Rotorua Girls' High School Childcare Centre - 29/05/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

The Rotorua Girls’ High School Childcare Centre is a small community-based centre, managed by a trust, located on the grounds of Rotorua Girls High School. The centre borders Malfroy Primary School, and operates for approximately 40 weeks a year, coinciding with the primary school terms. It is licensed for up to 30 children from 3 months to 5 years and at the time of this ERO review had a roll of 27, including 9 children identified as Māori. The centre philosophy makes a commitment to providing a stimulating educational programme focused on developing individual children’s strengths and interests, in a safe and caring environment. The centre acknowledges and respects Māori as tangata whenua and values the unique qualities of other cultures.

The supervisor’sstrong, knowledgeableand experienced leadership maintains a culture of openness, collaboration, and cooperation among the teaching team. She is well-supported by her assistant, who works alongside, to achieve a high-quality programme.

Excellent teacher continuity has been central in building receptive and reciprocal relationships with children, parents and whānau. The teachers value this partnership and communicate and consult regularly through meetings, newsletters, children’s learning portfolios and the centre blog. This community of learners is committed to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi through te reo me ōna ngā tikanga Māori.

The centre has developed high-quality learning opportunities in both the indoor and outdoor environment. Children are able to engage in active physical play, explore the natural environment, and have ready access to resources and experiences that they can use in open-ended and creative ways. Babies and toddlers are included in play and exploration alongside older children. Whakawhanaungatanga is fostered and highly evident throughout the programme, as children of all ages learn and play together. As a next step, the centre should consider using its well-developed and effective processes for self review and appraisal to evaluate progress in strengthening the provision for children up to two years of age.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore 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 Rotorua Girls' High School Childcare 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 atRotorua Girls' High School Childcare 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; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

The centre managers suggested that within these areas the review could consider the quality of:

  • teachers appraisal; and
  • programme for children up to 2 years of age.

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

The Quality of Education

Background

The Rotorua Girls High School Childcare Centre, is a small, community-based centre which operates under a trust. In the new location, teachers have planned the environment to support their commitment to providing a stimulating educational programme. The programme includes children up to two years of age who learn and play alongside their older peers. Stable staffing has enabled the centre to maintain its priority of fostering close relationships with parents and whānau. This community of learners is dedicated to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi through te reo me ōna ngā tikanga Māori.

Areas of strength

Interactions and relationships:The centre has a highly welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that is immediately apparent to children, parents and visitors. Teachers are responsive to the individual needs of families and children. They acknowledge and respect the place of Māori as tangata whenua, and value the uniqueness of other cultures.

Teachers’ interactions take account of children’s strengths and interests. They observe and listen carefully to children, and use teachable moments purposefully to develop children‘s thinking and communication skills. Children use information and communication technologies (ICT) skills to contribute to blogs and photo stories. Teachers have high expectations of children’s behaviour and engagement. They use well-developed positive guidance strategies to develop children’s problem-solving skills, to cooperate with one another, and to contribute to the life of the centre.

Learning environment:The centre has developed a safe and challenging physical environment. Teachers recognise its importance as a component of teaching, and have developed high-quality learning opportunities in both the indoor and outdoor environment. Children engage in active physical play, explore the natural environment and are involved in construction. Learning equipment has been chosen to challenge children’s social, academic and physical skills. They have ready access to resources and activities that they can use in open-ended and creative ways. Teachers make good use of the local community.

Programme:Whakawhanaungatanga is fostered and highly evident throughout the programme as children of all ages learn and play together. An attractive and appealing portfolio and an interactive blog produced by teachers and children clearly documents and records special learning moments. Children readily share and revisit their learning often, with parents, whānau and friends. Teachers have begun to document the work of the centre by recording children’s interests through ‘Golden Planning Threads’. This planning process provides further opportunities for teachers to reflect on learning and assessment, and to evaluate the effectiveness of outcomes for children.

