Bear Park Kohimarama

Education institution number:
25421
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
65
Telephone:
Address:

318 St Heliers Bay Road, Kohimarama, Auckland

View on map

1 Evaluation of Bear Park Kohimarama

How well placed is Bear Park Kohimarama 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

Bear Park Kohimarama is one in a chain of Bear Park services. All of the Bear Park centres are led by the Bear Park Franchisor and the Bear Park pedagogical team. An interlinking set of policies, procedures and systems guides the centres and provides continuity and reassurance about the quality of these services. Policies and procedures are being updated to reflect changes to regulations and expectations. Strategic governance is in place.

Bear Park Kohimarama is managed by the franchise owner. The supervisor and teachers are responsible for the day-to-day management of the centre. They share responsibility for maintaining high standards and the quality of teaching and learning.

The centre provides separate spaces for the infants and toddlers and a small playground for their use. Children aged over two years are in an adjoining room. The children over three years share a big room. These three environments provide education and care for up to 62 children, including 25 up to two years old. Parents are able to make choices about numbers of days and hours that their children attend.

The centre philosophy is the over-arching statement prepared for Bear Park centres. It refers to the inspiration taken from the values and beliefs of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood learning. The philosophy is strongly linked to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and recognises Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a founding document. Teachers of the infants and toddlers are influenced by the Resources for Infant Educators (RIE) philosophy. Each room in the centre has developed a statement about the values that teachers aspire to for the children in their care.

The 2013 ERO report suggested that teachers continue to strengthen bicultural practice, and to evaluate the programme and long-term goals with improved outcomes for children in mind. The teaching team have continued to reflect upon and refine practices.

This review was part of a cluster of three early childhood centre reviews in the Bear Park Childcare Centres organisation.

The Review Findings

Children are sensitively encouraged to settle at the start of the day. Parents and teachers share relaxed and friendly conversations and children are eager to reconnect with friends. They are able to choose activities and places to play together for prolonged periods during the day. Children are independent, friendly and articulate.

Teachers' relationships with children are warm and positive. They know children well and frequently engage them in conversations about their home lives and activities they might like to try. Children trust and respond to teachers. Teachers carefully support transitions into and through the centre.

Teachers provide many opportunities for children to explore, investigate and test their own theories and those suggested by teachers. There are also many opportunities for children to discuss their activities and make decisions. Meeting times with children during the day are about sharing their ideas. They help to strengthen children's confidence and support their investigations about selected topics. Children show perseverance during these times.

Infants and toddlers settle easily into the peaceful and inviting environment provided for them. Teachers work closely with them, showing affection and attention to their beginning language and non-verbal cues. Routines are responsive to children's needs, and provide good opportunities for one-to-one, cheerful times with teachers. The day includes opportunities for children to be outdoors in fine weather, and to make choices about their play.

Environments are thoughtfully set up to provoke exploration and promote the use of the high quality natural resources. Teachers carefully consider ways of supporting children's literacy and numeracy knowledge through interesting resources. The environments promote children's choice. Children are encouraged to maintain and care for the environment as part of the everyday programmes.

Parents have many opportunities to talk to teachers about their children. Twice yearly formal meetings and day-to-day conversations enable teachers to gather information about children and to respond to these in programme planning. The formation of a representative parent committee has increased parent participation in the review of policies and procedures and in decision-making about the programmes.

There has been a strong focus throughout Bear Park centres on increasing teachers' understanding of and knowledge about bicultural practice. This has included many opportunities for teachers who are more competent and confident in te ao Māori to share with and mentor their peers. There have also been opportunities for professional learning and development from external speakers. This has made a significant difference to the amount of te reo Māori spoken and the recognition of tikanga Māori in the centre. There is much use of te reo Māori in Bear Park Kohimarama.

Teachers keep extensive documentation about children, the programme and self review. Some of this documentation is linked to the over-arching four-year strategic plan. This enables teachers each month to review the ways in which they meet the strategic goals. Teachers may find it useful, as part of regular strategic plan review, to deepen their focus on ways to further enhance teaching and learning outcomes for children.

The recently formed pedagogical team, which includes the owner, provides ongoing support and advice for Bear Park centres. The team meets regularly to discuss and make decisions about professional development and centre progress. This team sets the direction for the organisation and supports development. The management team recruits, manages and develops teachers' competence well. Strategic placement of teachers ensures support and stronger teamwork to promote positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers agree that the focus of ongoing critical reflection could include placing a stronger, more meaningful emphasis on supporting bicultural practices in the centre.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bear Park Kohimarama 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 Bear Park Kohimarama will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 June 2016

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

Kohimarama, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25421

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

62 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

86

Gender composition

Girls 44 Boys 42

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

other

2

76

4

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

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2016

Date of this report

23 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

March 2010

Education Review

March 2007

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 Evaluation of the Service

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

The service is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Bear Park Kohimarama provides good quality all day education and care services for children between three months and five years of age. The centre previously operated under two licences that were merged in February, 2013. It is divided into three separate rooms to provide for infants, toddlers and older children.

The programme reflects Te Whāriki, New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum. It is also influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach which emphasises respectful relationships. Clear and well articulated centre philosophy and vision statements guide teaching and learning practices, as well as all aspects of centre operations.

The centre is part of the Bear Park group of early childhood services. It operates under the effective management systems that support all Bear Park centres. ERO’s previous report in 2010 identified a number of good quality practices. It suggested that bicultural practices and self-review systems were areas for further development.

The centre has recently changed ownership, with a new centre manager and supervisor also being appointed in the past six months.

Review Findings

Infants have a sense of wellbeing and belonging. Teachers are responsive to children’s cues and support them to become independent explorers. Calm and unrushed individualised care routines are evident. Toddlers and older children form positive relationships with teachers. Teachers work alongside children and are responsive to their ideas. All three rooms are attractively presented with visible influence from the Reggio Emilia approach. Natural resources are well integrated throughout indoor and outdoor environments.

Value is placed on developing meaningful relationships with families. Transition practices have recently been reviewed to support children and families as they settle into the centre environment and move between rooms. Parent contributions to the programme are encouraged and appreciated. A parent committee participates in policy review and provides feedback to centre managers.

Planning and assessment practices are well developed. Weekly team meetings support teachers to work together to develop shared ideas and approaches. Individual and group learning records include detailed descriptions and good analysis of children’s involvement in the programme. Centre managers and teachers reflect on ways to further improve curriculum practices.

Centre managers model effective and collaborative leadership practices. They promote centre goals and vision and are committed to ongoing improvement. Effective systems, such as teacher appraisal and support programmes for provisionally registered teachers, are used as tools to enhance teacher capacity. Self-review systems have been improved. Useful goals to guide long-term, centre-wide progress have recently been developed.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and teachers could enhance current good quality practices by:

  • continuing to develop bicultural practices and use of te reo Māori in the programme
  • reviewing the role of the teacher and the environment in extending older children’s learning
  • continuing to increase documentation of individual children's progress
  • evaluating the programme and long-term goals to determine how curriculum and teaching practices are contributing to improved outcomes for children.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Bear Park Kohimarama 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.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

29 May 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Kohimarama, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25421

Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

62 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

64

Gender composition

Boys 35

Girls 29

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Māori

Chinese

Pacific

Other

44

2

3

2

13

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Exceeds minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:7

Exceeds minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2013

Date of this report

29 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

March 2010

March 2007

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.