Bowen Early Childhood Education Centre Inc. 14/11/2018
Evaluation of the Service
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Bowen Early Childhood Education Centre Inc. is a community based service situated in Wilton, Wellington. The service operates Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 5.30pm. It is licensed for up to 30 children with provision for 10 children under two years of age. Of the 39 children enrolled, four are Māori.
A well-informed parent committee has oversight of centre operation. Since the November 2015 ERO report, a new centre manager has been appointed. She leads the day-to-day processes supported by two acting assistant managers. The majority of the staff are qualified and registered teachers.
The philosophy gives priority to relationships through the principles of: whanaungatanga -the extended family concept; aroha – love underpins and supports warm, trusting and reciprocal relationships between kaitiaki, tamariki and their whānau; and ūkaipotanga, when tamariki, whānau and kaitiaki develop a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing.
The previous ERO report identified areas requiring further development. These included: developing cultural competencies and understanding of te ao Māori; building teachers’ knowledge and understanding of current assessment practice. Progress has been made in most of these areas.
The Review Findings
The philosophy is highly evident in practice and in the wellresourced and used indoor and outdoor spaces. Children engage positively with people, places and things. They demonstrate independence and purpose as they make choices to explore, experiment, be challenged and collaborate as learners.
The programme is underpinned by the principles and strands of Te Whāriki,the early childhood curriculum. Children are viewed as confident, competent and communicative learners. They demonstrate social competencies in navigating their environment and supporting their peers and younger children.
Infants, toddlers and young children experience a responsive curriculum. Teachers understand the concept of manaakitanga, demonstrating warmth and respect, and foster relationships supporting child-led learning.
A new assessment, planning and evaluation process was introduced at the beginning of 2018. This well-considered process has strengthened teachers’ responses to progressing children’s learning over time. The curriculum highlights literacy, mathematics, science, nature and creativity. The planning and evaluation framework includes documenting children’s emerging interests, preferences and needs.
The centre’s journey of progress and learning records children’s participation in a wide range of learning opportunities. Children’s individual plans and stories show depth, continuity and progression over time. An online platform invites parents and whānau contributions to their children’s learning. Parent partnership is promoted. Children, parents and whānau know each other well.
Kaiako are continuing to strengthen planning for individual children that is informed by each child’s culture, language and identity and their parents’ aspirations. ERO’s evaluation affirms this direction.
Te ao Māori is implemented through teaching and learning planning and practices that include te reo Māori, te ao Māori values and beliefs and appropriate resources. ERO’s evaluation affirms leaders’ focus on continuing to weave in the local hāpu and iwi stories to enrich children’s learning of their local community as a next step.
Teachers are proactive in identifying and supporting children with additional needs. The service accesses external agency input as required. There are well established transition processes into and within the centre, and onto other preschool services and schools.
Bowen Early Childhood Education Centre’s strategic plan is a living document with a strong emphasis on improving quality outcomes for all children. The parent committee and leaders are committed to recruiting, managing and developing competent teachers. An improvement-focused approach is evident.
The appraisal framework is clearly defined and promotes a collegial approach to teachers’ development. Further refining teacher inquiry will strengthen the process.
Internal evaluation and review for improvement and accountability are well understood. Frameworks provide effective guidance for the internal evaluation process and ongoing monitoring. Leaders promote a cohesive team with strong relational trust, evaluative critical reflection and high level professionalism.
Key Next Steps
Leaders should continue to:
- strengthen and refine the processes of assessment, planning and evaluation, internal evaluation and appraisal
- build on te ao Māori knowledge, understandings and connections to place through hapū/iwi histories and local stories.
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