Westminster Christian Preschool - 11/12/2015

1 Evaluation of Westminster Christian Preschool

How well placed is Westminster Christian 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

Westminster Christian Preschool, situated on the grounds of Westminster Christian School, provides full day and sessional education and care for up to 35 children between two and five years of age. Children are drawn from a large demographic area and represent three main cultures: Korean, Chinese and Pākehā.

The centre employs five staff members, three of whom hold New Zealand early childhood qualifications. The majority of staff have worked in the centre for long periods of time. The service is governed by the Westminster Board of Proprietors that oversees the centre’s resourcing and property maintenance. Management of the centre is delegated to the supervisor.

The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO. The 2012 ERO report noted a sustained and strong focus on the Christian philosophy as a guiding document. Self review was an established feature of policy and operational considerations. Leadership of curriculum programmes was sound. Literacy and numeracy was woven throughout learning programmes and children were encouraged to be independent. New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage was respected and promoted with te reo Māori consistently used by teachers and children in programmes.

The Review Findings

Children attending Westminster Christian Preschool are welcomed by their teachers at the start of their day with warmth and affection. A high number of children have English as an additional language and teachers make a point of using children’s home languages in their greetings. Teachers make strong efforts to learn about children and their families. A Korean teacher helps Korean families to settle into the centre. Children are well settled and appear happy in the centre.

Teachers provide a variety of activities and experiences for children that encourage them to engage with their peers, and to explore and participate in play. Teachers work closely with children, including literacy and numeracy in conversations and encouraging children’s independence in selecting their play. Well established routines and expectations guide the day. Teachers might now consider ways of increasing opportunities for children to more often lead their own learning and to make decisions about their play in meaningful ways.

The Christian vision for the centre continues to be a guiding force in the programme. Teachers’ nurturing and respectful management of children promotes a calm and peaceful environment. Children respond positively to teachers’ care, and demonstrate affection and helpfulness towards their peers. Many children speak together in their home languages, although lack of a common language does not hamper friendships. Teachers could encourage children to play together in more collaborative ways to strengthen children’s self-confidence.

Teachers continue to use te reo Māori with children. Children sing waiata with confidence and use words in te reo as part of their conversations. The attractive, inviting centre environment includes displays that recognise teachers’ commitment to biculturalism and Pacific culture. Teachers now intend to increase the number of displays that celebrate the various cultures of the families presently attending the sessions.

Parents are confident about coming into the centre. They engage in conversation with teachers, sometimes using mobile technology to translate conversations as they talk. Parents’ interest was initially engaged by online portfolio entries. Teachers are now exploring additional ways of encouraging their continued contributions to their children’s learning.

There are strong collegial relationships between staff members who work well together. Self-review processes, although largely informal, have a focus on providing well for children. It is timely for teachers now to consider how well the programme reflects the intent and aims of Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum. At present, parental and other pressures have resulted in programmes that provide more formal learning than the curriculum promotes. Teachers may need external support to help them resolve these issues.

Appraisal processes are under review and the strategic plan for the centre is in the development phases. The supervisor has a clear wish to provide a less formal programme for children. She explained her intention of developing strategic and annual planning, assessment and programme planning, and appraisal processes with staff that demonstrate a pathway for change.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Westminster Christian 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 Westminster Christian Preschool will be in three years. 

Graham Randell
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

11 December 2015 

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

Unsworth Heights, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10004

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

24

Gender composition

Girls       13
Boys      11

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Korean
Chinese

  6
12
  6

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:5

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

11 December 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

May 2009

Education Review

June 2006

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.