St Andrew's Preschool - 07/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

The service is well placed to continue to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

St. Andrew’s Preschool is one of five education and care services operating under the umbrella of Bethlehem Early Learning Centres (BELC) Ltd. It is located in Te Puke in purpose-built facilities adjacent to the church of the same name. The preschool caters for children from three years to school age, and is licensed for 40 children. The current roll is 64 of whom 10 children are identified as Māori.

A new head teacher took up her position in October 2011. Staffing has remained stable since the previous ERO review. All staff have been involved in an extensive professional learning and development programme during 2011. This programme has included Christian teaching philosophy, literacy and transition processes to support children and their families. The preschool has a positive reporting record with ERO, and it is continuing to review and refine its practices.

A considerable proportion of responsibility for financial, property and personnel matters is managed by the umbrella organisation. This management support allows the head teacher to maintain a strong focus on centre operations and community relationships. The head teacher and staff continue to receive regular, constructive guidance and advice from the company manager of BELC.

The current mission and values statements were jointly developed by all staff. These statements are summed up as ‘Planting seeds for a love of learning, care and respect for self and others, and an awareness of God as creator’. The Christian dimension to the preschool is strongly reflected in the nature and quality of relationships between staff, children and their parents/whānau, and the wider community. Staff demonstrate a strong commitment to Christian teaching approaches and improving outcomes for all children. A liaison committee coordinates appropriate Christian events between the preschool and St Andrew’s church.

Areas of strength

Programme: Children enjoy participating in a stimulating programme which is based on Te Whāriki (the early childhood curriculum), and responds to their interests and strengths. Literacy is well integrated throughout the programme, and high levels of oral language are evident. Creative and imaginary play activities are encouraged, and children have extensive access to construction and music experiences. Aspects of the programme also promote children’s awareness of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Parent and wider community expertise is being well used to extend and enrich the programme experienced by children.

Programme planning and assessment processes are well developed. Teachers share information about children’s interests at monthly staff meetings, and draw up detailed goal maps for five target children for the following month. Well-illustrated and attractively presented individual portfolios provide a record of children’s activity and involvement in the learning programme. These portfolios are valued by children and parents/whānau, who enjoy re-visiting previous learning experiences.

Learning environments: Children learn through play in well-resourced and carefully prepared environments. They are able to make choices about their involvement in activities, and have ongoing access to resources. The environment includes a clear visual Māori dimension, reflected in displays, books, resources, signs and the use of natural materials.

Inside play areas are open and inviting. Captioned wall and ceiling displays celebrate children’s creativity and help to promote their sense of belonging. Children have ready access to books for research and reading for pleasure. Recently installed heat pumps and drop-down veranda awnings increase the comfort and space available to children for play in all weathers.

Outside areas offer opportunities for active play so children can develop physical skills and confidence. Exploration is promoted through sand and water play. A recent development has been the enviro-schools initiatives, which have seen gardens established and sustainability principles encouraged.

Relationships and learning interactions: Affirming and mutually respectful relationships are a feature throughout the service. Considerate behaviour by children and adults is consistently encouraged through the promotion of the Christian virtues programme. ERO observed happy and settled children who were purposefully engaged in learning activities. Older children are encouraged to support younger children.

Teachers listen to children, and respond to their physical, emotional and learning needs. They are inclusive of, and empathetic towards, children needing additional support with their learning and development. Teachers work closely with families and appropriate external agencies to develop and implement Individual Education Programmes for these children.

Parents are made welcome and feel comfortable to remain in the centre. Staff make a sustained effort to support children and their families at the times of transitions into, and out of, the preschool. This generous support contributes to the creation of a ‘family-like’ atmosphere within the centre.

Leadership: The head teacher articulates and models a culture of professionalism and service to others. She has successfully built a collegial and mutually respectful staff team and a positive sense of direction and purpose for the service. Staff, parents and children are empowered to take appropriate leadership roles within the programme and daily operations. Parents feel well informed about preschool events and know their contribution is valued.

Areas for development and review

The head teacher, BELC manager and ERO agree, that the important next steps for preschool development is to further strengthen self review. This involves reviewing processes and practices against their intended positive outcomes for children. Areas for further review should include:

  • routines to develop social competence skills
  • assessment profiles to better reflect children’s development
  • practices to develop children’s early concepts of mathematics.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of St Andrew's 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

7 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Te Puke

Ministry of Education profile number

40300

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

64

Gender composition

Girls 34

Boys 30

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

NZ Māori

Indian

Other Asian

Other European

46

10

4

2

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

Not applicable

 
 

Over 2

1:8

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2012

Date of this report

7 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2010

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service 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 the service.