Warrington Playcentre - 15/11/2010

1. Background

Introduction

A Supplementary Review is undertaken at the discretion of a National Manager, Review Services in the Education Review Office (ERO).

A supplementary review evaluates the extent and effectiveness of actions a centre has taken towards addressing issues specified in a previous education review and/or any additional areas identified since that review.

This supplementary review report was prepared in accordance with standard procedures approved by the Chief Review Officer.

Terms of Reference

This supplementary review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the Warrington Playcentre governing body and management in relation to areas identified in the August 2009 ERO report or issues identified since that review. The terms of reference for this review are to investigate:

  • the quality of education – interactions and assessment for learning;
  • self review;
  • the bicultural programme and consultation with families of Māori children; and
  • health and safety.

2. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Warrington Playcentre is one of the 38 playcentres administered by the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA). It is a managed parent cooperative. At the time of the review in July 2010, it was open on Wednesday and Friday mornings.

This supplementary review focused on the areas for improvement identified in the August 2009 ERO report. These areas included the quality of education, self review and some aspects of health and safety.

The OPA, educators and parents have made good progress in addressing the recommendations for improvement identified in the last report.

The interactions between children and adults are focused on children’s learning. The centre’s small numbers create many opportunities for one-to-one learning for parents and children.

Children’s learning is regularly recorded and planned for. Educators and parents have developed useful systems for planning and reflecting on children’s learning. Children’s learning experiences extend their interests and are revisited regularly. Educators and parents discuss and document how the centre can respond to children’s interests.

Children experience a rich bicultural programme. The parents of Māori children are consulted about the aspirations and expectations they have for their children’s learning and development.

Educators and parents are beginning to implement effective self-review practices to improve aspects of the centre’s operations. The OPA is providing more professional learning sessions for the centre educators and parents. This training is being well attended by centre personnel.

ERO did not identify any concerns relating to health and safety.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle

3. Findings

Quality of Education – Interactions and Assessment for Learning

Background

The last ERO review in August 2009 identified aspects of assessment practices and the quality of the centre’s programme that needed to improve. Children’s interactions with adults needed to build on children’s learning. Educators, parents and the OPA have made good progress in addressing these areas for improvement.

Areas of progress

Interactions. The centre, effectively supported by the OPA, has developed guidelines to help adults support children’s learning through meaningful interactions. ERO observed many high quality interactions between parents and children where:

  • the interactions focused on the children’s learning and wellbeing;
  • the learning conversations provided many opportunities to build children’s oral language skills and empower them as learners; and
  • the children’s interactions with each other were positive, cooperative and engaging.

Assessment for learning. Educators and parents have continued to make good progress in noticing, recognising and responding to children’s learning. There is now a process for how educators and parents record children’s learning. This is more evident in children’s learning stories. Parents’ evaluation records at the end of sessions show what learning has occurred for individuals and groups of children and how this learning is planned to be revisited and built on in the future.

Programme. Educators and parents are reflective and focused on improving the centre’s programmes and practices. They are responsive to the needs and interests of children and provide deliberate opportunities and specific resources to extend children’s learning. This learning is frequently linked to their everyday experiences. Children’s current interests and learning are displayed in the centre and reported to the parents’ council on a monthly basis.

Parent engagement. Parents are more fully engaging with the centre. They are being encouraged, and are taking additional opportunities, to train as educators through the OPA. Parents’ ideas for their children’s learning are now accessed formally, every six weeks, through discussion and documentation with centre educators. ERO observed positive, supportive relationships between educators, parents and the OPA Programme Adviser. These relationships are likely to improve outcomes for children and the quality of the centre’s programme.

Self Review

Background

The previous review report indicated that the centre’s review practices focused mainly on reviewing policies rather than on reviewing and improving the way the centre helps children to learn. Additional OPA support was suggested to help the centre extend its review process.

Area of progress

Understanding and implementation of self review. Centre leaders have a greater understanding of self review. They have developed ways of finding out what is going well and where improvements could be made. ERO observed a commitment from educators to consult widely on centre matters. The parent council is developing a planned approach towards reviewing the centre’s environment, interactions and programmes. The centre’s recent review of the effectiveness of children’s learning documentation provides a useful review model to build on.

Area for further improvement

Self review. The next step for the centre is to develop their knowledge and understanding of review further and how this can be used to benefit children’s learning. Centre leaders could formalise some guidelines to review practice for future parents and educators. The OPA should assist the centre further to develop robust and sustainable review practices.

Bicultural Programme and Consultation with Māori Families

Background

The previous review recommended that the centre provide children with more opportunities to have their leaning enriched by a bicultural dimension and use of te reo Māori in the programme.

Areas of progress

Bicultural programme. Educators and parents now provide many rich opportunities for children to learn and experience aspects of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage. Children are beginning to respond to the variety of te reo Māori they hear in the programme. Children’s profiles and ERO’s observations confirmed that the children have frequent opportunities to sing waiata, use poi and learn about mihi, harakeke weaving and haka. Children at the centre recently celebrated Mātāriki with students from the nearby school.

Consultation. The parents of Māori children are consulted about the aspirations and expectations they have for their children’s learning and development. This has occurred as part of the centre’s new system to increase parents’ voice in children’s learning. This consultation could be extended to find out what tikanga Māori protocols parents would like children to observe while at the centre.

Health and Safety

Background

At the time of the last review the centre’s fire-exit door could not be opened. The centre had identified that two gates needed to be improved to ensure that children did not have the potential for unsupervised access to the outside of the playcentre. These items have been addressed. ERO did not identify any other concerns relating to health and safety.

4. Recommendation

ERO and the centre leaders developed the following recommendation. That:

educators and parents further develop their knowledge and understanding of review and use this to benefit children’s learning.

5. Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

15 November 2010

About the Centre

Type

Sessional Playcentre

Number licensed for

17 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Roll number

12

Gender composition

Girls 3 Boys 9

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 8 Māori 4

Review team on site

July 2010

Date of this report

15 November 2010

Previous ERO reports

Education Reviews August 2009

April 2006 Accountability Review May 2002

To the Parents and Community of Warrington Playcentre

This supplementary review evaluates the quality of education and care received by the children and the performance of the centre’s management in relation to specific terms of reference.

The Education Review Office [ERO] evaluation of Warrington Playcentre follows.

Warrington Playcentre is one of the 38 playcentres administered by the Otago Playcentre Association (OPA). It is a managed parent cooperative. At the time of the review in July 2010, it was open on Wednesday and Friday mornings.

This supplementary review focused on the areas for improvement identified in the August 2009 ERO report. These areas included the quality of education, self review and some aspects of health and safety.

The OPA, educators and parents have made good progress in addressing the recommendations for improvement identified in the last report.

The interactions between children and adults are focused on children’s learning. The centre’s small numbers create many opportunities for one-to-one learning for parents and children.

Children’s learning is regularly recorded and planned for. Educators and parents have developed useful systems for planning and reflecting on children’s learning. Children’s learning experiences extend their interests and are revisited regularly. Educators and parents discuss and document how the centre can respond to children’s interests.

Children experience a rich bicultural programme. The parents of Māori children are consulted about the aspirations and expectations they have for their children’s learning and development.

Educators and parents are beginning to implement effective self-review practices to improve aspects of the centre’s operations. The OPA is providing more professional learning sessions for the centre educators and parents. This training is being well attended by centre personnel.

ERO did not identify any concerns relating to health and safety.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children. Therefore ERO will review the service again as part of the regular review cycle

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow-up action they plan to do. You should talk to the management or licensee if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region