Sunnynook Pre-School - 08/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Sunnynook Pre-School

How well placed is Sunnynook Pre-School to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Sunnynook Pre-School in Glenfield, is privately-owned and has been operating for nearly 45 years. The centre offers full-time and sessional education and care for 35 children over two years of age. Children come from culturally diverse backgrounds. Many children, families and teachers speak more than one language.

The centre manager heads a long-serving teaching team that consists of four registered teachers and one unqualified staff member.

The centre's philosophy promotes an environment that nurtures trusting relationships and a sense of belonging and wellbeing. It makes links to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Areas for development identified in the 2015 ERO report are being addressed. These included planning, assessment and evaluation, as well as bicultural practice and the use of te reo and tikanga Māori.

The Review Findings

Children are articulate, confident learners. Social and self-management skills are supported through teachers' daily practice. Children participate in a structured routine that values indoor play, and they confidently make choices from prepared resources. The outdoor environment offers further play and exploration opportunities for children to develop their imagination and physical skills.

Teachers provide a welcoming, attractive and calm environment. Children experience literacy, science and mathematics learning in the centre's well-resourced environment. Children with additional needs are well provided for, and teachers work with outside agencies when appropriate to support these children.

Displays promote and celebrate children's cultures. Respect for biculturalism is evident in the environment. Teachers are building their knowledge and understanding of te ao and tikanga Māori. Some teachers use words and phrases in te reo Māori with the children, and speak to children in their own languages. These approaches support children's cultural identity and language development.

Teachers continue to develop their planning assessment and evaluation practices. Portfolios and an online tool enable parents to contribute to their children's learning records, and share these with the wider family.

The service enjoys high levels of support from its parent community. Parents express their appreciation of teachers' support for children's developing social skills and academic learning in a programme that includes structured teacher-led times and play-based learning. It is timely now for the manager and teachers to re-evaluate their longstanding traditional programme. Stronger emphasis should be placed on teachers facilitating child-led learning, in a programme that is more clearly responsive to children's interests and strengths.

Teachers' professional development is currently focused on developing their knowledge of Te Whāriki, the revised early childhood curriculum. Developing planning systems and practices that are consistent with current research and practices in early childhood education would help teachers to deepen children's learning with more challenging investigations and meaningful inquiries.

The manager and owner work collaboratively. Centre operations are guided by a good framework of policies and procedures. A strategic plan outlines long-term goals. Internal evaluation is beginning to contribute to centre improvements and positive learning outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for centre development and ongoing improvement include:

  • reviewing and refining the philosophy in response to the revised Te Whāriki

  • implementing a process of programme planning that recognises and responds to children's emerging and sustained interests, and invites children's contributions to decision making about the programme

  • continuing to strengthen the quality of leadership in the centre through professional learning.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the centre manager and teaching team use the examples of learning and development, and questions for reflection contained in Te Whāriki, particularly in relation to the Exploration strand, to evaluate their curriculum practices. This evaluation should help teachers to identify ways to adapt their practices so they are more consistent with current research, theory and practices in early childhood education.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Sunnynook 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

8 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

Glenfield, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20162

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

42

Gender composition

Boys 24 Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Indonesian
other ethnic groups

1
9
20
5
7

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

8 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

October 2008

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 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.