Ellerslie Kindergarten - 29/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Ellerslie Kindergarten

How well placed is Ellerslie 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

Ellerslie Kindergarten is a well established service that provides education and care for up to 40 children from three years old to school age with children attending six-hour day sessions. The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework and support personnel to assist the kindergarten. It is staffed by five registered teachers, including the head teacher, one teaching assistants and an administrator/teacher aid.

The principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and learning through play are embedded in the kindergarten's philosophy. Other key features include the ‘environment as a third teacher', inclusiveness and strong relationships with whānau. The kindergarten is also part of the Maungakiekie Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL).

ERO's 2013 report notes that teachers and leaders agreed that strengthening self review, refining planning and further integrating te reo and tikanga Māori would help to promote better outcomes for children. Since 2013 a head teacher and two new teachers have been appointed. Teachers have been strengthening review processes and focusing on enriching bicultural practices. The kindergarten's building has been renovated and significant improvements have been made to the outside environment to encourage children’s investigation, active play and exploration.

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

The Review Findings

Children learn in a stimulating and vibrant learning environment that invites and sustains their engagement in play. They choose from exciting, inviting and well resourced spaces that promote their curiosity, perseverance and sense of adventure. The outside area is landscaped, provides very well for physical challenge and encourages children to care for natural resources. Children can refer to displays that showcase their learning and reflect the multicultural backgrounds of their families.

Children have a strong sense of belonging in the kindergarten. They are accepting and caring towards others. They communicate well, make decisions and eagerly share their ideas. They are active learners and use aspects of writing and mathematics in their play. Their growing understanding of science and use of technologies are fostered through authentic learning opportunities. Children have fun and their creativity is nurtured through teacher support and an extensive variety of art, dance and music experiences.

Teachers provide a very well planned programme that is based on children's interests, dispositions and abilities. They value children's cultural knowledge and backgrounds and encourage the use of children's home languages. Teachers are keen to strengthen their bicultural practices.

Comprehensive assessment and planning documentation makes children's learning and parent aspirations visible. Children’s portfolios, including online e-portfolios, are highly valued and frequently added to by families. These records clearly show the child's individual learning journey and how responsive the curriculum is to individual and group interests.

Teachers are effective in fostering children’s development as competent and confident learners. They affirm and build on what children already know. Their sensitive and skilful interactions extend children’s ideas, language and knowledge in sustained play and discussion. They encourage children to take responsibility and leadership roles. Teachers reflect on their own practice and continuously look for additional ways to support children's wellbeing and learning. They are focused on promoting equity and ensuring positive educational outcomes for all children.

Respectful, responsive relationships between teachers, children and their whānau are a feature of this kindergarten. Teachers affirm and build on the strengths families bring. Parent/whānau partnership in their children's learning is valued and encouraged. Children’s transition into the kindergarten and to school is well supported and responsive to individual children and whānau needs. The kindergarten's involvement in One Tree Hill Community of Learning|Kāhui Ako (CoL) should enhance their processes.

Teachers are highly motivated and share a strong commitment to the kindergarten's vision, philosophy and strategic direction. They benefit from the strong professional leadership of the new head teacher, who has successfully managed many changes over the last year. They work collaboratively, share strengths and have areas of leadership. Internal evaluation processes are well developed, include multiple perspectives and are focused on improving outcomes for children.

Association systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision, linked to the AKA strategic goals. The AKA continues to review and refine its policies and procedures, including those for teacher appraisal and the endorsement of teachers’ practising certificates.

New AKA roles have been established to provide more targeted support for head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is aligned with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans, is informed by ongoing internal evaluation, monitors quality and promotes continual improvement in kindergartens. AKA support and guidance are responsive to each kindergarten’s individual context. 

Key Next Steps

Teachers and AKA personnel agree that key next steps for the kindergarten include continuing to:

  • use internal evaluation to guide decision-making and continuous improvement

  • strengthen bicultural practices

  • encourage parent partnership in learning

  • build on environmentally sustainable practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 March 2017

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

Ellerslie, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5040

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

56

Gender composition

Girls 29 Boys 27

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Sri Lankan

American

Chinese

Filipino

Indian

Pakistani

other

36

3

2

2

2

2

2

7

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

November 2016

Date of this report

29 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

September 2010

Education Review

September 2007

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.