The Ark Preschool

Education institution number:
65421
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
44
Telephone:
Address:

123 Salisbury Street, Richmond

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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 Ark Preschool are as follows:

Outcome Indicators

ERO’s judgement

What the service knows about outcomes for learners

Whāngai Establishing

Ngā Akatoro Domains

ERO’s judgement

He Whāriki Motuhake

The learner and their learning

Whakaū Embedding

Whakangungu Ngaio

Collaborative professional learning builds knowledge and capability

Whāngai Establishing

Ngā Aronga Whai Hua

Evaluation for improvement

Whāngai Establishing

Kaihautū

Leaders foster collaboration and improvement

Whakaū Embedding

Te Whakaruruhau

Stewardship through effective governance and management

Whakaū Embedding

2 Context of the Service

The Ark Preschool provides education and care for tamariki from two to five-years of age. A centre manager and head teacher are responsible for this community-based service. The Richmond Baptist Church provides governance support. Christian values are evident in the service’s philosophy. Most teachers have a qualification in early childhood education.

3 Summary of findings

The Christian philosophy is strongly evident in the service’s curriculum. Kaiako provide a calm, caring, and responsive environment that supports tamariki to develop social competence and emotional wellbeing. Kaiako are respectful and knowledgeable of the identities, languages, and cultures of tamariki. Development of the service’s curriculum is a partnership between parents, whānau, kaiako and ngā kaihautū (leaders).

Kaiako are increasingly intentional about using the learning outcomes of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum to inform programme planning for learning. The learning priority of kindness is embraced to celebrate the uniqueness of every tamaiti (child), to develop their tūrangawaewae (their sense of belonging). Positive relationships are evident.

The service is developing meaningful links between a te ao Māori world view and Christian values. Kaiako are committed to teaching approaches that promote success for Māori learners. Ngā kaihautū and kaiako acknowledge that bicultural practice is an area for ongoing improvement. Building competence in the daily use of te reo and tikanga Māori remains a challenge for kaiako.

Tamariki of Pacific heritage, those with additional learning requirements and those under three years old are well-supported to participate in the curriculum. The service is yet to make explicit Pacific values and beliefs in the curriculum.

Internal evaluation processes are establishing. Kaiako are collaborative and focus their evaluations on the matters that will make a difference to tamariki learning. Assessment and planning for learning is individualised to recognise the strengths, interests, and identity of tamariki. Group planning and evaluation needs further development to:

  • reflect the service’s localised cultural narrative
  • clearly show and evaluate the intended learning.

Trusting relationships are evident at all levels of management. The governing board provides resourcing and assurance that kaiako and ngā kaihautū access professional learning and guidance support. Ngā kaihautū acknowledge a deeper understanding of concepts drawn from te ao Māori (Māori world view) is a key professional learning focus for all kaiako.

4 Improvement actions

The Ark Preschool will include the following actions in its Quality Improvement Planning. These are to:

  • continue to develop kaiako cultural competence and expertise to better implement a culturally responsive curriculum, including exploring the local cultural narrative and greater inclusion of te reo and tikanga Māori in everyday experiences
  • explore and implement ways to promote educational success for tamariki of Pacific heritage 
  • build capability of all kaiako to effectively use in-depth internal evaluation to promote ongoing improvement to teaching, learning and operations. This includes adopting a systematic approach, posing evaluative questions and using indicators of effective practice to guide the process.   

5 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of The Ark Preschool 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

23 December 2021 

6 About the Early Childhood Service

Early Childhood Service Name

The Ark Preschool

Profile Number

65421

Location

Richmond

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

42 children, including up to 0 children under 2.

Percentage of qualified teachers

80-99%

Service roll

50

Ethnic composition

Māori 7, NZ European/Pākehā 33, Samoan 1, Other ethnicities 9.

Review team on site

September 2021

Date of this report

23 December 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, December 2017. Education Review, June 2015.

1 Evaluation of The Ark Preschool

How well placed is The Ark Preschool 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 Ark Preschool provides education and care for children between two and five years of age. It is a community-based standalone centre operating as a charitable trust. The centre is affiliated to the Richmond Baptist Church. Christian values are evident in the centre's philosophy and values.

The 2015 ERO review found that some aspects of governance and management needed further development. These included internal evaluation, strategic planning and appraisal.

ERO and the Ministry of Education (MOE) worked with the centre to develop an action plan in order to address the report recommendations. The MOE and a professional development provider have worked closely with the centre over the past two years.

A new head teacher was appointed at the beginning of 2017. She had previously been working as a teacher at the centre.

The Review Findings

Centre teachers have continued to provide an effective learning environment where children are free to initiate and lead their play. The positive interactions between teachers and children encourage curiosity and exploration. Teachers extend children's thinking and language through following children's interests and offering them appropriate challenges. All three of New Zealand's official languages (including te reo Māori and sign language) are used in the centre.

Leaders and teachers have developed a philosophy that reflects the values and beliefs of teachers, parents, whānau and community. Teachers have reviewed their understandings of what they value in children's learning. Christian values remain prominent in their "learn to love and love to learn" philosophy. The work in this area has led to better shared understandings about what they value collectively.

Leaders have made considerable improvements to systems and processes. The influence of external support is evident in these improvements. Teachers and leaders now have a structured approach to assessment, planning and evaluation of programmes for individuals, groups and the centre as a whole. Partnerships with whānau are now more evident in teachers' assessment and planning.

There are improved processes and practices for aspects of leadership and management. The head teacher has undertaken comprehensive leadership professional development during 2017. The new appraisal system allows for more formal teacher reflection. Centre staff have taken on leadership roles. This has led to greater empowerment of teachers, and a more collaborative approach to leadership across the centre.

Key Next Steps

Leaders now need to ensure that the positive changes made to systems and practices are well embedded and implemented by all centre staff.

There needs to be greater consistency in the way that teachers assess and plan for children's learning and evaluate their individual and group teaching. The new online system for recording assessment and planning is beginning to lead to greater consistency. Leaders need to identify how and where evaluation of these plans is recorded.

Leaders and teachers need to refine the way that they record and undertake internal evaluation. They need to make sure they begin the process with a strong evaluative question, and identify how they will measure success through indicators of desired outcomes for children and the centre. The current evaluation of bicultural practice provides an ideal starting point for this approach.

Leaders need to rationalise and simplify strategic and annual planning. This involves the strategic goals being clearly defined with measurable indicators of success, and the steps to achieve the goals recorded in annual planning. This is likely to mean that there is better alignment between the centre's strategic goals, annual plans and the teachers' performance agreements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

21 December 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

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

65421

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children

Service roll

52

Gender composition

Girls 29; Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Asian
Other ethnicities

2
43
1
3
3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

21 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

August 2008

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.