Education Review Office Report

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Lighthouse Learning Centre.

The Review Findings

Children and their families are warmly welcomed by the centre director, leaders and teachers. Teachers acknowledge the importance of partnerships with children’s families. The centre director has developed a variety of ways to share information about children’s participation in the programme and progress with parents. The centre director, leaders and teachers have also identified that a useful next step would be to increase parent participation in planning for children’s learning.

Children settle quickly into play. Teachers support them as they explore activities within the well resourced rooms. Access to natural and recycled resources has been increased to foster children’s creative and imaginative play opportunities. There is a focus on developing the confidence and independence of babies and toddlers. Teachers affirm the developing language and mobility of these very young children. Teachers’ respectful relationships with children of all ages contribute to the family-like atmosphere in the centre.

Qualified teachers work effectively within teams and maintain a calm atmosphere. The centre programme is based on the principals of Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, and includes both child-initiated and teacher directed activities. Teachers are responsive to children’s play by identifying equipment and activities to support and extend their interests. Children’s ongoing learning is documented in individual development plans (IDP) that identify individual and group learning objectives for children. These development plans are shared with parents.

The centre director acknowledges that self-review systems continue to be developed. Teacher professional development needs have been identified using these review systems and, as a result, teachers are to participate in training designed to help them further extend children’s learning.

Further review tasks involving consultation with the community about the centre philosophy have been undertaken. These have resulted in changes to the philosophy to better reflect the aspirations and expectations of parents and staff. Teachers agree with ERO that they now need to establish a common understanding of the philosophy in action.

In order to build on the good practices identified above, the centre director and team leaders agree that they should now work with teachers to:

  • promote children’s knowledge and experience of the bi-cultural heritage of New Zealand
  • further build teachers’ capacity to increase challenge and complexity in children’s play
  • develop indicators of good practice and use them to review the philosophy in action
  • evaluate the impact of learning outcomes for children against planned learning objectives
  • review the impact of policies and procedures on developing positive outcomes for children.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.