ELCM Alfriston College

Education institution number:
45354
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
48
Telephone:
Address:

550 Porchester Road, Manurewa, Auckland

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ELCM Alfriston College - 10/04/2015

1. Evaluation of ELCM Alfriston College

How well placed is ELCM Alfriston College 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

ELCM Alfriston College is one of three full-day education and care services managed by the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA). The centre opened in 2009 and provides for up to 50 children over the age of two. The younger children are in the Pukeko room and older children are in the Kowhai room. Each room has easy access to its own outdoor area.

The many cultures of the children attending are also reflected in the staff. Most teachers and centre managers are qualified and registered teachers. The centre is adjacent to Alfriston College. Students from the college sometimes visit the centre when working towards secondary school qualifications that include studies relating to early childhood education.

The centre manager is responsible for the day-to-day running of the centre and is assisted by the team leaders in each room. An operations manager is employed by CMKA to provide professional and educational leadership to the three centres. The CMKA vision and values, and its policies and procedures, provide a framework within which the centre operates.

The centre philosophy is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning and teaching. It promotes children’s curiosity and inquiry, recognising the value of the environment to support learning. The philosophy also promotes respect for children and acknowledges the Treaty of Waitangi and the cultures of the children who attend the centre.

This is the second ERO review of the centre. The 2012 ERO report commented positively on the provision for children and the leadership and management of the centre. Areas for development discussed during the 2012 review have been a focus for professional development by staff since that time.

The Review Findings

The centre is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children. Children have many opportunities to learn in an emotionally supportive environment. Staff encourage partnerships with parents and take an interest in the culture and identity of each family.

Children are able to make decisions about how they spend their time. They persist at tasks, often working collaboratively to solve problems and to inquire into their interests. They learn appropriate social skills and are confident when talking with adults. Children learn early literacy and numeracy skills and knowledge during their play with the support of their teachers. They are exposed to the use of te reo Māori regularly as teachers incorporate words and phrases in conversations.

Teachers work well as a team to provide very effective support for children’s learning. They listen to children, often asking open-ended questions that extend children’s interests. Interactions between teachers and children and among children are positive and respectful. Teachers allow children to take on new challenges in a safe environment. They are flexible in the routines so that play in not unnecessarily interrupted.

Teachers recognise the importance of the physical environment in promoting children’s learning through play. The indoor and outdoor areas are well organised and resourced so that children can access equipment easily. Deliberate steps have been taken to resource the centre with natural materials.

Transitions to, within, and from the centre are well managed. Children and their families are well supported when children are new to the centre. Children move from the Pukeko to the Kowhai room gradually and when they are ready. Contact has been made with the local schools and parents and children can access information about these schools at the centre. Teachers support parents to visit the schools, recognising that, for some parents, language could add a challenge to the visits.

Teachers have strengthened processes used to assess children’s learning and plan appropriate programmes. There is now a greater focus on individual children’s interests and dispositions. Parents are encouraged to contribute to assessment and planning. Staff are currently participating in, or have recently had, relevant professional development.

The centre is capably led and well supported by the CMKA. The manager promotes a team culture, giving all staff opportunities to be involved in self review and decision making. Staff have been involved in many self reviews, including a review of the centre’s philosophy. Self review is effective in leading to improvements in centre operations.

The appraisal of teachers is being strengthened to encourage greater self-reflection and sharing of thoughts on professional practice. Good systems are in place to support teacher registration processes. Professional development is provided in response to centre wide goals, individual appraisal goals and teacher’s interests.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps discussed during the review, and mentioned above, are areas that the centre is already working on.

During the review ERO and managers also discussed the benefits of strengthening strategic planning so that the work staff are engaged in is well documented in centre-based strategic planning that compliments the overarching strategic plan developed by CMKA.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of ELCM Alfriston College 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 ELCM Alfriston College will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

10 April 2015

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

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45354

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

73

Gender composition

Boys 40

Girls 33

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Cambodian

Middle Eastern

Chinese

Samoan

Tongan

other

4

18

32

4

4

3

3

2

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2015

Date of this report

10 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 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.

