children’s lives outside the centre. Teachers are caring and responsive and engage well with children, using skilled questioning to extend and develop their thinking and ideas.

Inclusive and appropriate practices enable staff to establish and maintain positive relationships with Māori whānau. Their commitment to the principle of partnership inherent in te tiriti o Waitangi is clearly outlined in the centre philosophy. The daily programme reflects this philosophy. Skilled staff members provide guidance and support to others in using te reo and tikanga Māori.

The physical environment of the centre is attractive and well maintained. Alterations have enabled teachers to give children access to a greater range of resources. An ongoing review of play areas should help to assure teachers that children are maximising the opportunities provided.

Future Action

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

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Lanark House Early Childhood 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 atLanark House Early Childhood 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

Lanark House is a well established early childhood centre with a history of positive ERO reports. The licensee/owners and centre manager responded well to ERO’s 2008 recommendations and have led centre development effectively.

Since ERO’s 2008 review, the centre manager has successfully inducted a completely new staff team.

Areas of strength

Centre review. An increasingly evaluative approach to self review is resulting in the ongoing development of the centre. A long-term planned approach to programme and policy review is complemented by spontaneous reviews that respond to immediate need. Useful communication systems ensure that all staff are informed and have opportunities to lead and contribute to self review.

Children’s wellbeing. Children are well supported by teachers to engage happily in the programme. They are inclusive in their play and manage themselves and others independently and successfully. Teachers model positive relationships and support the development of children’s social competence.

Interactions. Teachers and children enjoy sustained conversations. Teachers use their knowledge of families to engage children. Their considered intervention and skilful use of questions extends children’s thinking and ideas. Interactions between children reflect their pleasure in playing together.

Learning environment. Teachers work well together and ensure that daily routines are responsive to children’s readiness to participate. The physical environment is attractive and well maintained and reflects children’s current learning. Very good space is provided for imaginative dramatic play and physical activity. Children’s early literacy and numeracy learning is promoted in authentic play situations.

Programme management. Teachers have focused on making programme planning and children’s learning more clearly evident to children and parents. A new process for displaying planning is resulting in increased parent input. Assessment narratives are displayed in the relevant learning areas to enable children to revisit past experiences. Children’s portfolio records are readily available to children and parents and show teachers’ responses to children’s strengths and interests over time.

Areas for development and review

ERO and centre managers agree that the next steps for development and review are to:

  • continue dialogue between staff and parents about the appropriateness of more formal literacy and numeracy teaching during group times
  • more systematically document input from parents and use this information to enhance self review
  • incorporate review of areas of play, including children’s access to and use of available resources, in the self-review calendar
  • increase the usefulness of the staff appraisal process and align job descriptions with appraisal criteria.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Partnerships with whānau of Māori children in early childhood services

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • this service understands and values the identity, language and culture of Māori children and their whānau, particularly when the child and whānau transition to the service
  • managers and educators have built relationships with whānau of Māori children
  • this service works in partnership with whānau of Māori children

Background

Māori participation in the centre is strong. Half of the children on the centre roll identify as Maōri.

Areas of strength

Managers and teachers establish partnerships with Māori whānau through inclusive, appropriate procedures and practices that reflect te ao Māori. These include:

  • a clear commitment to partnership with whānau and to te tiriti o Waitangi, as outlined in the centre philosophy
  • daily practices that reflect tikanga Māori
  • teachers confident in their use of te reo Māori and knowledgeable about tikanga
  • authentic learning about events of significance for Māori.

As a result, parents and whānau contribute and share their skills to enhance the programme.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Lanark House Early Childhood Centre completed an ERO Centre ManagementAssurance Statement andSelf-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.

In order to improve current practice, centre managers should ensure that:

  • records of accidents to children are consistently signed by parents
  • notices about trips outside the centre include the adult:child ratio
  • regular practices of earthquake procedures are undertaken.

5. Recommendation

ERO and centre managers agree that teachers and managers should continue to use self review to inform and guide the development of the programme.

6. Future Action

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

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

45 children over 2 years of age

Roll number

36

Gender composition

Boys 22,

Girls 14

Ethnic composition

Māori 17,

NZ European/Pākehā 12,

Thai 2,

other ethnicities 5

 

Review team on site

June 2011

Date of this report

14 October 2011

Previous three ERO reports

 

Education Review, April 2008

Education Review, April 2005

Accountability Review, February 2002

 

14 October 2011

To the Parents and Community of Lanark House Early Childhood Centre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Lanark House Early Childhood Centre.

Lanark House is located in Kerikeri, Northland, and caters for children over two years of age. Nearby Sylvan House, under the same ownership and management, caters for younger children. Since ERO’s review in 2008, building alterations have changed the way spaces are used, enabled a roll increase from 30 to 45 children, and have facilitated more prompt transitions for three year olds who are enrolling from Sylvan House.

Significant work has been done in response to ERO’s 2008 recommendation to develop a systematic cycle of self review. Increasingly reflective, collaborative practices lead to improvements in centre operations. Managers and teachers should continue to use self review to inform and guide the development of the programme.

Children are settled and well engaged in cooperative play. They have ongoing opportunities to explore areas of interest. Children are well supported to develop skills for managing themselves and establishing positive relationships with each other.

Teachers know children and families well and make good links with children’s lives outside the centre. Teachers are caring and responsive and engage well with children, using skilled questioning to extend and develop their thinking and ideas.

Inclusive and appropriate practices enable staff to establish and maintain positive relationships with Māori whānau. Their commitment to the principle of partnership inherent in te tiriti o Waitangi is clearly outlined in the centre philosophy. The daily programme reflects this philosophy. Skilled staff members provide guidance and support to others in using te reo and tikanga Māori.

The physical environment of the centre is attractive and well maintained. Alterations have enabled teachers to give children access to a greater range of resources. An ongoing review of play areas should help to assure teachers that children are maximising the opportunities provided.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service 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.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

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.
  • National Evaluation Topics – This strand contributes to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.
  • 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.