Inspectors rate 2 preschools ‘satisfactory’

Office of Education Standards releases reports on Treasure Garden, ABC Kids

Two Cayman Islands preschools – one in Savannah and one in George Town – received overall grades of “satisfactory” in an annual inspection report released by the Office of Education Standards.

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School Inspection Reports Summaries

The Early Childhood Care and Education Inspection Report, published in October, uses a four-point scale in its judgements: excellent, good, satisfactory and weak.

Treasure Garden Preschool

Open since 2014, with 12 children currently enrolled, Treasure Garden Preschool in George Town received ratings of excellent and good in a number of categories. Evaluators judged the preschool as excellent in the children’s “achievement and progress in aspects of exploration, respect and well-being”.

Click here for the full report.

Health and safety and the school’s link with parents and the community were judged to be good. Categories assessed to be satisfactory include teaching, curriculum, leadership, support and guidance.

The school was judged to be weak in one area only: assessment.

“Although the teachers knew the children well and parents were updated regularly on their children’s progress, assessment information was not meaningfully organised across the school. Practices varied from class to class and lacked overall co-ordination,” the report states.

Among Treasure Garden’s key strengths is its “positive and inclusive ethos, which ensured that children were happy and well-adjusted in their learning environment”, the report says. Other key strengths refer to the areas in which the preschool was rated as excellent.

Inspectors’ recommendations for the school include ensuring that teachers promote the children’s problem-solving and critical-thinking skills; improving assessment practices; and reviewing the curriculum to ensure a balance of all the early-learning goals.

Overall, the performance of the preschool was satisfactory, the report’s summary states. “There were a number of good and excellent judgements particularly with regard to children’s achievement in aspects of the early learning goals and the preschool’s emphasis on the promotion of healthy lifestyles. However, all children did not always make the progress they were capable of because teachers did not always plan learning experiences to meet the varying needs of all children.”

The report also includes the results of a survey of the preschool’s parents and staff. All six of the school’s staff, along with 15 parents, completed the online survey. The overwhelming majority of parents strongly agreed or agreed that their child is making good progress in maths and science understanding and that the school is effective in developing the child’s personal and social skills. All 15 parents strongly agreed or agreed that the school’s quality of teaching is good.

Overall, the parents strongly agreed (73%) or agreed (27%) that they are satisfied with the quality of education the preschool provides.

Staff at Treasure Garden were equally positive in their responses to the survey, with 100% strongly agreeing that the preschool provides good quality education.

ABC Kids
In its first inspection report since opening in September 2019, ABC Kids was found to have key strengths in “regular planned opportunities to develop children’s understanding of religion, which promoted attitudes of tolerance and empathy;” an emphasis on health and good hygiene; and a positive ethos that ensured all children were cared for in a nurturing environment.

Click here for the full report.

The school, which currently has 37 children enrolled, received a good rating for children’s progress and achievement in movement and religious awareness. In almost all of the other categories, including teaching, learning, assessment and curriculum, ABC Kids was rated satisfactory.

Only two areas received a rating of weak: self-evaluation and improvement planning; and children’s creative expression.

Overall, ABC Kids received a rating of satisfactory. “There were a number of good judgements assigned, particularly in relation to the children’s achievement in aspects of movement and religious awareness,” the report states. “However, teachers did not always use a sufficiently wide range of learning activities and resources to ensure that children made the required progress in all aspects of the curriculum.”

Inspectors’ recommendations include raising children’s achievement in areas of learning as noted in the report; reviewing assessment processes to meet the needs of all children; reviewing the curriculum to improve children’s opportunities for creative expression and exploring maths; and building on self-evaluation processes to identify priorities for future improvement.

Eight of the school’s 10 staff and 20 parents completed the online survey for ABC Kids. The overwhelming majority, as with Treasure Garden, strongly agreed or agreed that their child is making good progress in understanding maths and science, and that the school is effective in developing their child’s personal and social skills. All of the parents strongly agreed (70%) or agrees (30%) that the quality of teaching at the preschool is good.

Overall, parents strongly agreed (85%) or agreed (15%) that they are satisfied with the quality of education at the preschool.

ABC Kids also received good ratings from staff, with 71% strongly agreeing and 29% agreeing that the preschool provides a good quality of education.

Inspections are conducted at least once every four years, the Office of Education Standards said, with a team of inspectors visiting each school for between two and five days. The next cycle of inspections for preschools is set to begin in January 2021.

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