Central Kids Kindergartens - Strathmore - 04/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Strathmore Kindergarten is well placed to promote and sustain positive outcomes for children.

Context

Strathmore Kindergarten is located in the Whakatane suburb of Kopeopeo. It continues to operate under the umbrella of the Central North Island Kindergarten Association (CNIKA). The kindergarten provides six hour sessions Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with a morning session on Wednesdays, for children from two years to school age.

Since the previous ERO review in 2010, the kindergarten has been relicensed (February 2012) under the 2008 Early Childhood Regulations. It is now licensed to cater for a maximum of 40 children, and at the time of this Education Review the roll was 33, including 22 children who are identified as being of Māori descent. Teachers, with support from the association, have responded well to the recommendation in the 2010 Education Review report in relation to the provision of the Māori dimension, and information and communication technologies (ICT) in the programme.

The kindergarten has continued to benefit from experienced leadership by the head teacher. Currently three fully trained teachers are employed, and through effective use of equity funding, a teacher aide is in training, and supports children during transition into and from the kindergarten.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in nine early childhood education services within the Central North Island Kindergarten Association umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

Self review by the association and leaders is ongoing and enabling the kindergarten to make decisions about its vision and goals for development. The high level of cooperation between the association and the kindergarten is resulting in effective management of finances and resources for personnel, property and learning environments. A strong, collaborative working relationship between the professional leader and the head teacher is focussed on building teacher capacity, underpinned by relevant and current professional development.

The knowledgeable and well-organised head teacher is leading the development of an inclusive culture that values and builds relationships amongst staff and with family/whānau. The head teacher encourages and supports teachers to contribute their interests and strengths to the programme. She consistently models effective teaching practice, which reflects current professional learning. The current self-review priority about primary care is focussing teachers on giving children time and space to develop the confidence for successful social interactions in the kindergarten setting. During the course of the review, ERO identified the need for a more collective approach to self review, led by the head teacher, and which includes specific research questions that are likely to shape and build practice.

The kindergarten’s well designed curriculum reflects relevant theory, research and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Positive outcomes for children are promoted through a responsive and flexible play-based approach to learning. Teachers work well together to implement a programme that meets the diverse backgrounds of children, including younger children, children with special needs and an increasing number of children who are of Māori descent. A review of the philosophy is scheduled for Term 1 2013, and the head teacher recognises the need for culture and identity to be a priority focus as part of this self review.

Teachers respond appropriately to children with physical warmth and verbal affirmation that is reassuring for them. They have worked with children and parents to establish clear expectations for behaviour, based on respect and care for self, peers and the environment. Teachers integrate meaningful learning opportunities that encourage the exploration of early literacy and mathematical learning. There is an increasing emphasis on the use of natural materials from the local environment, and home-like resources to promote a sense of belonging and familiarity for children. This approach is contributing to a peaceful and settled place for sustained play and learning.

Teachers skilfully design and adapt the learning environment in response to children’s emerging interests. They view children as capable and confident learners and are continuing to develop assessment practices to document their observations of children’s learning in play. ERO, the head teacher and professional leader agree on the need to rationalise and refine aspects of planning and assessment.

Recommendation

The head teacher, supported by the professional leader, gives careful consideration to the alignment of the annual plan, programme philosophy, professional development and appraisal.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Strathmore 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

4 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Whakatane

Ministry of Education profile number

5200

Licence type

Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including 0 aged under 2

Service roll

33

Gender composition

Boys 17

Girls 16

Ethnic composition

NZ Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

22

10

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2012

Date of this report

4 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2010

April 2007

November 2003

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.