PORSE Mt Eden S1 - 01/06/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

PORSE (Play, Observe, Record, Support, Extend, Evaluate) is an in-home early childhood organisation with its National Service Office located in Hawkes Bay. Area offices are located throughout New Zealand. Within the area offices, PORSE personnel, including coaches and programme tutors, work with parents, nanny educators and home educators to provide early childhood education and care for infants, toddlers and young children. Children are cared for in their own homes or in small groups in the home of their educator.

The PORSE mission is “to have all people in New Zealand schooled in nurturing and educating children in their care.” Families are valued partners in children’s education and care.

The PORSE Mt Eden S1 network provides a service to 82 children in the Mt Eden and Onehunga areas. Programme tutors, who are all registered teachers, have primary responsibility for children’s learning. They provide support, encouragement and informative resources for in-home educators. PORSE offers opportunities for educators and programme tutors to support each other and participate in professional development courses.

Educators foster children’s social and emotional development, and children benefit from warm, caring interactions in familiar environments. Educators use community facilities and PORSE playschools to provide children with regular opportunities to play and interact with other children. PORSE encourages educators to make the most of natural environments. Re-focusing assessment, planning and reflective practice on children’s learning would help programme tutors to enrich outcomes for children in both home and playschool environments.

Parents/whānau select their children’s educators. They have direct day-to-day relationships with educators and are well informed about their children’s daily activities. Parents/whānau are generally happy with the services offered by PORSE, although they would like more involvement in programme and planning for their children. PORSE could review how the organisation supports staff to develop their confidence and skills in fostering bi-cultural practices and improving partnerships with Māori whānau.

The PORSE coach and programme tutors agree that a next step is for them to further develop self review and strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation practices so that they provide better support for children’s learning. PORSE will need to review its support for programme tutors to help them refocus their work on outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again within three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of PORSE Mt Eden S1 was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by PORSE Mt Eden S1 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 service (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atPORSE Mt Eden S1.

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; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

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

The Quality of Education

Background

The review of the PORSE Mt Eden S1 office is informed by organisational and local documentation, visits to homes selected by PORSE, interviews with PORSE staff and educators, written feedback from parents/whānau, and observations of programmes for children.

In PORSE Mt Eden Area Office a team approach means all staff have direct contact with families and educators to support enrolment, induction and office administration.

Areas of good performance

Relationships. Affirming and mutually respectful relationships between staff, programme tutors, families, educators and children are a strength of the service. These relationships are evident between management, staff, tutors, families and children. Practices that support positive relationship include:

  • home-based education and care settings, which promote the formation of strong attachments between children and educators;
  • responsive and respectful interactions between educators and children;
  • educators becoming a part of the child’s extended family;
  • increasing levels of communication by PORSE personnel with families and educators; and
  • social events for staff, educators and families to recognise and celebrate success and progress.

Children benefit from these positive relationships.

Learning environments. Children learn in appropriate, well resourced home-based learning environments. Good use is made of community resources, events and weekly PORSE playschool sessions to provide children with opportunities for active participation, exploration and social contact with their peers. Reasonable steps are taken to ensure a safe physical and emotional environment for children.

Programme implementation. Educators develop programmes in response to children’s identified needs and interests. Home-based experiences are complemented by a range of group sessions in community settings. Features of the programme provided for children include educators:

  • promoting children’s social skills and fostering their sense of security and belonging;
  • encouraging children to be independent and self managing;
  • listening and responding to children’s conversations and ideas;
  • ensuring that the home-based programme is well supported by appropriate resources; and
  • recording children’s involvement in learning through photographic displays and journal entries.

Collaborative team. Staff at PORSE Mt Eden are encouraged to provide an inclusive and responsive shared leadership approach. They continue their professional development through a collaborative culture of team dialogue and reflection. These good practices support ongoing developments in the PORSE organisation.

Areas for development and review

In-depth self review. Information about self review is gathered in multiple ways. It would be beneficial for the coach and programme tutors to strengthen the evaluation of the information gathered to ensure that educators are supported to extend children’s learning. PORSE could:

review the workload and support for programme tutors in PORSE Mt Eden to sustain a high functioning team;

review the quality of appraisals for programme tutors and educators to ensure there is an increased focus on teaching and learning and on the provision of constructive feedback to increase educators’ knowledge and skills; and

support programme tutors to focus on children’s learning and progress by providing better quality comments in their visit notes and by role modelling programme evaluation practices at playschool.

