Surrey Park Early Learning Centre Inc - Intermediate - 04/03/2015

1. Evaluation of Surrey Park Early Learning Centre Inc - Intermediate

How well placed is Surrey Park Early Learning Centre Inc - Intermediate 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

Surrey Park Early Learning Centre Inc - Intermediate is one of four centres operated by Surrey Park Early Learning Centre Incorporated in Invercargill. The centres are on the same site, and are led by the same director and governing body. The Intermediate Centre caters for children aged from one and a half to nearly four. Children play and learn in two groups, one in the Waihopai room, the other in Kawakawa room.

The teachers in the Kawakawa and Waihopai rooms aim to provide children with a programme and environment that respects and meets their individual needs. This includes developing each child’s individuality and valuing their input into their learning and care.

The Surrey Park Early Learning Centres have a long history within the local community and have established strong relationships with parents. Many of the staff have worked here for a long period of time.

This review was part of a cluster of three reviews of education and care centres operated by Surrey Park Early Learning Centre Incorporated. The centre has made good progress in addressing the recommendations identified in the 2011 ERO report.

The Review Findings

Children in the Kawakawa and Waihopai Rooms benefit from a rich and interesting programme. This is based on the principles and strands of the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki. The programme is planned around children’s interests, teachers’ enthusiasms, and parents’ wishes for their children’s learning.

Children show a strong sense of belonging in the centre. They are clear about the teachers’ expectations of them and know the routines. Children have trusting relationships with their teachers. The teachers know the children well and foster children’s choice and independence. They celebrate children’s successes with them. 

Leaders and teachers build close connections with families. This helps them to better support children in their learning and contribute to the wellbeing of the whole family.

The teachers have given close thought to ways of developing social skills amongst children of this age. They provide challenging physical activities such as active movement, music and carpentry, and many creative experiences for the children. The teachers carefully plan and manage the children’s transitions both into and out of the Kawakawa and Waihopai Rooms. 

The teachers have done significant work to build Māori perspectives into the programme. The concepts of whanaungatanga (sense of family connections) and manaakitanga (treating people with care and respect) are clearly evident in practice. They could further strengthen Māori perspectives by making them a centre-wide priority to work on. The teachers are open to new ideas and constantly seek ways to improve how they work with children. 

As part of a national report, ERO investigated how well the programme supports children to develop early mathematics concepts. Children have many opportunities for mathematics learning in everyday experiences. Teachers should strengthen current systems to ensure mathematical learning is evident for all children. 

The centre has a wide range of high quality resources to support children’s learning. The committee and leaders have plans to improve the indoor and outdoor environments and create enhanced spaces for children's play and learning. 

The teachers have developed effective ways to plan for individuals and groups of children. These ways could be further improved by:

  • providing more explicit next steps for children’s learning which will give teachers better guidance
  • showing children’s progress over time more clearly in the records
  • teachers evaluating the effectiveness of their own teaching strategies
  • teachers showing in their stories how they value and respond to children’s culture and identity.

The teachers have identified that they are exploring ways to work more purposefully with children to better support their learning.

Governance and leadership of the Surrey Park Early Learning Centres

The members of the governing committee have relevant skills and a good understanding of their governance role. In consultation with parents and staff, they have developed a useful strategic plan to guide the centres’ operations. The committee members should continue to keep a long-term view for the future of the organisation.

There are practical systems to promote shared leadership across the centres. These include subcommittees that take responsibility for areas like health and safety and curriculum. The leaders should focus these meetings on more strongly sharing best practice and advancing the organisation’s strategic goals.

The leaders have put a new appraisal system in place. This is contributing to the strong culture of improvement and reflection across the organisation. The committee provides generous funding for professional development for the teachers.

Leaders and teachers have a useful framework for self review. Self review has enabled team members to improve aspects of their practice.

Self review would be strengthened by:

  • the use of better defined indicators of what good practice looks like for the area being reviewed
  • teachers identifying how well their practices measure up to those outlined in the indicators
  • the leaders reporting the outcomes of reviews to the committee and parents.

The director effectively manages the day-to-day running of the centres.

Key Next Steps

The leaders and ERO agree that key next steps are to:

  • strengthen their self-review practices
  • refine the ways teachers plan for and record children’s learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Surrey Park Early Learning Centre Inc - Intermediate 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 Surrey Park Early Learning Centre Inc - Intermediate will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

4 March 2015

2. Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

90106

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

73

Gender composition

Girls: 37 Boys: 36

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

20

50

1

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

4 March 2015

Most recent ERO reports

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

July 2011

 

Education Review

March 2007

 

Education Review

May 2003

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.