Bowen Early Childhood Education Centre Inc. 11/11/2015
Evaluation of the Service
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Bowen Early Childhood Education Centre Incorporated is located on the grounds of Cardinal McKeefry School in Wilton, Wellington. It is licensed for 30 children, with provision for 10 children under two years of age.
The centre is an incorporated society. A committee of parent volunteers is responsible for the overall governance of the service. The centre manager and assistant manager undertake the day-to-day running of the service.
Since the 2012 ERO review, the centre has strengthened its provision for infants and toddlers. They have a separate space but are able to freely interact with older children in a safe and supportive environment.
The service has a positive reporting history with ERO.
The Review Findings
Children are nurtured in an environment that is welcoming and strongly reflects the centre’s philosophy. Teachers know the children and their families well. A sense of belonging for children and families is fostered through positive reciprocal relationships.
Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, children’s interests and parent aspirations guide the curriculum. Literacy, mathematics and science are well integrated throughout the daily programme. Good use is made of community resources to enrich the curriculum and to extend children’s learning.
Children engage in child initiated play. They have access to a wide range of activities and resources. They are supported to develop physical skills, problem-solve, and grow their social competencies. Teachers and children enjoy learning and have fun.
Infants and toddlers are nurtured through sensitive caregiving. There has been a deliberate focus on providing young children with a safe space and resources that support their interests and development. Routines are unhurried and flexible. Teachers make the most of these to foster children’s self-help skills and independence.
Developing their cultural competencies and integrating te ao Māori across the curriculum is a strength for some teachers. The centre manager and assistant manager recognise that this is an area for ongoing development.
Assessment practices have been reviewed. This has increased teachers’ focus on recognising and responding to children’s learning. Progress towards achieving individual goals is monitored through learning journeys. Leaders should continue to build teachers’ understanding of effective assessment practice to promote children’s culture, language and identity and to increase the complexity of children’s learning.
Portfolios are attractive and keep parents well informed about their child’s learning and participation. Children enjoy sharing them. The newly introduced e-portfolios are a useful way of sharing children’s learning between the centre and home.
Transitions into the centre and on to school are planned and responsive to the individual needs of children and their families. Regular visits to the adjacent school provide the opportunity for children to experience school life.
Positive outcomes for children are promoted by teachers working collaboratively. Ongoing communication ensures the needs of children are responded to throughout the day.
There is a strong focus on continual improvement and capacity building through appraisal. Teachers reflect on their practice and gather evidence which effectively supports ongoing teacher development.
There is an established process for self review. It contributes to decision-making about centre operation and teaching and learning. Leaders have identified that they should strengthen the process by evaluating the effectiveness and impact of their practices on outcomes for children.
The strategic plan provides clear direction for the service. Parent committee members bring a range of knowledge and skill to the governance role. They are reviewing and strengthening systems and processes to support sustainability and succession planning.
Key Next Steps
Parents and teachers are focused on improving outcomes for children. They should continue to:
- develop their cultural competencies and understanding of te ao Māori
- build teachers’ knowledge and understanding of current assessment practice
- strengthen self-review practices.
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