St Andrews College Preschool - 12/02/2015

1. Evaluation of St Andrews College Preschool

How well placed is St Andrews College Preschool to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

St Andrews College Preschool is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

St Andrews College Preschool caters for 42 children aged over two. The learning environment is attractively presented and well maintained with good support from the wider college community. The children and families come from the local area. The teaching staff are well qualified early childhood teachers who have worked together as a team for many years. They continue to provide a stable, friendly learning environment for children. Better than minimum teacher-to-child ratios are providing good opportunities for sustained interactions between teachers and children.

The Review Findings

Children experience strong, positive relationships with their teachers and peers. Teachers know children well and plan a range of learning experiences across a broad curriculum to meet their interests and needs. The best features of the programme include opportunities for children to:

  • satisfy their curiosity, interests and abilities through science, mathematics, art, photography, physical activity or music
  • experience success, including Māori children who benefit by the way their language and culture are being incorporated in some of the learning activities
  • learn mathematical concepts and language across a range of appropriate activities such as baking, construction, music and art
  • experience different forms of literacy, including Māori literacy through meaningful practical activities such as drama, poetry, waiata or the enactment of myths or legends.

The learning environment is structured and activities are used as the catalyst for children’s learning. Children have some opportunities to pose questions and independently find answers to satisfy their curiosities. This could be further developed in order to continue to build on children’s skills in becoming confident, competent learners.

The centre has good access to the college’s preparatory school. Children in the centre have many opportunities to interact with the older children and to experience the school environment. The centre staff have developed an area to support children’s transition to school. This area needs to be reviewed in terms of its links to Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum.

Teachers effectively work together as a team. They recognise and use each other’s strengths and skills to develop a programme that provides interest, variety and challenges for children. They are very well led by the head teacher.

Parents are warmly welcomed. Partnerships with parents and whānau are a key focus of the centre’s philosophy and practice. The regular sharing of information, as an informal chat or an assessment story, about children’s experiences and learning helps to strengthen these connections. Teachers regularly seek parent contributions and ideas and respond well to children’s ideas as observed throughout the programme.

The centre programme is well supported by the licensee. Programmes are regularly reviewed to ensure children have access to good-quality learning opportunities. The centre’s self-review process focuses on ongoing improvement. The process can be further strengthened by making sure recommendations continue to be systematically responded to and reported on.

Key Next Steps

The centre’s expectations for mathematics and literacy are not clearly stated in writing. Such documentation is likely to ensure the sustainability of the good practices observed by ERO.

Centre Leaders need to review the effectiveness of the transition room in meeting the needs of children transitioning to school.

The leaders have identified, and ERO agrees, that staff should continue to work closely with Māori whānau to make the bicultural aspects of the programme more visible in key documents such as the philosophy, programme planning and assessment and in the environment.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of St Andrews College Preschool 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 St Andrews College Preschool will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer- Southern

12 February 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

Papanui, Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

65068

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children aged two years and over

Service roll

35

Gender composition

Boys 18 Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Other European

1

28

3

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2014

Date of this report

12 February 2015

Most recent ERO reports

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

December 2011

 

Education Review

January 2008

 

Education Review

June 2005

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.