Springbank Pre School - 17/04/2015

1. Evaluation of Springbank Pre School

How well placed is Springbank Pre School 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

Springbank Pre School provides full day education and care for up to 40 children from two to five years of age. It is one of two licensed early childhood centres that operate on the same site, shared with Springbank School. The centre operates under the governance of the Springbank School Board of Trustees. The same administrative and management systems serve both centres. Recently there has been a significant change in staff in the preschool. The head teacher places priority on building a professional teaching team.

The centre’s philosophy, inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, promotes child-centred learning and learning through active exploration. The philosophy aims for children to be supported to learn through ‘reciprocal relationships with people, places and things’. Children benefit from a wide range of opportunities to explore and use the grounds and facilities of the adjoining school.

Positive features noted ERO’s 2012 report remain evident. For example, children continue to enjoy good relationships with each other and teachers regard children as capable learners. The ERO report also endorsed the centre’s priorities to enhance bicultural and multicultural practices, and to continue strengthening partnerships with parents and whānau. Good progress has been made to improve the outdoor environment and further develop planning and assessment of children’s learning.

The Review Findings

The centre’s philosophy is evident in teaching practice and children’s play. Children benefit from individualised and responsive teaching. Teachers are skilled at encouraging children’s exploration and engagement in learning. They support children to make independent choices and plan their play.

Teachers’ inclusive approaches ensure that all children participate in the programme. Children enjoy positive respectful relationships with adults and each other. They are listened to and valued by teachers. As a result, children confidently begin conversations and engage in cooperative play with their peers and adults.

Children’s transitions into and from the preschool are well supported. They have good opportunities to familiarise themselves with new staff and settings. This gives them confidence as they take their next steps in their education journey.

The centre’s curriculum is responsive to children’s interests and strengths. Good planning and assessment practices underpin the programme. Planning approaches are flexible, and individualised. Teachers cater for diversity and children’s emerging interests. Planning is well documented and evaluated. Parents’ contributions to planning for their child’s learning are a feature of the preschool.

The learning environment is well resourced. Teachers adapt and change it in response to children’s evolving interests. Children have ready access to an outdoor area. This area has been developed to offer children choice from a variety of engaging activities.

Maori children’s cultural identity is affirmed and their sense of belonging and connectedness is well supported. Te reo and tikanga Māori are integrated into the programme, environment and centre practices. Teachers are committed to continuing to build upon their current good practice to foster success for Maori children. They are supporting children to learn about our bicultural society.

Effective leadership is contributing to the good quality care and education for children in the centre. The knowledgeable and professional head teacher’s practice reflects the centre philosophy. She is encouraging the new teaching team to collaboratively use their complementary skills and interests in the centre programme.

The board continues to provide appropriate administrative, personnel and support systems to underpin centre operations. Review of these processes is aided by regular management meetings with campus managers. Teacher performance is annually appraised by the school principal. He acknowledges the value of including the head teacher more in the appraisal of teachers in the preschool.

Teachers benefit from professional relationships with staff from across the campus. Relevant professional learning supports them to reflect on and develop their practice. Self review is a feature of teachers’ daily practice. Consideration is given to how their practices, programmes and resources can be modified to offer better outcomes for children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO and centre managers agree that key next steps include:

  • further acknowledging children’s culture, language and identity in their assessment portfolios
  • displaying the evolving programme focus areas in ways that engage children, parents and teachers
  • planning strategically for continued development in the outdoor environment to offer children more options for physical challenge.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Springbank Pre School 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.

To improve practice, safe fall should be provided for all activities that children engage in where they are more than one metre off the ground.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Springbank Pre School will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 April 2015

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

Kerikeri, Northland

Ministry of Education profile number

10409

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

41

Gender composition

Boys 21 Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Japanese

4

36

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

17 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

April 2012

 

Education Review

March 2009

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.