ELCM Alfriston College - 28/05/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

ELCM Alfriston College is the first full-day education and care service established by the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA). The centre was opened in 2009 next to Alfriston College in Manurewa and provides for up to 50 children. Infants and toddlers in the Pohutukawa room have a separate outdoor space alongside the shared area for older children based in the Pukeko and Kowhai rooms.

Features of ELCM Alfriston are the high expectations of both teachers and children, and the purposeful way in which managers and teachers have identified and enact their beliefs, values and curriculum priorities. Managers and teachers have established respectful and collaborative relationships with children and their families. They have created an inviting, homely atmosphere that supports children’s sense of belonging. The richly resourced environment encourages exploration and is highly conducive to learning.

Teachers’ view of children as capable, competent and independent learners is reflected in the programmes in action. They work alongside children to support and build on their ideas, promote ongoing investigations and extend learning. Teachers use effective strategies to support children’s language development, and to integrate literacy, mathematics and science in meaningful ways throughout the programme. They demonstrate a commitment to recognising the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa and valuing the diverse cultures of their community.

Children have many opportunities to take leadership and responsibility and to contribute to decisions about programme development. They are highly engaged in interesting, challenging and varied learning experiences. Manaakitanga and whanaungatanga are valued and clearly evident in the centre.

ELCM Alfriston benefits from the CMKA’s well-established professional practices, self-review systems, and comprehensive management and administration framework. Through effective professional leadership and a growing culture of reflective practice, the teaching team is developing shared understandings about the philosophical approaches that underpin teaching and learning in the centre.

Managers and teachers are keen to continue building depth in their reflective thinking, and rigour in their self review. This should help to generate further growth in their understanding and enrich the centre’s community of learners.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of ELCM Alfriston College was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atELCM Alfriston College.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

The centre opened in 2009. The centre manager and assistant manager are part of a team of ten registered teachers, and are assisted by additional staff who are in training. The centre offers full-day programmes and up to ten places for children attending morning or afternoon sessions.

The Pohutukawa room provides focused care and education for up to ten infants and toddlers, with a separate outdoor area. The Pukeko room caters for up to 20 children between two and four years of age. The Kowhai room caters for children who are mostly over the age of four years. The Kowhai and Pukeko children share an outdoor area and are able to join activities in each others’ rooms.

Areas of strength

Underpinning beliefs. Managers and teachers have clearly articulated their shared teaching philosophy, values and beliefs. Their teaching practices are grounded in the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and inspired by Reggio Emilia and Pikler approaches. Teachers see children as inherently competent and capable, and place a high value on the child’s voice. They view the environment as the ‘third teacher’ and clearly demonstrate their role in fostering and celebrating children’s learning. Teachers’ underpinning philosophy and beliefs are woven through programme and self-review documentation, and are visible in the centre’s high quality practices.

Relationships and belonging. Establishing strong communication and fostering supportive professional relationships amongst staff and with families has been a priority for managers. A culture of respect for people and the environment is evident throughout the centre as teachers and children work together. Opportunities for older and younger children to work together support tuakana/teina relationships. These factors contribute to the family atmosphere and sense of community in the centre.

Learning environment. Teachers have created an inclusive, homely atmosphere using furnishings, family photographs and cultural artefacts, and natural resources. Innovative and creative thinking contribute to a vibrant environment, that includes:

  • attractively presented spaces with abundant resources that invite investigation, provoke children’s curiosity, and support increasingly complicated, child-directed learning
  • easily accessible outdoor areas that are very well landscaped and resourced to offer interest, challenge and opportunities for extended exploration
  • well presented displays of photographs and documentation that show how the programme evolves in response to children’s interest and engagement in ongoing investigations, and enables children and adults to revisit prior learning
  • a calm, settled atmosphere with flexible routines that allows children to sustain play interests for long periods and encourages them to be self managing and independent.

Children collaborate with teachers and each other to make decisions about where they will work and how they will use resources to extend their play ideas and their thinking about topics of interest.

Integrated curriculum. Teachers are becoming skilled in supporting ongoing investigation and extended learning. They promote rich vocabulary and foster thinking and reasoning as they engage with children. Literacy learning, mathematics and science concepts, and creativity are incorporated in meaningful ways in the context of child-initiated play. Diverse cultural celebrations are a regular part of centre programmes.