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

The PORSE Māori as Tangata Whenua policy promotes connections with Māori communities and professional development for staff on the application of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It aims to increase Māori participation and to ensure that training programmes reflect the bicultural nature of New Zealand.

PORSE Mt Eden S1 does not currently have any children of Māori descent on its roll.

Areas of strength

Relationships with families. There is a strong emphasis on building positive, respectful and supportive relationships with educators, children and their whānau. Daily interaction assists educators to be responsive to the needs and aspirations of whānau, and to discuss shared strategies for working with children. Daily journal entries keep whānau informed about their children’s activities. These systems are likely to promote sound relationships with whānau of Māori children should they enrol with the service.

Areas for development and review

Review of policy and practice. It would be worthwhile for PORSE Mt Eden S1 to review the application of the PORSE Māori as Tangata Whenua policy and consider how they could:

  • review the policy and practices against Ministry of Education strategic plans for promoting educational success for Māori, and against ERO’s evaluation reports and indicators of good practice in this area;
  • increase the knowledge and skills of all staff so that they can incorporate aspects of bicultural practice in their programmes and practices;
  • consider goals and strategies to improve educational outcomes for Māori children; and
  • implement appraisal processes that reflect the service’s expectations for bicultural practice.

4. Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the management and staff of PORSE Mt Eden S1 completed an ERO Home-Based CareManagement Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they 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; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5. Recommendations

ERO, PORSE coaches and programme tutors agree that it would be useful for PORSE Mt Eden to:

  1. review planning, assessment and evaluation practices in order to further improve the quality of care and education provided for children; and
  2. review the implementation of policies and strategies that contribute to the achievement of improved educational outcomes for Māori children.

6. Future Action

ERO will review the service again within three years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the Service

Licence type

Home-Based Care

Chartered under

Education (Home-based Care) Order 1992

Roll number

108

Gender composition

Girls 51%,

Boys 49%

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 66%,

Indian 5%,

Chinese 4%,

Middle Eastern 3%,

other European 3%,

other 19%

Review team onsite

March 2011

Date of this report

1 June 2011

Previous ERO reports

Education Review, August 2006

Accountability Review, May 2003

1 June 2011

To the Parents and Community of PORSE Mt Eden S1

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report onPORSE (Play, Observe, Record, Support, Extend, Evaluate) is an in-home early childhood organisation with its National Service Office located in Hawkes Bay. Area offices are located throughout New Zealand. Within the area offices, PORSE personnel, including coaches and programme tutors, work with parents, nanny educators and home educators to provide early childhood education and care for infants, toddlers and young children. Children are cared for in their own homes or in small groups in the home of their educator.

The PORSE mission is “to have all people in New Zealand schooled in nurturing and educating children in their care.” Families are valued partners in children’s education and care.

The PORSE Mt Eden S1 network provides a service to 82 children in the Mt Eden and Onehunga areas. Programme tutors, who are all registered teachers, have primary responsibility for children’s learning. They provide support, encouragement and informative resources for in-home educators. PORSE offers opportunities for educators and programme tutors to support each other and participate in professional development courses.

Educators foster children’s social and emotional development, and children benefit from warm, caring interactions in familiar environments. Educators use community facilities and PORSE playschools to provide children with regular opportunities to play and interact with other children. PORSE encourages educators to make the most of natural environments. Re-focusing assessment, planning and reflective practice on children’s learning would help programme tutors to enrich outcomes for children in both home and playschool environments.

Parents/whānau select their children’s educators. They have direct day-to-day relationships with educators and are well informed about their children’s daily activities. Parents/whānau are generally happy with the services offered by PORSE, although they would like more involvement in programme and planning for their children. PORSE could review how the organisation supports staff to develop their confidence and skills in fostering bi-cultural practices and improving partnerships with Māori whānau.

The PORSE coach and programme tutors agree that a next step is for them to further develop self review and strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation practices so that they provide better support for children’s learning. PORSE will need to review its support for programme tutors to help them refocus their work on outcomes for children.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again within three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood service we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management 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 service or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region