Scenicland Central Pre School & Nursery - 20/08/2013

Evaluation of Scenicland Central Pre School and Nursery

How well placed is Scenicland Central Pre School and Nursery 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

Scenicland Limited administers four early childhood centres on the West Coast. Three centres are in Greymouth and the fourth centre is in Hokitika. Scenicland Central Pre School and Nursery is located in Greymouth and caters for children in three separate groups. The nursery, toddler and preschool areas each have their own separate, well-resourced indoor and outdoor areas.

The manager is highly committed to employing qualified early childhood teachers and supporting staff members to gain an early childhood teacher qualification. The centre employs some qualified early childhood teachers. Other staff members are in training and often work part-time so that they can complete their teacher training. A major contributing factor in attracting and keeping qualified staff is the centre’s location on the West Coast.

The manager, head teacher and staff have made considerable progress in improving the quality of education since the 2010 ERO review. They have made significant improvements to the building and grounds, including establishing a separate toddler area. An improved management system and practices are being put in place. Good use is made of professional development to support improvements to management, and teaching and learning. A high level of health and safety is maintained for children, staff and families.

The Review Findings

Children are happy and confident in the centre. The environments in the nursery, toddler and preschool are calm and welcoming. Teachers warmly welcome children and parents and spend time with children helping them to settle easily into the programme.

Children in the preschool work well together for long periods of time in small self-selected groups. They willingly share resources and ideas. Teachers use a range of approaches to help children to use the equipment safely and to respect others.

Teachers in the toddler area thoughtfully listen to children and involve them in decisions about their wellbeing. Some teachers use a good range of approaches to involve children in conversations, and to help them extend their thinking and problem-solving skills.

Teachers in the nursery are responsive, caring and successfully promote infants’ wellbeing and belonging. They are respectful to infants and encourage them to be active explorers. They provide a range of additional experiences that delight and amuse these young children.

The head teacher and teachers have made good use of professional development to establish useful planning for individual children. Generally the plans clearly specify a goal for the child, the experiences that teachers will provide and the teaching approaches that they could use to help the children achieve their goals. Children’s individual goals are attractively displayed and regularly referred to by staff when working with each child.

The head teacher and teachers have put in place a well-planned approach to increase the bicultural part of the programme. The teachers make good use of self review, appraisal goals and professional development to increase their knowledge, understanding and confidence in using te reo and tikanga Māori.

Teachers have taken a number of positive steps to find out more about children’s home cultures and include aspects of these in the programme.

The learning environments are welcoming and invite children to explore, use their imagination and develop an appreciation of the natural world. The areas are well resourced and equipment is easy for children to access. Teachers have thoughtfully selected resources and activities for the age of children in each area. A feature of the outdoor areas is the range of equipment that helps children develop their physical skills and confidence.

Self review is becoming better and useful as a result of external professional development. Staff members are developing a good understanding of review and value the process. They are beginning to share responsibility for reviews and make good use of the information gathered to improve outcomes for children.

The manager and head teachers from the four centres, with support of advisors, have put together a strategic plan that provides direction for the future development of the centre and improving teaching and learning. The plan has clear objectives that cover learning and teaching and building capability and capacity within the organisation and staff. The plan makes particular reference to increasing the focus on New Zealand’s bicultural heritage so that all children gain appropriate knowledge and experience success in this area.

The manager is committed to growing the leadership capabilities of her head teachers and staff. She is investing significantly in their ongoing professional development and involving them in major decisions for the organisation. The head teachers from the four centres told ERO that they value the opportunity to share experiences and expertise with each other and the manager on a regular basis.

Key Next Steps

The managers and ERO agree that the next steps to improve learning outcomes for children include:

  • extending self review to evaluate how well the goals of the long-term plans for the organisation and individual centres are being met

  • strengthening child assessment practices to improve the consistency and usefulness of the learning stories in identifying learning and showing progress

  • evaluating the effectiveness of the new planning processes for improving learning and teaching

  • reviewing structured, teacher-led groups times in the preschool

  • continuing to use and review the effectiveness of the newly developed appraisal system

  • investigating further ways to build partnerships with parents, particularly families of Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Scenicland Central Pre School and Nursery 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 Scenicland Central Pre School and Nursery will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

20 August 2013

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

Greymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

65195

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under two

Service roll

89

Gender composition

Girls 53; Boys 36

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnicities

6

82

1

Percentage of qualified teachers 0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates

50-79%

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

June 2013

Date of this report

20 August 2013

Most recent ERO reports

 

Education Review

November 2010

 

Education Review

August 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.