Cloverlea Kindergarten - 10/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Cloverlea Kindergarten

How well placed is Cloverlea 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

Cloverlea Kindergarten is one of 25 early childhood services administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). It is licensed for 30 children aged over two years. Of the 32 children enrolled, six are Maori. All four teachers are qualified and registered.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises the importance of encouraging children to have a sense of fun and to be competent and confident learners. Responsive, reciprocal face-to-face relationships with parents and whānau are valued. Developing understanding and respect for Papatuanaku is an integral part of the focus on sustainable environments.

The October 2012 ERO review identified that planning and assessment should focus more on individual learning and children’s development over time. Professional support is being provided to strengthen these aspects of practice. Good progress is evident.

Day-to-day management of the association's affairs is the responsibility of the general manager. A governing board sets the overall strategic direction. The senior teacher provides professional leadership for teaching and learning. An operations manager supports kindergartens' compliance, policy development and leadership. A management restructure has been undertaken since the previous ERO review.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the Ruahine Kindergartens.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten is well resourced to support a range of learning experiences. Materials are attractively organised to invite children’s interest and investigation. Children are self-managing, confident, enthusiastic learners who are highly engaged in learning. They are at ease playing in small groups or independently.

Flexible equipment allows children to be creative and develop learning environments and activities that support their current interests. Children have choices about their play throughout the day.

Teachers engage positively with children to support their ideas and interests. They are caring, respectful and encouraging. Literacy, mathematics, science, the arts and creativity are appropriately integrated into the curriculum through everyday experiences. The sustainability aspects of the programme provide children and their families with meaningful experiences linked to healthy living.

The programme is responsive to individual children’s strengths and needs. Each day teachers discuss and note details of individual children’s engagement and learning. Portfolios record children's participation in the life of the kindergarten, their interests and aspects of their learning over time.

Teachers seek and value parent involvement. An online programme supports communication about their child’s learning. Some families regularly add information about learning at home. Teachers agree they should continue to support parents to share their aspirations for children and purposefully plan to meet these.

Children with diverse needs participate fully alongside their peers. Teachers are inclusive and welcoming. Portfolio records show a responsive approach to supporting the learning of children with diverse needs. Regular one-to-one support for identified children is specifically planned for.

Progress has been made in developing a bicultural perspective in the programme. This is supported by an environmental focus, bicultural values, teacher development goals and professional learning opportunities. Leaders and teachers have increased the extent to which te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is reflected in the kindergarten programme and environment. The head teacher is extending her understanding of the needs of Pacific learners through an appraisal goal and professional learning.

Teachers should continue to develop a stronger focus, in their assessment and planning, on:

  • identifying further opportunities to support children’s learning

  • the impact of teaching strategies on children’s learning

  • bicultural curriculum and cultural responsiveness.

This should support a more manageable and meaningful approach to recognising and responding to children's needs and their progress over time.

A flexible and inclusive approach supports children's transition into the kindergarten based on their individual and families' needs. Children's move to school is supported by close reciprocal links to the adjacent school that most children attend. Teachers are strengthening links with the early years’ teachers in the school to enable more effective sharing of children's learning strengths.

Teachers are reflective and regularly meet to share ideas about teaching, learning and operational matters. The association is supporting teachers to use a more evaluative approach to review for improvement. Regular use of the association internal evaluation model is assisting teachers to inquire into the effectiveness of curriculum decisions on children’s learning. Teachers should continue to be supported to use the evaluative framework

The kindergarten's annual plan outlines priorities for the year linked to the association's strategic goals of having high quality staff, coordinated services, effective partnerships and operations. Progress is recorded and reflected upon in collaboration with the senior teacher and operations manager. Quality indicators linked to outcomes for children are a useful addition to the annual plan. These should be further defined to enable more effective monitoring of progress.

Association leaders are strongly committed to implementing a bicultural curriculum and promoting success for Māori children as Māori. The revised Te Tiriti o Waitangi policy, Wise Practice document and bicultural exemplars should support these practices.

The association provides effective governance and management support for this service. This includes:

  • constructive and improvement-focused support from the senior teacher

  • suitable quality assurance processes and guidelines linked to compliance with regulations and association expectations

  • effective and targeted support for teacher and leadership development through the appraisal and wide-ranging professional learning opportunities

  • a variety of operational and administrative support.

The association agrees the continued development of the 'Wise Practice' indicators should occur to support understanding about the quality and effectiveness of practice and operation at kindergarten through to board level.

Key Next Steps

ERO and association leaders agree that teachers should be supported to continue to strengthen:

  • practice in assessment and planning

  • understanding and use of internal evaluation

  • the bicultural curriculum and strategies that promote success for Māori as Māori.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Cloverlea 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 Cloverlea Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

10 June 2016

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

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

5253

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll

32

Gender composition

Girls 18, Boys 14

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

6

23

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

 

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

10 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

May 2009

Education Review

April 2005

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.