Riverhills Early Learning Centre - 08/03/2013

1. Background

Introduction

A Supplementary Review is undertaken at the discretion of a National Manager, Review Services in the Education Review Office (ERO).

A supplementary review evaluates the extent and effectiveness of actions a centre has taken towards addressing issues specified in a previous education review and/or any additional areas identified since that review.

Terms of Reference

This supplementary review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the Riverhills Early Learning Centre governing body and management in relation to areas identified in the January 2012 ERO report or issues identified since that review. The terms of reference for this review are to investigate:

  • improvements to the quality of programme planning and implementation, including opportunities to extend children’s learning
  • the extent to which centre managers have improved management practices and self review processes
  • the extent to which centre managers have addressed health and safety issues identified in the 2012 ERO report
  • any other issues relevant to the governance, management and operation of the centre that may arise in the course of the review.

2. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Riverhills Early Learning Centre provides early childhood education and care for up to 25 children from two to five years of age in an adapted residential property in Pakuranga, Auckland.

This supplementary review evaluates the progress made towards addressing the recommendations, actions for compliance and areas for further improvement identified in the January 2012 ERO report. Since 2012 teachers have participated in ongoing professional development to improve teaching practices, and establish self review to guide centre development. Management practices have also been strengthened. These developments have contributed to a significant improvement in the quality of education and care.

The 2012 ERO report noted that children were settled, happy and benefited from caring interactions with staff. These positive features are still evident. The report also outlined concerns about the depth and quality of conversations between teachers and children and learning opportunities provided. Teachers now support children’s play effectively, have sustained conversations with them, and encourage them to make choices about their play.

Positive relationships and good communication between teachers, children and families are evident. Teachers provide good documentation of children’s learning progress in the centre. They are aware that some aspects of programme planning could be further developed.

The centre owner provides strong professional leadership and is eager to embed and continue to strengthen good teaching practices. The centre owner and teachers agree that they should continue with professional development to embed new practices, and should use robust review to guide continuous improvement.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

3. Findings

Quality of Programme Planning and Implementation

Background

The 2012 ERO report noted that children would benefit from improved learning opportunities that supported decision-making, problem solving and cooperative play.

contributed to significant improvements in the quality of the programme.The centre owner responded positively to ERO’s recommendation for teachers to continue with professional development to improve the quality of programme planning and implementation. The professional development has had positive outcomes. Teachers’ enthusiasm and commitment to gaining new skills has

Areas of progress

Programme. Teachers provide a good quality programme. This significant improvement has been helped by the strong enthusiasm and responsive approach of the centre owners and teachers to improving learning opportunities for children. Teachers show a shared understanding of centre philosophy, effective practices and high expectations. Routines are flexible, responsive to children’s preferences and are used well to foster learning and self managing skills.

Interactions. Respectful and caring relationships between teachers and children underpin children’s engagement in the programme. Teachers foster sustained conversations, listen carefully to children and respond to them with warmth and interest. Teachers encourage children to make choices and play cooperatively. They provide effective support in guiding child led play.

Learning environment. Children’s opportunities to learn and engage in sustained play are very well supported through the wide range of resources, equipment and activities available in the environment. The environment is well organised, family oriented and welcoming. It reflects the centre’s commitment to biculturalism and appreciation of children’s creative expression. Children have freedom to explore, have fun and learn in a purposeful and relaxed atmosphere.

Planning, evaluation and assessment. Teachers’ engagement in professional development has contributed to well-documented planning and assessment processes being put into place. Teachers have a shared understanding of meaningful ways to record how children’s interests are noticed and responded to. Planning is becoming increasingly more focused on extending child-initiated learning. Children’s individual learning portfolios, most of which are electronic (e-portfolios) provide a good record of their learning and development.

Areas for further improvement

The centre owner is aware that teachers could build on their good progress by continuing to:

  • deepen the complexity of child-initiated play and learning
  • reflect on ways that the centre’s philosophy, the teachers’ role and children’s cultures can be more evident in programme planning.

Quality of Management Practices and Self-Review Processes

Background

The 2012 ERO report suggested centre managers continue to strengthen centre management and self-review processes. ERO noted some health and safety issues that also needed to be addressed. The centre owner has made good progress in improving these areas.

Areas of progress

Centre leadership. The centre owner has improved management practices and provided support for the staff to improve the quality of self review at the centre. She is aware of the benefits of, and need for, a continued emphasis on professional development that assists teachers to embed effective new practices. Teachers engage in professional discussions and share good practice in planned and spontaneous reviews. They have worked well with the centre owner in developing an annual and strategic plan.

Health and safety. The centre owner has successfully addressed health and safety issues raised in the 2012 ERO report. Good systems for monitoring health and safety are in now place.

Areas for further improvement

Developments to support the ongoing improvement of the centre could include:

  • building on existing annual and long-term plans to include a focus on improving the quality of education and outcomes for children
  • strengthening the appraisal process to clarify and maintain high expectations of teacher practice
  • increasing teachers’ reflection on their practice and focusing self-review reports on outcomes for children.

4. Recommendation

ERO and the centre owner agree that the centre should continue with professional development to embed new practices and use robust self review to guide continuous improvement.

5. Future Action

ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

8 March 2013

About the Centre

Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

25 children, including up to 2 aged under 2 years

Roll number

26

Gender composition

Girls 14

Boys 12

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 16

Māori 7

Indian 3

Review team on site

January 2013

Date of this report

8 March 2013

Previous ERO reports

Supplementary Review, January 2012

Supplementary Review, November 2010

Education Review, November 2009

Education Review, October 2006

To the Parents and Community of Riverhills Early Learning Centre

This supplementary review evaluates the quality of education and care received by the children and the performance of the centre’s management in relation to specific terms of reference.

The Education Review Office [ERO] evaluation of Riverhills Early Learning Centre follows.

Riverhills Early Learning Centre provides early childhood education and care for up to 25 children from two to five years of age in an adapted residential property in Pakuranga, Auckland.

This supplementary review evaluates the progress made towards addressing the recommendations, actions for compliance and areas for further improvement identified in the January 2012 ERO report. Since 2012 teachers have participated in ongoing professional development to improve teaching practices, and establish self review to guide centre development. Management practices have also been strengthened. These developments have contributed to a significant improvement in the quality of education and care.

The 2012 ERO report noted that children were settled, happy and benefited from caring interactions with staff. These positive features are still evident. The report also outlined concerns about the depth and quality of conversations between teachers and children and learning opportunities provided. Teachers now support children’s play effectively, have sustained conversations with them, and encourage them to make choices about their play.

Positive relationships and good communication between teachers, children and families are evident. Teachers provide good documentation of children’s learning progress in the centre. They are aware that some aspects of programme planning could be further developed.

The centre owner provides strong professional leadership and is eager to embed and continue to strengthen good teaching practices. The centre owner and teachers agree that they should continue with professional development to embed new practices, and should use robust review to guide continuous improvement.

Future Action

ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow-up action they plan to do. You should talk to the management or licensee 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.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region