St Andrews Preschool - 29/06/2016

1 Evaluation of St Andrews Preschool

How well placed is St Andrews Preschool 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

St Andrews Preschool provides full day education and care for children from two and a half years old to school age. The service is licensed for 40 children. It is founded on Christian principles and a philosophy that embraces biculturalism and aims to develop children's love of learning.

The preschool caters for a multicultural community. Teachers celebrate this diversity and encourage children to respect the languages and culture of others. They provide specific support for children with identified special needs.

In early 2016 governance of the centre transferred from the Manukau Christian Charitable Trust to the St Andrews Presbyterian Church. An office administrator works closely with the head teacher to manage the centre and to report to the church board. Teachers are delegated responsibility for play areas and plan programmes collaboratively. Five of the large teaching team are certificated teachers, some of whom work part time.

In 2013 ERO endorsed many positive aspects of the service, including the support provided for children's learning, the quality of relationships, the well resourced environment and the extent to which teachers affirmed family cultures. These features continue to be strengths of the service. Centre leaders responded well to ERO’s suggestions to improve learning partnerships with families, children's portfolios and teachers’ use of self review.

The Review Findings

Christian values and positive relationships underpin the welcoming centre environment. Children arrive eager to engage in play and connect with their friends. They are confident, independent learners who respond well to skilful teachers who support their interests. Children work purposefully in small groups, often solving problems, persisting with difficult tasks or creating imaginative scenarios together. They contribute well in conversations about their learning and use their understanding of mathematics concepts to develop complexity in their play. Children practise early literacy skills in the context of play. They are also familiar with karakia, waiata and basic reo Māori.

Teachers actively encourage children to extend their learning. They ask open-ended questions that prompt children to think, negotiate and explore new ideas for play. Teachers have high expectations that children will work cooperatively, sustain meaningful play and show respect for each other. They know children well and encourage them to use their home languages in the centre. Teachers have established an inviting environment that provides many learning challenges while supporting children's sense of belonging.

Programme are based on significant overarching topics and children's individual interests. Teachers’ current focus on oral literacy is a good example of how they have used topics to address a need in playful ways. They also explore ideas, resources and activities to support children's interests, often incorporating literacy and numeracy experiences. Teachers are becoming skilful in assessing children's learning and could now more formally document their evaluations of programme outcomes. Teachers integrate Christian teachings appropriately throughout the programme.

Leaders recognise the importance of learning through play. They have recently evaluated their ‘school readiness’ programme in consultation with parents, to ensure that it reflects the intentions of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. While the programme includes a range of appropriate experiences, teachers should continue to reflect on whether the more formal literacy tasks are meaningful for children.

Parents are valued partners in the centre. They are kept well informed about centre provisions, are consulted during policy reviews, and are invited to share cultural knowledge and home languages. Parents contribute their aspirations for children's learning as they set goals with teachers. Some comment frequently in children's portfolios and many participate in cultural celebrations and centre events. Parents who were interviewed by ERO appreciate the relationships they share with teachers and the opportunities provided for their children. Centre leaders are committed to providing well for families and maintaining strong links with their community.

The centre is very well managed. Managers prioritise positive outcomes for children and seek ongoing improvement in practices. They have developed an effective policy framework and management plans to guide the centre’s operation. Together with teachers, they have established robust internal review processes that enhance teaching practices, support ongoing teacher reflection and are responsive to any issues that arise. Leaders encourage teachers’ ongoing professional development, coach them with weekly mentoring sessions and provide opportunities for them to grow leadership capability.

Key Next Steps

The centre leaders agree that the next steps for centre development should include:

  • a review of the strategic plan
  • tightening the quality and consistency of appraisal processes in relation to the evidence teachers gather for certification purposes
  • increasing the depth of bicultural practices through planned professional development and internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 June 2016

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

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25437

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

47

Gender composition

Boys 24 Girls 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Middle Eastern

Samoan

Chinese

Indian

Tongan

Cook Island Māori

6

5

11

8

6

6

3

2

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

May 2016

Date of this report

29 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

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.