Queen Margaret College Pre-school - 26/08/2014

1 Evaluation of Queen Margaret College Preschool

How well placed is Queen Margaret College Preschool 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

Queen Margaret College Preschool provides all day education and care for up to 30 girls aged from three to five years. The preschool operates under the management and administration of Queen Margaret College. A head teacher leads the curriculum and the head of the junior college has oversight of the preschool teaching team. Teachers are fully qualified.

The November 2011 ERO report identified several areas for review and development. The head teacher and staff have focused on addressing these.

The preschool curriculum is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Inquiry learning is a key focus. Centre philosophy is underpinned by shared values and beliefs. An inclusive atmosphere is fostered. Since the previous ERO review, teachers’ practice is no longer guided by the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (PYP).

The Review Findings

Children are well engaged and motivated by spontaneous and planned experiences. The curriculum is relevant and responsive to children’s interests and ideas. The pace of activities is relaxed, calm and unhurried. Children show confidence and high levels of independence. Literacy and numeracy learning opportunities are well integrated and part of children’s choices. The curriculum provides many opportunities for children to engage in mathematical learning. The number-rich environment contains prompts to stimulate conversation about mathematics.

Attractive learning portfolios and wall displays provide a record of children’s learning and development. Many families contribute, sharing special events and interests from home. Teachers highly value these contributions, using them to plan the curriculum.

Planning is suitably based on narrative assessments, children’s emerging interests and concepts and ideas introduced by teachers. Assessment, in the form of learning stories successfully illustrates and supports children’s learning and demonstrates their progress. Further developing shared understandings of current approaches to assessment, planning and evaluation is an area for teacher reflection and review.

Teachers’ interactions with children are positive and encourage an enthusiasm for learning. Conversations challenge children’s thinking through questioning and exploring possibilities. Adults allow children to pursue their interests without interruption. Group times follow and extend children’s interests. Routines are relaxed and flexible. Snack and lunch times are sociable events. Girls are highly confident communicators.

Inclusive practice is very evident in teachers’ strategies that acknowledge children’s different cultures, skills, interests and ways of learning. All teachers effectively weave te reo Māori throughout their interactions with children.

Parents contribute through regular discussion with teachers about how they can help extend children’s learning at home. Transition to the Junior School of Queen Margaret College is a supportive and sensitive process for children and families.

Self review is strongly improvement focused. It is both planned and spontaneous and is becoming increasingly evaluative. Improvement in this area has been successfully led by the head teacher and leader of the Junior School.

The head teacher confidently leads her team and builds capability. She supports teachers to reflect on and evaluate their teaching practices. She sets high standards for performance and models early childhood best practice. A collaborative and collegial relationship between preschool and school leaders contributes to a positive culture for children’s wellbeing and learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that the next key steps are to further develop:

  • teachers’ shared understanding of the early childhood curriculum through accessing external professional learning and development
  • a culturally responsive curriculum through the use of Ka Hikitia: Accelerating Success 2013  2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. Use of the competencies should strengthen appraisal and attestation against the New Zealand Teachers Council Registered Teacher Criteria.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Queen Margaret College 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Queen Margaret College Preschool will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region

26 August 2014

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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

50055

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll

26

Gender composition

Girls 26

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

18

8

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2014

Date of this report

26 August 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2011

 

Education Review

May 2010

 

Education Review

May 2007

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.