Westminster Christian Preschool - 17/10/2012

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Westminster Christian Preschool is well placed to continue building on current good practices and to promote positive outcomes for children. Context

Westminster Christian Preschool is a privately owned service which provides all day care and education for children from two to five years of age. It is situated in the grounds of the Westminster Christian Primary School, in Glenfield, Auckland, and draws enrolments from a wide area.

The service is managed by the Westminster Trust Board. Effective communication between the board and preschool ensures alignment in philosophy, policies and operations. Through regular informal communication the board provides ongoing support for the preschool, including quality resources and the maintenance of a safe and attractive environment.

The supervisor provides effective leadership and promotes positive relationships. Families are well informed about the preschool philosophy and programmes, and parent feedback shows high levels of satisfaction with the service provided. The Review Findings

Positive, respectful and trusting relationships are a feature of the preschool. Children are settled and secure in their surroundings and in their interactions with each other and with adults. Teachers know children well, respond to their individual strengths and needs, and effectively support them in learning through play.

The Westminster Christian philosophy provides clear direction for the Bible-based preschool curriculum and for centre operations. Staff review policy and programme decisions against the philosophy to ensure that the special character of the preschool is sustained. Preschool staff implement regular policy and operational reviews. The supervisor has recently introduced a useful model for more evaluative and strategic self review. Leaders have identified the benefits of more consistently and effectively documenting self review at all levels, and regular reporting against strategic goals, to strengthen sustainability.

The supervisor provides strong philosophical and educational leadership. She is focused on continuous improvement and promoting quality teaching and learning within the framework and principles of their Christian-based curriculum and context. She effectively promotes high levels of collaboration and reflective practice among teachers. The supervisor has initiated some innovative approaches to teacher professional development and appraisal processes. Further development of these processes should continue to build teacher capability and enhance learning outcomes for children.

Links between the preschool curriculum goals and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, are evident in practice and in some programme documents. Teachers are continuing to develop a more child-centred curriculum by incorporating children’s emerging interests into programmes. They are trialling new ways of documenting children’s interests in planning and assessment. Teachers are currently reviewing children’s portfolios. As part of this review, they are trialling the use of digital portfolios. This review could also usefully include consideration of ways to make individual children’s interests and ongoing learning progress and next steps more visible.

Good systems are in place to include parent input into programme review and decisions. Teachers are seeking ways to increase parent involvement in programmes. Preschool teachers work closely with staff from Westminster Christian Primary School to implement effective transition processes. Teachers are considering ways to develop dialogue and liaison with other local schools.

The preschool caters for children from a diverse range of ethnicities. Teachers effectively provide appropriate learning experiences for children and pastoral support for families. Inclusive practices are evident. Teachers know and value the languages, cultures and identities of all children. New Zealand’s bicultural heritage is respected and promoted. Te reo Māori is highly visible in the environment, in conversations, and in programme content. Children of all ages mix comfortably in the preschool and tuakana-teina relationships are evident.

Teachers encourage children’s independence and self management skills by offering choices and opportunities to take on responsibilities and leadership. They support children in problem solving and experimentation. Teachers effectively promote communication and language development. Early literacy and numeracy skills are fostered throughout programmes. Teachers should continue to critique and refine their teaching practices, including the use of open-ended questioning to extend children’s thinking, and strategies to facilitate more imaginative and complex play.

2 Legal Requirements

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years. 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services Northern Region (Acting)

17 October 2012 

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Unsworth Heights, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10004

Licence type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children over 2 years of age number

Service roll

43

Gender composition

Boys 26

Girls 17

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Korean

Chinese

Samoan

British

22

14

5

1

1

Review team on site

August 2012

Date of this report

17 October 2012

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Discretionary Review

May 2009

June 2006

December 2002

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.