Junior Junction

Education institution number:
30316
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
50
Telephone:
Address:

9-11 Richmond Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton

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1 Evaluation of Junior Junction

How well placed is Junior Junction to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well paced

Junior Junction is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Junior Junction is located in central Hamilton and provides full-day education and care for children from infants to school age. The centre operates three aged-based rooms with separate outdoor spaces. It is licensed for 50 children including 12 under the age of two years. The current roll of 46 children includes eight who identify as Māori and 16 from a wide range of other ethnic groups. The diversity of teachers' cultural backgrounds reflects that of children and families in the centre.

Junior Junction is one of seven early learning centres governed by a director. The centre manager supports an assistant manager to oversee teaching practices. Leadership provides an overarching governance and management framework for enacting the strategic direction.

Through its philosophy, the centre values and respects each child's right to participation in education. The centre promotes collaborative partnerships with family and community as being central to each child's learning and development.

The centre has a positive reporting history with ERO.

The Review Findings

Children are empowered to make independent decisions about their learning. They are viewed as competent and confident learners. Teachers are highly responsive to the needs of children. Positive, reciprocal interactions support children's strong sense of belonging. They are well supported to develop social competencies through the consistent use of positive guidance practices. Children with additional learning needs are fully involved in the learning environment through inclusive teaching practices.

The curriculum is effectively designed to reflect the context of each child, their family and the community. Individual planning, in collaboration with families is responsive to each child's abilities, needs and interests. Assessment builds a clear picture of what each child knows, understands, are interested in and can do. Literacy, mathematics, music and science are naturally woven throughout the programme. Teachers encourage children to explore their working theories through rich conversation, providing effective oral language support. Children up to the age of two years benefit from individualised routines and form secure attachments with familiar caring adults. Positive transitions into and out of the centre support children's confidence. Children experience a stimulating environment that promotes their wellbeing and excitement for learning.

Through a range of activities and practices, children are supported to understand te ao Māori. Teachers have extensive knowledge of children as learners and actively seek ways to continually strengthen connections to children’s language, culture and identity. Emphasis should now be on embedding centre knowledge of local Māori history to enrich the programme.

Leaders base relationships on respect, trust and reciprocity. Emergent leadership amongst teachers is encouraged. There are opportunities for regular professional learning and development with ongoing mentoring and support for teachers. Leaders have developed clear guidelines and expectations for teaching practice and curriculum delivery.

A clear vision sets the direction for the service. Internal evaluation is effective and contributes to continual improvement to the service for children and their families. There is clear alignment between the strategic direction and annual plans. The appraisal process supports teachers to strengthen their practice, supported by regular and ongoing coaching and mentoring. The organisation's philosophy, vision and goals promote positive learning outcomes for all children.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for leaders and teachers are to:

  • embed local knowledge and histories into the centre’s curriculum

  • further develop internal evaluation practices to guide centre direction and ongoing improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Junior Junction 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

19 December 2019

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

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

30316

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

46

Gender composition

Male 24 Female 22

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Indian
Other ethnic groups

8
22
7
9

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

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

19 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

March 2010

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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 Junior Junction

How well placed is Junior Junction 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

Junior Junction is a privately-owned all-day education and care centre located in central Hamilton. It is licensed for 50 children, including 12 children up to two years of age. There are currently 56 children enrolled from a number of cultures, 15 of whom are Māori. The centre is organised into three rooms to cater for different age groups. Children under two years have a separate outdoor space and the other children share an outside area, with opportunities to play in mixed-age groups throughout the day.

The centre is part of the Junior Junction organisation that provides administrative and professional support. The current owner took over sole ownership of the centre in May 2015. He respects teachers’ professional knowledge and recognises the importance of providing opportunities for shared decision making. The owner delegates the management and leadership of the centre to the three head teachers, one of whom has overall responsibility for the centre. This restructured management system has led to positive outcomes for teachers, children and families.

Through its philosophy, the centre values and respects each child's right to participation in education. Collaborative partnerships with family and community are central to each child's learning and development.

