Cherry Grove Childcare and Family Centre is a privately owned education and care service. This service sits adjacent to Cherry Grove@101 and children transition between both services. A separate family centre provides services and support for whānau and children, including facilitating collaboration with external community agencies.
Summary of findings
Children lead their own learning in a play-based curriculum consistent with Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. Kaiako interactions with children are language rich and responsive to verbal and non-verbal cues. Children’s learning and social competence is supported in small groups sizes, with opportunities for exploration and curiosity. Tuakana teina relationships are nurtured and are intentionally promoted within the large, interesting and well-designed playground. Children show independence as capable and competent learners.
Children’s interests are deliberately followed through responsive teaching. Assessment recognises children’s efforts, challenges and successes and considers parent and whānau aspirations. Some te reo and tikanga Māori practices were observed in practice and in assessment. Leaders have identified that building kaiako knowledge and cultural competence is required to support Māori children’s success. Priorities for children’s learning are not yet consistently identified through evaluation of their progress and ongoing planning.
Positive outcomes for children are promoted through reciprocal relationships between staff, children, whānau and the wider community. A focus on building kaiako capability supports consistent practice across the service.
Relational trust at every level supports collaboration and openness to change and improvement. New knowledge is shared effectively within the service and the wider education community. Leaders and kaiako have opportunities to engage in professional learning and development. Mentoring and coaching is building knowledge and use of evaluation and inquiry. Leaders foster a shared understanding of the service philosophy, vision, goals and priorities for children’s learning.
Wellbeing and learning outcomes for children and whānau are promoted by effective systems and processes. Structural conditions further support quality education and care for children. Cherry Grove’s family centre further contributes to positive social and community outcomes.
Date of this report: 12 July 2021
Research has proven that children between the ages of two and eight (known as foundation phase) who develop the key movement skills required for team sports, will participate in physical activity and enjoy the many benefits that an active lifestyle provides for the rest of their lives. The aim of Playball is to introduce young children to sport participation through age-appropriate programs designed for maximum activity while having lots of fun!
The initial focus of Playball sessions (from age 2) is developing gross motor skills and then as children move through the program (from 3+) we progress to fine motor skills that assist children when it comes to learning how to read and write. Other school readiness skills that are focused on in Playball sessions include listening, teamwork, focus and concentration.
Through physically active play, Playball promotes children’s mental and emotional health as well as their physical well-being. Our sessions are designed to create a learning environment that boosts self-esteem. Children who take part in regular Playball sessions gain confidence in and control of their bodies. They also develop increasing knowledge about how to keep physically healthy, setting them up for a lifetime of being active.
The Playball program favours the multi-sport approach which means that we don’t encourage kids to specialise in one sport, rather we expose them to a range of different sports in each session. We also have a strong emphasis on having fun and trying your best as opposed to encouraging direct competition between peers. Sessions are designed to provide children of all abilities with the opportunity to participate at their own level. We also limit class sizes to ensure that each child receives the support that they need to succeed.
Cherry Grove offers Playball to our children aged 2 years upwards as sport and movement are seen as a 'Priority of Learning' for our young children. Playball specialists Coach Tom and his team facilitate 7 sessions a week at the centre.