Read our latest ERO report (August 2018)
Children benefit from positive relationships with teachers who know them well. Their learning is celebrated throughout the home-like environment. An emphasis on creative arts is evident. Science and mathematics learning are woven into play-based contexts. Routine times are used well for meaningful learning and discussion. Open-ended questioning supports and enhances children’s thinking. A recent success for the service has seen a range of very useful strategies embedded to promote literacy and oral language. This is a centre strength.
Infants and toddlers explore confidently alongside teachers who prioritise their wellbeing and follow their lead. Children’s sense of place and belonging is actively promoted. A wide range of suitable resources are available for children to explore at their own pace. Unhurried care routines are aligned with home practices, and used well as learning and relationship building opportunities.
Teachers prioritise inclusive practices. Children with diverse learning needs are well supported to engage with the programme and their peers. Their families are supported and outside agencies accessed as appropriate.
Teachers share a wide range of useful information with families and seek their input on the service’s curriculum and operation. Leaders agree that a more robust range of strategies, focused on reciprocal learning partnerships, would enable more meaningful ongoing engagement. Establishing the service’s priority learning outcomes for children, in consultation with families, is a useful next step. This should assist in strengthening the goals within the service’s strategic plan, to guide improvements.
Aspects of te reo and kaupapa Māori are appropriately evident in the curriculum. Teachers have established a shared understanding of sites of significance to Māori in the local area. Leaders and teachers continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of te ao Māori perspectives across the programme. Teachers should also build a greater understanding of what success looks like for the service’s whānau Māori, as well as for Pacific families.
Teachers are attuned to children’s interests and use these, alongside the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki, as the foundation for assessment and planning. Children’s portfolios record observations and show children’s progress over time. The communication and cues of individual children are strongly reflected. A next step for the service is to clearly show how these observations are used to inform specific teaching strategies, to extend and challenge children. Teachers should consider how documentation could show:
- the use of individual development plans for children with diverse learning needs
- the impact of culturally responsive teaching, tailored to specific children
- the impact of the bicultural curriculum for all children
- how children’s learning has benefitted from partnerships with parents
- how assessment of learning, and evaluation of teaching strategies, contributes to future plans for each child.
Children and their families are well supported to settle into the centre and transition between rooms, with a range of inclusive and flexible strategies. Consideration of children’s readiness for school is appropriately aligned to social competence and confidence as learners. The service agrees that a next step is to consider ways to share useful information about individual children with school staff.
The teaching team collaborate on improvement-focused reviews. Very useful professional research contributes to changes in the programme and practice. Parents are consulted and kept well informed. However, documentation of the impact of these improvements on children’s learning needs to be strengthened. Indicators should be measurable and focused on children’s outcomes. In addition, introducing a monitoring component to emergent evaluations is required, to support teachers to know the success of smaller programme changes.
Appraisal processes should have a stronger focus on children’s outcomes. The manager acknowledges the need to align to current Education Council requirements. This is a key next step for the service.
Members of the teaching team work well together, and take on appropriate areas of leadership based on their strengths and interests. A commitment to making ongoing improvements for the benefit of children is clearly evident.