There is no escaping self review or internal evaluation. It is an essential part of Playcentre, required by ERO.
Luckily it is also fun, easy, and all about improving our centres for our families.
There is no need to be daunted. You are doing it already every time you think about fixing an issue or doing something better in your centre. There are some new documents out from ERO, which explain the process really clearly. They cover the whole education sector and are not specific to Early Learning. The examples are about schools, but can still give us some ideas.
The more the merrier! Not everyone is going to be passionate about every topic. But if you choose topics with wide appeal you may get more involvement, and therefore more lasting change.
Can it be about adult concerns like our clean up process? Adult processes need review too, and the 5-step process may work well. However your strategic/in-depth reviews should usually result in improvements for children, and mprovements to curriculum and teaching and learning. Usually an in-depth review will result in improvements for children, adults, the environment, and perhaps centre culture.
That’s up to you. For some emergent or regular reviews, before and after photos and references to meeting minutes would be enough. For others you might collect documents related to each stage of the process and put them in your internal evaluation folder.
An in-depth one may take a term or a year. Shorter won’t have the depth, longer may lose momentum. Do whatever works.
You can take breaks between reviews, or start another as soon as you finish one.
In-depth evaluation is a chance to lift your head above the day to day concerns about which dishwasher to buy, and which colour to paint the roof. It involves getting back to our core values, focusing on our children, our relationships, our education, and
ways to make things simpler and more effective. We are in Playcentre because we are passionate about education. Evaluation is a chance to geek out, have great conversations, see what other centres are doing, and dream about possibilities. What’s not to love?
Step 1 the process starts with noticing.
Step 2 is investigating.
Step 3 is collaborative sense making.
Step 4 is prioritising to take action.
Step 5 is monitoring and evaluating.
For more information