Drummond Rural Kindergarten - 18/12/2013

Evaluation of Drummond Rural Kindergarten

How well placed is Drummond Rural 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

Drummond Rural Kindergarten is located close to the Drummond Primary School. The kindergarten offers daily five-hour sessions for up to 30 children. Many of the children travel considerable distances to attend the kindergarten and attend part time for two or more days a week.

The teachers at the kindergarten aim to create a respectful, fun environment for children where each child and family is valued and independence and responsibility are fostered.

Since the November 2010 ERO review, a new teaching team has been appointed. This includes two head teachers effectively sharing the leadership role. The team works well together and has established high expectations for learning. Teachers have established constructive, positive relationships with parents, whānau and community. The team has improved the organisation and presentation of the indoor environment, including a separate art room.

This review was part of a cluster of 23 kindergarten reviews in the Southland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children at Drummond Rural Kindergarten play and learn in a settled environment. They benefit from the positive relationships they have with their teachers and with each other. They play well together and spend long periods of time engrossed in their games and activities.

The teachers know the children and their families well. They value and respect the many cultures present in their kindergarten community. They sensitively establish relationships with the families, use their language and celebrate significant events within their cultures.

Teachers effectively help children to be independent in their learning with appropriate support when necessary. They have meaningful conversations with children that allow children to think, process information and respond in their own time.

Children’s learning is supported by the strong focus on learning in the programme. This is evident in:

  • the deliberate group planning which becomes more complex over time
  • the ways that teachers use intentional strategies to build the children’s skills, attitudes and dispositions
  • the conversations children have with each other and adults
  • the well-organised and well-presented environment
  • the way that children are supported to be independent and make choices about what they want to do.

There has been a deliberate focus on providing a rich art programme. Through this programme teachers help children learn skills of art, and an appreciation of art, creativity and of beautiful things. Children know their learning is meaningful and valued through the way it is celebrated, acknowledged and displayed. For example, their art work was displayed as an exhibition for families and friends to attend.

Children benefit from a wide range of learning experiences that equip them with life skills and knowledge. This includes interesting learning in literacy, health and wellbeing, social skills, mathematics, cooperative games and construction.

Teachers have a good awareness of the importance of assisting children as they start kindergarten and when they move on to school. Teachers and other children help new children to settle into the kindergarten. Teachers are conscious that in the children’s short time at kindergarten it is necessary for children to develop a secure foundation to support them as they move to school. They implement a curriculum that effectively does this.

Important Māori values and concepts are evident in the way children and adults relate to each other. These include:

  • tuakana teina - when older children support their younger peers, especially when children start at kindergarten
  • ako- when teaching and learning are reciprocal
  • manaakitanga - when all children and their families are respected and included into the kindergarten whānau
  • turangawaewae - as the children and their whānau show a strong sense of belonging.

The kindergarten South governors consulted widely when developing the vision and goals that guide the long-term direction of the association. They have high expectations that the association and each kindergarten will:

  • involve the community
  • provide natural learning environments
  • do what is best for children
  • be a good employer.

The association is committed to transforming each kindergarten’s outdoor play area. Children now play and learn in attractive and natural environments.

Governors and staff have a clear understanding of the roles of governance and management in the association. They have developed a useful policy framework and guidelines that support the day-to-day and long-term operation of the kindergartens.

The advisory support teachers provide useful feedback and guidance to staff and endorse the high expectations set by the board of governors. Drummond Rural Kindergarten benefits from strong ongoing support from the general manager and other association staff.

Key Next Steps

Since the November 2010 ERO Review, the teachers have made significant improvements in planning processes and systems for running the kindergarten. To build on these improvements the teachers should continue to strengthen the planning processes for individual children. In particular they need to ensure that:

  • the teaching is planned to meet the identified learning goals
  • evaluations show the learning that has occurred and the effectiveness of the teaching
  • planning for individuals is more frequent.

Teachers should continue to refine their self-review processes to monitor the effectiveness of their centre practices.

The teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, they need to strengthen the alignment between their philosophy, vision and other supporting plans.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

18 December 2013

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

Drummond, Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

80017

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

54

Gender composition

Girls: 29

Boys: 25

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Asian

4

47

1

2

Percentage of qualified teachers 0-49% 50-79% 80% Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2013

Date of this report

18 December 2013

Most recent ERO reports

 

Education Review

September 2010

 

Education Review

May 2007

 

Education Review

November 2004

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.