Blockhouse Bay Kindergarten - 08/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Blockhouse Bay Kindergarten

How well placed is Blockhouse Bay Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Blockhouse Bay Kindergarten is licensed to provide education and care for up to 40 children over two years of age. Children attend sessions similar to school hours. Teaching staff reflect the diverse cultures of the community. Four registered teachers are supported by a teacher aide and a student trainee.

ERO's 2013 report noted that children were confident and capable and that the learning environment was vibrant, and reflected children's cultures and interests. These positive aspects have been maintained. ERO also identified areas for improvement, including building teachers' understanding of biculturalism and te ao Māori, self review and strategies for extending children's thinking. There has been good progress in these areas.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA) which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters. There continues to be a period of transition for staff as they adapt to changes in AKA operational practices.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children show a sense of ownership and confidence in the inclusive environment. They play happily together, and are developing independence and skills for self-management. Children are familiar with routines, develop friendships, and have good relationships with their teachers. They are capable negotiators, and engage in sustained, meaningful play.

Teachers promote meaningful interactions among children. They listen to children with respect, and respond to their needs. Positive and sensitive relationships help children build a sense of belonging. Teachers give time for children to process and learn, and allow them to lead their learning.

Children play collaboratively in a rich, stimulating and well-resourced environment that is influenced by a strong literacy, mathematics and science curriculum. Teachers could further promote challenge and complexity to extend children's learning as they play.

Teachers meet regularly to plan programmes based on children's interests and strengths. They purposefully include resources that build learning opportunities through play. Teachers make sense of children's learning by relating it to the strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Programmes reflect the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand, while distinctly valuing and referencing other cultures. Teachers are committed to a bicultural curriculum, using te reo and tikanga Māori as part of their daily routines. They continue to develop their knowledge, confidence, and understanding so that cultural responsiveness is at the heart of their practice.

A transition to school programme is well established. Very good relationships with the local schools are maintained and promoted. Teachers keep parents informed through this stage of their children's learning journey. They have respectful relationships with whānau, and would like to build this connection into a deeper learning partnership.

Teachers use an online digital portal to communicate with parents about their children's learning. Teachers should focus on ensuring that each child's portfolio shows their learning journey and development over time, and how their interests and strengths are developed.

Teachers support each other and share management responsibilities. To build shared capability, the teaching team now needs to grow its professional capacity. Management and leadership strategies should be collectively documented, and embedded so that teachers can reflect on good practice and establish and grow shared understandings.

The teaching team has developed its directional plan from AKA’s strategic goals. Appraisal objectives and professional development align well to the strategic plan.

AKA is reviewing its appraisal process to align with the new Educational Council requirements. As part of this development, leaders should ensure that there is depth and an improvement focus in teachers’ reflection and their professional goals.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and the AKA education specialist have recognised that in order to enhance current practices in the kindergarten, the next steps are:

  • further developing internal evaluation, to continuously improve centre practices and programmes, and to gauge the impact they have on children's learning
  • continuing to support children's confidence in their identity, culture and language
  • continuing to build learning partnerships with whānau.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Blockhouse Bay Kindergarten completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Blockhouse Bay Kindergarten will be in three years.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 February 2018 

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning. 

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service 

Location

Blockhouse Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5035

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

59

Gender composition

Girls       22
Boys      37

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Chinese
Asian
Samoan
Tongan
other

  5
24
  9
  5
  4
  4
  2
  6

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

8 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

October 2011

Education Review

October 2008

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau. 

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.