The Willows

Education institution number:
47281
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
203
Telephone:
Address:

248 Wairakei Road, Bryndwr, Christchurch

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The Willows

1 ERO’s Judgements

Akarangi | Quality Evaluation evaluates the extent to which this early childhood service has the learning and organisational conditions to support equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners. Te Ara Poutama- indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most (PDF 3.01MB) are the basis for making judgements about the effectiveness of the service in achieving equity and excellence for all learners. The Akarangi Quality Evaluation Judgement Rubric (PDF 91.30KB) derived from the indicators, is used to inform the ERO’s judgements about this service’s performance in promoting equity and excellence.

ERO’s judgements for The Willows are as follows:

Outcome Indicators

ERO’s judgement

What the service knows about outcomes for learners

Whakaū Embedding

Ngā Akatoro Domains

ERO’s judgement

He Whāriki Motuhake

The learner and their learning

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Whakangungu Ngaio

Collaborative professional learning builds knowledge and capability

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Ngā Aronga Whai Hua

Evaluation for improvement

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Kaihautū

Leaders foster collaboration and improvement

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Te Whakaruruhau

Stewardship through effective governance and management

Whakawhanake Sustaining

2 Context of the Service

The Willows is one of two privately owned early learning services operated by the same owners. This centre provides care and education for children from birth to school age. A centre manager is responsible for the daily running of the service, supported by the two service owners.

3 Summary of findings

Leaders and kaiako collaboratively develop and enact the service’s philosophy, vision, goals, and priorities. They promote a love for learning; wellbeing, respectful relationships, and an environment that nurtures a strong sense of belonging for all learners.

Tamariki benefit from a responsive learning programme that is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Kaiako engage tamariki in meaningful conversations to develop and extend their language skills. Emphasis is given to fostering social and emotional skills to support tamariki to manage their feeling and solve problems. This, in turn, encourages exploration, creativity, and resilience. This enhances the mana of tamaiti as confident communicators and successful learners within a positive learning environment.

Kaiako are nurturing and responsive to the individual cues of pēpi. They maintain a calm, slow pace that promotes their wellbeing. They work effectively in partnership with whānau to provide a sense of connectedness between home and the centre to support wellbeing.

There is a strong emphasis on whānau aspirations and perspectives in assessment activities involving their tamariki. Kaiako deliberately focus on collaboratively planning intentional teaching strategies to support positive learner outcomes with a particular focus on successful transitions to school.

Leaders and kaiako work collaboratively to build their professional expertise and use their individual strengths to design and implement a culturally responsive and rich curriculum for tamariki. Children’s home languages are valued and kaiako maximise opportunities to integrate this through assessment documentation. Continuing to develop kaiako knowledge in this area is ongoing.

Cohesive management systems support the effective operation of the service. Experienced leaders foster relational trust and collaboration to extend kaiako capability and leadership capacity focused on ongoing improvement and to develop innovation. There are clear expectations for professional accountability and the collective responsibility for the wellbeing and learning of all tamariki. Leaders and kaiako engage in deliberate, systematic internal evaluation. Multiple perspectives are sought and analysis results in a clear improvement planning which is implemented and well monitored.

4 Improvement actions

The Willows will include the following actions in its Quality Improvement Planning. These include to:

  • strengthen evaluation of how intentional teaching leads to further learning opportunities for children

  • build on understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi and Te Tiriti o Waitangi in relation to te reo me o nga tikanga Māori

  • continue to develop a culturally responsive assessment framework for children of Pacific ethnicities.

5 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Willows 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services (Southern)
Southern Region | Te Tai Tini

10 May 2022 

6 About the Early Childhood Service

Early Childhood Service Name

The Willows

Profile Number

47281

Location Christchurch
Service type Education and care service

Number licensed for

130 children, including up to 45 aged under 2

Percentage of qualified teachers

100%

Service roll

203

Ethnic composition

Māori 10%, NZ European/Pākehā 76%,
other ethnic groups 14%

Review team on site

December 2021

Date of this report

10 May 2022

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, January 2019

The Willows - 18/01/2019

1 Evaluation of The Willows

How well placed is The Willows 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

The Willows is a family owned centre that provides full-day care and education for children from birth to 6 years of age. The new purpose-built centre, consisting of five spacious rooms connected by a covered deck and large outdoor area, opened in July 2017. It is licensed for 130 children, and has a roll of over 200 children who come from a wide geographical area. The majority of staff are early childhood qualified teachers.

Centre priorities for children’s learning are:

  • growing with and alongside others
  • increasing Independence
  • sharing a love for learning
  • nurturing creativity and imagination
  • confidence to be adventurous and take risks
  • expanding an understanding of literacy, numeracy and technology
  • celebrating diversity and uniqueness
  • creating an environment of purposeful and respectful communication.

A commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi is prominent in the centre’s philosophy statement and within the centre environment and programme.

This is The Willows’ first ERO review.

The Review Findings

Children play and learn in a child centred environment that is responsive to their needs, interests and abilities. The calm, uncluttered environment uses natural colours and resources to provide a rich learning experience for children. This was particularly evident in the rooms for children under two years of age. There is a useful, consistent approach to individual and group planning. Teachers seek and use the views of children and their parents when planning and assessing the programme.

Teachers extend and deepen children’s knowledge and skills. They use deliberate teaching strategies to achieve specific learning goals. Children have access to a wide range of resources and experiences that challenge their thinking, creativity and develop literacy and numeracy skills.

Children and their families are well supported as they transition into and through the centre. Teachers have developed information booklets to support children and parents through each transition. Children with a range of additional learning needs are well supported by teachers and other children.

Teachers learn and communicate with children using words in the language of their culture. This includes all of New Zealand/Aotearoa's official languages, i.e. English, te reo Māori and sign language.

Leaders are effectively building capability within the centre. The structure includes team leaders, champions, and working groups. These provide opportunities for all teachers to take on leadership roles and pursue their passions for particular aspects of the programme. They are supported through professional learning and development (PLD) and opportunities for study. Teachers’ personal goals are well aligned to the centre’s strategic priorities.

The centre’s philosophy, goals and systems effectively promote positive learning outcomes for children. There is strong alignment from the strategic plan to the centre’s philosophy, values, PLD, appraisal and internal evaluation. Internal evaluation is valued, championed and effectively led. Continuous improvement is a key priority for the centre leaders. Internal evaluation includes seeking and using the voice of all groups involved.

Well established partnerships with parents and whānau contribute to positive outcomes for children. Parents are supported by documents and information evenings. They can participate in a parent committee. Consultation is regular and ongoing. Parents have many opportunities to comment on their child’s achievements online and through the ‘proud cloud’.

Key Next Steps

Through good systems and strategic planning centre leaders identified and ERO agrees, that the next steps are to:

  • continue to strengthen the transition to school process in 2019
  • further integrate children’s language and culture into the programme and assessment
  • embed, monitor and evaluate the impact of new initiatives on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Willows 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 The Willows will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

18 January 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

Christchurch

Ministry of Education profile number

47281

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

130 children, including up to 45 aged under 2

Service roll

200

Gender composition

Boys 99 ; Girls 101

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnicities

7%
82%
1%
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

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2018

Date of this report

18 January 2019

Most recent ERO report

No previous ERO reports

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.