The ERO review in 2013 identified a need to continue to prioritise planned, in-depth reviews. While some progress has been made, there are some aspects that require further development. The centre has a positive reporting history.

The Review Findings

Children develop a strong sense of belonging, promoted by caring and respectful relationships with adults and peers. They are able to follow their interests and to experiment, explore and investigate in a stimulating environment. Children are actively engaged and have fun in their learning. They follow centre routines and expectations, which foster the development of independence, and enable them to make choices about their learning and self care.

Children have access to a well-planned outdoor area and a wide range of high quality equipment. There are many opportunities for physical challenge and complex play. Children actively participate in a wide range of planned, daily physical activities, including games, exercises, dance and movement. They also enjoy many opportunities for learning in the wider community.

Through child and teacher-initiated play, teachers incorporate practices that enable children to explore language and engage in literacy and mathematics learning that is meaningful and interesting. Teachers skilfully promote children’s oral language development and are mindful of the specific needs of each age group. Teachers and children access information to support their learning inquiries through shared electronic investigations.

Teachers are inclusive, responsive and have good relationships with children and their families. They promote positive social competencies with and among children. As a result, children confidently interact with other children and adults.

Transition between rooms is supportive and responsive to individual children and their parents, allowing time for them to become familiar with the new learning space.

Babies learn and develop in a high quality environment. They enjoy many opportunities to interact and build strong attachments with teachers. Babies explore and make sense of the world around them as they experiment with movement, language, and a variety of resources. Teachers respect children’s right to be informed and consulted about decisions that affect them. They are flexible and respond to the rhythms of the children. Regular conversations with parents and whānau provide teachers with vital information about children’s preferences and needs. Teachers provide consistency and continuity for babies in order to establish a secure foundation for their care and education.

The well-resourced indoor environments are thoughtfully presented to support children’s choices. Children have access to a wide range of equipment, resources and materials. Their learning and creative work are attractively displayed, promoting children's sense of belonging and pride in their learning.

Teachers know the children and their families well. They research other languages and cultures to help their understanding and support of children and families whose first language is not English. Teachers use a range of effective strategies and practices to incorporate te reo and tikanga Māori throughout the centre. Māori language is clearly heard and used by children and teachers.

Teachers analyse assessment information to develop individual learning pathways and continue strengthening children's dispositions. Planning is responsive to children’s interests and needs. Learning stories inform parents about children’s learning and activities through electronic portfolios. There are many opportunities for parents to be participants in their children’s education.

The three head teachers work collaboratively to provide a culture in which children are valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning. They value the partnership with parents, are responsive to their aspirations and expectations, and ensure effective communication with parents and whānau. The person with overall responsibility for the centre is well informed, through professional reading and development, of current research and reflects on practice and new ideas. Her leadership is continuing to strengthen a culture of professional improvement.

The head teachers provide good role models for effective teaching and learning and support emergent leadership through mentoring of teachers. They make effective use of each other’s skills and expertise. The improved appraisal system includes teacher reflection and evidence related to meeting the requirements of the professional teaching criteria. The process has had a positive influence on teaching practice and outcomes for children.

Teachers are beginning to include outcomes for different groups in their planned and collaborative approach to self review. Recent review of nutrition has resulted in improved menus, knowledge and attitudes. Teachers, children and parents have a greater awareness about healthy living. This approach to self review could be enhanced through strengthening the focus on teaching practice and identifying outcomes for all children's learning.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and ERO agree that there is a need to further strengthen self review in order to enhance effective teaching and learning and positive outcomes for all children, through:

  • the use of He Pou Tātaki (evaluation indicators in early childhood education) to guide self review

  • analysing the implications of professional development and readings for continuing centre development and innovation as part of the review process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Junior Junction 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 Junior Junction will be in three years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

24 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

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

30316

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll

56

Gender composition

Boys 31

Girls 25

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Other

15

25

6

3

7

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

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2016

Date of this report

24 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2013

Education Review

March 2010

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.