Redwood Kids - 08/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Redwood Kids

How well placed is Redwood Kids to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Redwood Kids requires further development to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Further development is required to: promote respectful and responsive practice for infants and toddlers; strengthen the bicultural programme and assessment planning and evaluation practices; and support and monitor teachers to effectively implement the service's policies and procedures for sustaining ongoing improvement.

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

Background

Redwood Kids is located in Havelock North. It provides all-day education and care for 55 children, including 15 aged up to two years. At the time of this review, 14 Māori children were enrolled at this service.

The service philosophy focuses on welcoming all children with kindness and respect. Redwood Kids, previously known as The Redwood Kindergarten and Daycare, was purchased by Provincial Education Group Ltd (the organisation) in June 2017. It provides governance and management support to the service. A substantial management team oversees a number of services nationwide. This includes a professional leader who provides support and guidance to centre staff. Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles are central to the organisation's philosophy and practices.

Since the February 2017 ERO report, for The Redwood Kindergarten and Daycare, the service has experienced a number of changes to the teaching team, including recently appointing a new centre manager. The organisation has a commitment to inducting the newly appointed centre manager to effectively implement all systems and process. Most teachers are qualified.

The previous ERO report identified that key aspects of practice and operation required significant development. These included strengthening and improving: the centre philosophy; aspects of the curriculum including assessment; provision for infants and toddlers; staff appraisal and mentoring and induction programmes; long term planning and evaluation.

Redwood Kids developed a plan to address the key areas requiring improvement, in consultation with the Ministry of Education (MoE). The service received targeted support through a MoE funded programme, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO). Some progress has been made in addressing concerns.

This review was one of seven services in the Provincial Education Group Limited.

The Review Findings

Children actively engage in a programme that reflects their interests and strengths. Teachers work alongside them supporting and extending their learning. They play independently or alongside their peers in self-selected activities.

Indoor and outdoor learning spaces are well resourced and freely accessed by all children. The outdoor learning space provides appropriate challenges to extend children’s developing physical skills.

Teachers work alongside infants and toddlers following their interests. Leaders agree that a stronger focus on building teachers capability is needed to:

  • respond respectfully and sensitively to support children's care moments and learning

  • use rich oral language when engaging with children to support and extend their learning.

The centre’s philosophy was developed with leaders and teachers to determine the centre’s key valued learning outcomes for children. A next step is to develop indicators of good practice that guide and support the effective implementation of the philosophy in practice. In addition, centre leaders should investigate how best they can engage with parents, whānau Māori and their Pacific community to deepen their understanding of what educational success looks like for them and their children in this context.

Aspects of te ao Māori are evident in the curriculum. Teachers continue to grow their understanding of places of significant value for Māori and reflect this in the curriculum. Some teachers make use of te reo Māori in the programme. While the organisation has clear expectations of celebrating te reo me ngā tikangā Māori, this is not yet consistently reflected in practice. This an ongoing area for development.

An appropriate policy on assessment, planning and evaluation has been established to guide practice. However, this is not consistently applied. Establishing a share understanding of the organisation's expectations of this policy in practice is a key next step. Leaders should then regularly monitor its effective implementation.

Leaders and teachers have engaged with external support on internal evaluation. This has supported them to reflect on their practice. It is now timely for teachers to begin to develop their understanding of how to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives and the outcomes for children.

A suitable mentoring and induction programme is in place to support provisionally certificated teachers to meet all requirements for teacher registration. All aspects of this clearly outlined process should be consistently applied.

Leaders and teachers have developed long term goals to guide quality improvements. The service should consider how best they can align these to the organisation's strategic priorities. These should include:

  • a stronger focus on building teacher capability and pedagogical knowledge to promote high quality outcomes for infants and toddlers

  • increasing the level of monitoring by professional leaders to provide useful feedback for ongoing improvement.

A sound appraisal framework is in place that leads teachers to investigate aspects of their practice and make ongoing improvements. Teacher goals should be specific, measurable and aspirational. A formal reporting process is now being implemented that provides feedback to teachers about the focus of professional leaders' visits.

Provincial Education Group senior leadership has high expectations for teacher practice. Systems and processes are in place to promote improvements, for the benefit of children and whānau. Teachers are encouraged to grow their understanding and take on distributed leadership roles.

A well-considered policy framework is in place to guide teacher practice. The organisation places considerable emphasis on the health, safety and wellbeing of children.

A recent national initiative, led by the organisation, is providing opportunities for parents and whānau to contribute to the valued outcomes of the service. The organisation should draw from these national findings to inform their strategic direction.

Key Next Steps

ERO and leaders agree that their priorities for improvement are to:

  • maximise learning opportunities through use of rich oral language and strengthening te reo me ngā tikanga Māori practices

  • consult with parents, whānau and families to determine what educational success looks like for their children

  • identify indicators of good practice for the service's philosophy that focus on children's learning using respectful responsive practices

  • develop a shared understanding of the assessment, planning and evaluation policy and its implementation

  • build internal evaluation capability and align the service's goals to the organisation's strategic priorities

  • continue to strengthen the appraisal process and consistently implement the mentoring and induction programme.

ERO and Provincial Education Group agree that to further strengthen practice, their next steps are to:

  • monitor the progression of strategic goals, through measurement of improved outcomes for children

  • use formal internal evaluation processes at senior leadership level

  • effectively use the findings of the national philosophy review to inform the organisation’s strategic direction.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Redwood Kids 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

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develops a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Redwood Kids will be within two years.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

8 February 2019

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

Havelock North

Ministry of Education profile number

55513

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

55 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

69

Gender composition

Boys 39, Girls 30

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Tongan
Asian
Other ethnic groups

14
47
1
3
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

8 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2017

Supplementary Review

February 2014

Education Review

February 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 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.