Teachers use simple te reo Māori naturally in the course of conversation. They value the support and encouragement of a Māori staff member as they increase their confidence and understanding about tikanga Māori. Children are familiar with waiata and lead karakia.

Professional leadership and management. A sense of purpose and vision characterises centre development. Managers have taken a measured and responsive approach to building a cohesive, collaborative teaching team and a culture of reflective practice. The centre manager challenges and provokes thinking, models effective practice and provides a supportive professional environment for staff.

Ongoing professional development is a key component of sustaining good practice and continually building teacher capability in the centre. CMKA managers provide a professional framework for management and teaching, monitor centre operations, and promote high quality practices. Self-review processes are comprehensive, meaningful, responsive and contribute to ongoing improvement.

Areas for development and review

ERO agrees with the areas for further review and development identified by centre managers. These include:

  • increasing the extent to which children’s portfolios reflect parents’ and teachers’ knowledge of each child, show continuity and progression of learning, and indicate to parents how teachers plan to support and extend their child’s learning
  • documenting children’s learning in user-friendly ways that help all parents to develop a shared understanding of the centre’s philosophical approaches to teaching and learning
  • increasing depth and rigour in teachers’ reflective practice with a view to generating greater shared understandings about best practice, enhancing teacher practice and continually enriching programmes for children.

ERO also suggests, and managers agree, that it could be worthwhile to consider Ka Hikitia, the Ministry of Education’s strategy for fostering success for Māori children, and the Pacific Education Plan as bases for consulting with parents/whānau and strengthening these aspects of centre operations.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of ELCM Alfriston College completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4. Recommendation

ERO and the centre managers agree that embedding reflective practice and continuing to strengthen self review should help teachers to further enrich children’s learning experiences and improve the quality and usefulness of their assessment and planning documentation.

5. Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Roll number

62

Gender composition

Boys 26,

Girls 26

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 23,

Māori 13,

Indian 13,

South East Asian 3,

Chinese 2,

Cook Island Māori 2,

Niuean 2,

Fijian 1,

Latin American 1,

Samoan 1,

Tongan 1

Review team on site

March 2012

Date of this report

28 May 2012

Previous three ERO reports

 

No previous reports

 

28 May 2012

To the Parents and Community of ELCM Alfriston College

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on ELCM Alfriston College.

ELCM Alfriston College is the first full-day education and care service established by the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA). The centre was opened in 2009 next to Alfriston College in Manurewa and provides for up to 50 children. Infants and toddlers in the Pohutukawa room have a separate outdoor space alongside the shared area for older children based in the Pukeko and Kowhai rooms.

Features of ELCM Alfriston are the high expectations of both teachers and children, and the purposeful way in which managers and teachers have identified and enact their beliefs, values and curriculum priorities. Managers and teachers have established respectful and collaborative relationships with children and their families. They have created an inviting, homely atmosphere that supports children’s sense of belonging. The richly resourced environment encourages exploration and is highly conducive to learning.

Teachers’ view of children as capable, competent and independent learners is reflected in the programmes in action. They work alongside children to support and build on their ideas, promote ongoing investigations and extend learning. Teachers use effective strategies to support children’s language development, and to integrate literacy, mathematics and science in meaningful ways throughout the programme. They demonstrate a commitment to recognising the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa and valuing the diverse cultures of their community.

Children have many opportunities to take leadership and responsibility and to contribute to decisions about programme development. They are highly engaged in interesting, challenging and varied learning experiences. Manaakitanga and whanaungatanga are valued and clearly evident in the centre.

ELCM Alfriston benefits from the CMKA’s well-established professional practices, self-review systems, and comprehensive management and administration framework. Through effective professional leadership and a growing culture of reflective practice, the teaching team is developing shared understandings about the philosophical approaches that underpin teaching and learning in the centre.

Managers and teachers are keen to continue building depth in their reflective thinking, and rigour in their self review. This should help to generate further growth in their understanding and enrich the centre’s community of learners.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre 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 this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.