Springbank Pre School - 29/03/2019

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

Springbank Pre School is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Springbank Pre School is a well-established early childhood centre operating in the grounds of Springbank School. It provides education and care for 50 children, including a maximum of 15 children aged up to two years. The preschool is divided into two areas, each with its own playground and teaching team. The majority of children attending the preschool move on to Springbank Headstart, an early childhood centre for children aged from four-and-a-half to six years, which also operates as part of the wider Springbank school campus.

The centre is governed by Springbank Preschool Ltd, a family owned company. The principal of the Springbank School is the manager. He has oversight of the centre and provides support for centre leaders. The centre has seven qualified early childhood teachers and two support staff.

There have been significant changes in the centre since the 2015 ERO report. In addition to an extension of the building to cater for children under the age of two, there have been changes in the teaching and leadership teams.

The centre has maintained the positive features noted in the 2015 ERO report. Good progress has been made in addressing most of the key next steps identified in the 2015 ERO report. The centre continues to work on displaying the evolving programme planning in ways that engage children, parents and teachers.

The Review Findings

Children have access to a wide variety of curriculum experiences. They make choices about what they want to do and are able to play uninterrupted for extended periods. They are familiar with the expectations of mat times and meal times. Children are confident in this environment. They play cooperatively and develop respectful, caring relationships with their peers and teachers. They are well supported to develop as competent learners.

Infants and toddlers benefit from an individualised approach to their care and learning. Designated teachers support each child's settling and transitions, and undertake personal care tasks for that child. These very young children are well supported to explore the environment and to develop at their own pace. The well-paced transition of two-year-olds to join the older children allows them time to build their confidence in their new environment.

The programme for older children is responsive to their interests, parents' aspirations and teachers' ideas. It is underpinned by a framework of annual events and celebrations. There are rich opportunities for children to explore their local surroundings and participate in excursions into the wider community. Regular forest walks in the school grounds reinforce children's developing understanding of the natural world. Parents and whānau are encouraged to become involved in the programme and their contributions are appreciated.

Teachers provide very good support for children's learning. Noteworthy aspects of teachers' practice include:

  • knowing children well, respecting their individual preferences, and fostering their independence and self-help skills

  • reinforcing links with children's families and wider community

  • consistently respectful interactions with children and very good support for their oral language development

  • working collaboratively to ensure children are well supported and their emotional and physical needs met

  • seamlessly integrating te reo and tikanga Māori in their daily practice.

The centre is an integral part of the wider school campus. Well-articulated, shared values underpin the culture of both the school and preschool. There is an emphasis on providing a strong family oriented environment and developing children's capability, character and confidence. These qualities are evident in day-to-day centre operations and set the tone for how children learn.

The manager and centre leaders work collaboratively to guide and develop centre practices. They listen to teachers' ideas and provide opportunities for teachers to contribute and take leadership in their areas of interest. Centre operations are underpinned by a sound framework of policies, systems and processes. Some of these centre documents and processes have been recently introduced or modified and are still to be fully embedded.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that key next steps include:

  • strengthening the focus on outcomes for children, particularly in the implementation of internal evaluation processes

  • ensuring that programme planning is more visible in the environment, to further promote parent and child contributions, and opportunities for children to revisit and lead their own learning.

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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

29 March 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

Kerikeri

Ministry of Education profile number

10409

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2 years

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Boys 33 Girls 24

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā

5
52

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

29 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2015

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.