Leadership and management:The supervisor’sstrong, knowledgeableand experienced leadership maintains a culture of openness, collaboration, and cooperation among the teaching team. She is well-supported by her assistant, who works alongside to achieve a high-quality programme. The trust contact person knows the centre well and is committed to supporting its continuing development.

Children under two:Teachers include babies and toddlers in play and exploration alongside older children. They respect children’s ability to make choices, and to use the environment to develop their physical, social, and communication skills. Teachers encourage children’s independence and self-management skills, giving them appropriate levels of responsibility. Parents spoken to by reviewers were confident that their communication with teachers was excellent, and that their babies and toddlers were well cared for and happy.

Appraisal:The professional team have developed a robust process for appraisal that is linked to the Registered Teacher Criteria. Teachers are using a professional learning journal or personal blog to document progress towards achieving their personal goals. Through the regular practice of:

  • discussions with the teaching team, peer appraiser and supervisor;
  • focused professional reading of guiding documents and current theories with links to children’s strengths and interests; and
  • referring to the Registered Teacher Criteria.

Teachers have developed more effective and meaningful ways of responding to and interacting with, children in learning conversations, programme planning, assessment and evaluation.

Agreed priorities for review and development

ERO and centre leaders agree that the next steps for review and development are to link appraisal and self review. The centre has well-developed and effective processes for self review and appraisal. As a next step, consideration could be given to linking these two systems by including a common aspect of centre development. For example, the current initiative about provision for children up to two years of age could be strengthened by:

  • including a development goal in appraisal for all teachers about curriculum provisions for children up to two years of age; and
  • using information from teachers’ reflective records to contribute to self review of the curriculum for children up to two years of age.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Rotorua Girls' High School Childcare Centre completed an ERO CentreAssurance 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; and
  • 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; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

Education and Care (All Day)

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Roll number

27

Gender composition

Girls 11 Boys 16

Ethnic composition

New Zealand Pākehā/European 16

New Zealand Māori 9

Samoan 1

Asian 1

Review team on site

March 2012

Date of this report

29 May 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review Report January 2009

Education Review Report September 2005

Accountability Review April 2002

29 May 2012

To the Parents and Community of Rotorua Girls' High School Childcare Centre

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Rotorua Girls' High School Childcare Centre.

The Rotorua Girls’ High School Childcare Centre is a small community-based centre, managed by a trust, located on the grounds of Rotorua Girls High School. The centre borders Malfroy Primary School, and operates for approximately 40 weeks a year, coinciding with the primary school terms. It is licensed for up to 30 children from 3 months to 5 years and at the time of this ERO review had a roll of 27, including 9 children identified as Māori. The centre philosophy makes a commitment to providing a stimulating educational programme focused on developing individual children’s strengths and interests, in a safe and caring environment. The centre acknowledges and respects Māori as tangata whenua and values the unique qualities of other cultures.

The supervisor’sstrong, knowledgeableand experienced leadership maintains a culture of openness, collaboration, and cooperation among the teaching team. She is well-supported by her assistant, who works alongside, to achieve a high-quality programme.

Excellent teacher continuity has been central in building receptive and reciprocal relationships with children, parents and whānau. The teachers value this partnership and communicate and consult regularly through meetings, newsletters, children’s learning portfolios and the centre blog. This community of learners is committed to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi through te reo me ōna ngā tikanga Māori.

The centre has developed high-quality learning opportunities in both the indoor and outdoor environment. Children are able to engage in active physical play, explore the natural environment, and have ready access to resources and experiences that they can use in open-ended and creative ways. Babies and toddlers are included in play and exploration alongside older children. Whakawhanaungatanga is fostered and highly evident throughout the programme, as children of all ages learn and play together. As a next step, the centre should consider using its well-developed and effective processes for self review and appraisal to evaluate progress in strengthening the provision for children up to two years of age.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore 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.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

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.
  • 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.