Active Explorers Swanson

Education institution number:
20247
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
69
Telephone:
Address:

220 Swanson Road, Henderson, Auckland

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1 Evaluation of Leaps and Bounds Swanson

How well placed is Leaps and Bounds Swanson 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

Leaps and Bounds Swanson provides all-day education and care for 125 children, including 35 up to two years of age. Children are grouped in six age-related rooms with easily accessible outdoor playgrounds. A multicultural team of qualified teachers is supported by a centre manager, assistant manager, and head teachers in each room.

The centre's philosophy emphasises teachers' belief that children are capable, unique, confident learners who learn through creative thinking, inquiry, exploration and enriching environments. There is a focus on the individual child and their family.

Leaps and Bounds Swanson is part of the Evolve Education Group. Evolve provides a policy and management framework and a range of support systems to meet the needs of each service. Daily centre operations are delegated to the centre manager. Occasional cluster meetings with other Evolve centres provide a support network for centre leaders.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews of services in the Evolve Education Group.

The Review Findings

The centre is a safe and nurturing environment that supports the wellbeing of children and their whānau. Teachers provide a place for children to confidently make friendships and have fun playing together. Children develop good self-management skills and are encouraged to build social skills.

Teachers provide natural, open-ended resources that are plentiful and accessible. The programme includes literacy, numeracy and science activities that encourage children's participation and learning.

Teachers have developed very good primary caregiver practices. Teachers show affection, nurturing and respect for children as they listen to, and engage with them, through play and care routines. Teachers are responsible for small groups of children and prioritise the needs and preferences of each child. Parent-teacher partnerships are personalised and maintained.

The centre is developing an individual planning system for each child. Teachers capture parents' aspirations, teachers' observations and children's interests, strengths and developments on individual charts. These charts focus on each child's learning and help to build parent partnership. Children, particularly in the preschool room, have opportunities to set learning goals with their parents and teachers.

Children's individual learning portfolios reflect well the interests, strengths and learning journey of each child. Portfolios are easily accessible for parents to read and for children to revisit. An online digital portal has increased opportunities for parents to share learning experiences with the wider whānau, and to record comments on their child's development.

Children's cultures are respected and valued. Leaders and teachers are committed to raising children’s awareness of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Whānau are encouraged to develop the use of te reo Māori at home. Teachers also value the connections with Pacific parents and they highlight these cultures in the centre.

Teachers carefully manage with parents the transition of children into, within and out of the centre. Partnerships with teachers at local schools are continually being developed.

The centre philosophy and vision give clear direction to leaders and teachers. A strategic plan guides centre developments. Internal evaluation processes are established. Teachers use an evaluation process well to improve outcomes for children.

The Evolve Education Group is in a phase of continuing growth and development. A strategic vision and plan have been developed and provide a starting point for each centre's strategic planning. The organisation has a strong commitment to consultation with the community of each centre and to the professional development of staff and the integration of bicultural practices throughout the service.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders agree that next steps for centre include:

  • building teachers' curriculum knowledge, and ways of providing children with early literacy, mathematics and science as part of their play

  • growing teachers' confidence and understandings of bicultural practices in the centre

  • seeking professional development for teachers to develop their teaching practice

  • developing the appraisal process by including teachers' inquiry into the effectiveness of their practice on children's learning.

Evolve leaders recognise that they need to place a stronger focus on the quality of teaching in order to improve outcomes for children. They plan to clarify leadership roles and review systems for teachers' performance management.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Leaps and Bounds Swanson 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 Leaps and Bounds Swanson will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

12 October 2017

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

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20247

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

125 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll

129

Gender composition

55% Boys 45% Girls

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Tongan
Samoan
Chinese
Cook Island Māori
other

23%
38%
10%
9%
7%
7%
2%
4%

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

12 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

June 2013

Education Review

June 2012

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.

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.

Terms of Reference

This supplementary review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the Apples Childcare & Learning Henderson governing body and management in relation to areas identified in the June 2012 ERO report or issues identified since that review. The terms of reference for this review are to investigate:

  • the quality of teaching and learning
  • the quality of curriculum development and implementation
  • the quality of programme planning, assessment and evaluation
  • any other issues that arise during the review.

2 Evaluation Findings

Background

The 2012 ERO report recommended that centre managers and teachers engage in whole centre professional development to further improve the quality of the learning programme, assessment, planning and implementation. Centre managers and ERO also identified that further improvements were needed in:

  • behaviour management
  • support for children to develop self-help and social skills
  • teachers’ ability to reflect on the impact of their practice, as part of improving self review
  • appraisal processes
  • monitoring systems, including health and safety
  • development of a relevant centre philosophy.

The owners have contracted a professional organisation to manage centre operations.

Areas of progress

Apples Childcare and Learning Centre is now increasingly well placed to provide positive outcomes for children. The restructured management system has resulted in significant progress in all areas of centre operations. A centre director has been employed to lead and manage change. The support and direction given by contract managers to help the centre director lead change has been strategic and well managed.

The centre’s curriculum has been developed, with staff focusing on the centre’s philosophy as a guide for their planning, assessment, and evaluation processes. The provision of a curriculum based on children's emerging interests has become more evident in programme planning and is reflected in children’s portfolios. Progress has also been made in aligning the centre programme with Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum. Staff in the separate age-based rooms, plan, assess and evaluate their children’s learning. Thus they can more specifically identify the needs, care and learning of the children they teach.

Teachers have begun to reflect more on the impact of their practice on children’s learning. They are now using self-review and evaluation processes to identify professional development that will further develop their understanding of good practice in early childhood education.

As a result of professional development and support from the contract managers, staff have made significant shifts in:

  • teaching practice and development
  • providing a safe environment in which children and teachers can build trusting relationships
  • developing ownership of the centre philosophy, curriculum and learning, and continuing their own learning in a supportive environment
  • acknowledging the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand and developing this aspect of the centre curriculum.

Areas for further improvement

Centre managers and ERO identified the following next steps:

  • introducing more information and communication technologies (ICT) into the learning environment and learning programme
  • providing more opportunities for parents to contribute to centre operations and programme planning for their children
  • continuing to develop teaching and learning practices to improve learning outcomes for children
  • continuing to develop self review across all centre operations.

3 Future Action

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

18 June 2013

Information about the Service

Location

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20247

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

125 children, including up to 35 aged under 2

Service roll

116

Gender composition

Boys 69 Girls 47

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

Indian

Fijian

Cook Island Māori

African

Niue

Samoan

Latin American

Other Pacific

Other Asian

Other European

52

13

11

11

4

3

2

2

2

1

16

6

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Review team on site

April 2013

Date of this report

18 June 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012