Active Explorers Blenheim

Education institution number:
45457
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
86
Telephone:
Address:

27 Redwood Street, Blenheim

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1 Evaluation of Leaps and Bounds Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Leaps and Bounds Early Learning Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Leaps and Bounds Early Learning Centre is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for all children.

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

Background

Leaps and Bounds is a large, purpose-built centre catering for babies to children of school age. The centre has four separate classrooms for different age groups and two outdoor areas. Infants and toddlers share one outdoor area, and the older children the other outdoor play space. Each classroom has direct access to an outdoor area.

Nearly all the teachers have early childhood qualifications and are registered teachers. The manager has been in the position for a number of years and staffing is stable. The centre is part of the Evolve Education Group.

Since the 2013 ERO review, the managers have made good progress in meeting the recommendations outlined in the ERO report. The philosophy has been reviewed to better reflect the centre's values and beliefs. Strategic goals are more closely linked to centre priorities and internal evaluation has become more regular and useful. However, it remains an area for further refinement.

The Review Findings

Te reo and tikanga Māori are well integrated into learning and teaching. Teachers regularly participate in useful professional development in this area. Māori families readily support teachers in their learning and many also learn beside the teachers and children about Māori language and culture. Children are confident and enthusiastic. Māori children are proud to be Māori and leaders in their culture.

Children are settled, confident and engaged in their learning. They have positive relationships with their teachers, are respectful of others and willingly include them in their play. Teachers are purposeful in the way they support learning, listen, ask questions and provide suggestions.

Infants and toddlers learn and develop in a calm and happy environment. They have secure relationships with their primary caregivers and regularly seek them out when they need extra support. Primary caregivers have an in-depth knowledge of each child that they use well to extend learning and support emotional wellbeing.

Teachers in the four classrooms make effective use of their primary caregiving roles to share information about children and families. This is helping to support each other in the programme to best meet the needs of individual children.

Children enjoy a wide range of experiences based around their interests. They make effective use of the environment to extend their learning. Dramatic play, science and physical activity are special features of the programme and well used by teachers and children to extend learning, exploration and enjoyment.

Transitions into, within and beyond the centre are well managed to meet the needs of children and their families. Teachers have made appropriate use of internal evaluation to improve practices in this area. Close links between Te Whāriki and the New Zealand Curriculum are also being made to ensure transitions to school are seamless and recognise the individuality of each child.

Managers have high expectations of teachers and their role in children's learning and wellbeing. They make very good use of strategic priorities, plans and monitoring practices to improve teachers' professional practice and the ways they work with children, parents and each other. Teachers are motivated, focused on the work they do and are proud of their centre.

Key Next Steps

The Evolve Education group are reviewing their management structures, refining roles and responsibilities and establishing new positions to better support the centres. The new positions are to focus more on the curriculum and improving outcomes for children. These developments should help ensure the centre manager and teachers receive the support they need to make:

  • assessment and programme planning more useful in guiding teaching and learning and involving parents more in decision making about their children's learning

  • internal evaluation reporting more detailed and focused on the quality of learning and teaching

  • appraisal more focused on evaluating the quality of teaching practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern

14 March 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

Blenheim

Ministry of Education profile number

45457

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

83 children, including up to 31 aged under two

Service roll

108

Gender composition

Boys 61; Girls 47

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnicities

11

87

10

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

January 2017

Date of this report

14 March 2017

Most recent ERO report 

Education Review

December 2013

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 Leaps and Bounds Early Learning Centre

How well placed is Leaps and Bounds Early Learning Centre 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 Early Childhood Centre is one of nine owned and administered by Artemis Early Learning Limited. Management and administrative support is provided by a team based in Christchurch. Responsibility for day-to-day management is undertaken by the centre-based manager.

This service opened in June 2010 as two centres which then merged in 2011. It is a full-day centre catering for children up to primary school age. The roll continues to increase.

The philosophy identifies respectful relationships and freedom for children to explore at their own pace as important factors in promoting children’s learning.

The centre is divided into four rooms, each catering for a different age range of children. Infant and toddler rooms work closely together and often combine, as do those for the children aged over two years. Four head teachers lead the teams working with each age group. Each child is assigned a key teacher and whānau group within each room.

Due to parental commitments, a number of teachers have taken extended leave over the past year. Now that permanent staff have resumed their roles, the manager is looking to consolidate practice and further develop a collaborative team approach.

This is the centre’s first ERO review.

The Review Findings

A good quality environment supports teaching and learning. The range of resources includes many natural, sensory and authentic objects which children can freely access. The indoor and outdoor areas are attractively organised and well maintained. They present a variety of play experiences for all age groups. The consistently calm tone in all rooms is indicative of children’s wellbeing and sustained engagement in learning.

Teachers use good strategies to promote children's interest and participation in activities. They engage at appropriate levels to support children's learning. Routines are used well to support social skill development and independence in self care. Literacy and mathematics are presented in meaningful ways. Interactions with children are characterised by high levels of respect. The manager is keen to develop stronger links with schools and learn more about best practice in relation to supporting children’s transition to primary school.

Infants and toddlers are viewed as competent learners. Their high quality programme reflects management’s and teachers’ understanding of current research and best practice principles. Care is individualised. Planning for the learning of each child is carefully considered and implemented. Wise choices are made about resourcing. Care routines are used as a basis for deep engagement between teachers and children, promoting wellbeing and trusting, respectful relationships.

The centre has identified a priority of being inclusive of all cultures in authentic ways. Reading key Ministry of Education documents such as The Māori Education Strategy: Ka Hikitia Accelerating Success 2013 -2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners should strengthen understanding and implementation of a more bicultural curriculum, which has been identified as a policy goal. The manager has identified making contact with local iwi as a next step.

The learning programme is mostly child initiated and led. Teachers work hard to notice and respond to each child’s learning. Journals record special moments and suggested next steps. However, teachers agree their approach to recording and formally planning for learning is variable. Review and redevelopment has been ongoing for some time. The building of shared understandings and a more manageable approach is needed.

A draft vision and strategic priorities for the development of the centre have recently been created. A review of the philosophy would be timely to support this process and the identification of other longer-term priorities linked to the vision.

The manager has had professional support to help develop a suitable framework for self review. Further work is necessary to refine this framework and develop the teaching team’s understanding.

The staff appraisal process, advice and guidance for provisionally registered teachers and professional development planning also need to be strengthened to better support teachers' practice.

The centre is well governed by Artemis Early Learning Limited. Suitable administrative and financial support, face-to-face meetings and audits of practice help to ensure issues are identified and legislative requirements are met.

Key Next Steps

Senior staff and the support manager agree there is a need for a more strategic approach to promoting improvement and sustaining the quality of professional practice in the centre. This should include:

  • development of the teaching team’s understanding and use of self review to promote improvement
  • undertaking a collaborative review of the philosophy that underpins teaching and learning
  • refining the shared vision and identifying strategic goals linked to outcomes of self review and agreed priorities
  • improving the appraisal process to make it more development focussed and evidence based for all staff
  • undertaking a centre-wide review of assessment which includes reference to indicators of quality to promote consistency, manageability and enhanced learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

16 December 2013

Image removed.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

Blenheim

Ministry of Education profile number

45457

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

83 children, including up to 31 aged under 2

Service roll

127

Gender composition

Boys 72, Girls 55

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

12

112

3

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

October 2013

Date of this report

16 December 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

First ERO Report

 

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.