Follett Street Kindergarten - 10/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Follett Street Kindergarten

How well placed is Follett Street 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

Follett Street Kindergarten is one of 25 early childhood services administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). It is licensed for 40 children aged over two years. Of the 55 children enrolled, thirteen are Maori. All four teachers are qualified and registered.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises providing a safe environment fostering children’s motivation to learn and establishing relationships with parents and children that enable interests to be built upon and skills to be developed.

Since the January 2013 ERO review there has been ongoing development of the physical environment. A new deck has provided additional all-weather space. Parents, whānau and the community continue to actively support resourcing of the kindergarten.

The previous review identified the need to strengthen assessment and planning processes and further develop the bicultural curriculum. The kindergarten, with the support of the senior teacher, continues to build practice in each of these areas.

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

A well-resourced and spacious learning environment effectively supports a variety of learning experiences and provides challenge and interest for children. Child initiated and led, play-based learning dominates. Children show high levels of engagement, independence and cooperative skills. Creative play is enjoyed by individuals and groups. The programme encourages children's exploration and physical activity and is responsive to their interests, strengths and needs.

Literacy, mathematics, science and the arts are appropriately integrated into everyday experiences. Providing opportunities to extend children's knowledge and understanding of the natural environment is a focus. Children enjoy meaningful experiences linked to sustainable and healthy living.

Teachers are respectful, responsive and encouraging. They know learners well and join in enthusiastically with children’s play. Positive interactions extend children’s communication skills, thinking and reasoning. Children's wellbeing and belonging are effectively supported.

Portfolios record children’s participation in the life of the kindergarten, their interests and aspects of their learning over time. Documenting the development of social competencies is a focus.

Teachers seek and value parent involvement. An online programme is supporting increased communication with parents about children’s learning. Some parents regularly add information about their child’s learning at home. Teachers should continue to build on the extent to which parent aspirations are guiding planning for learning.

Teachers discuss and record daily individual children’s engagement and learning. They are developing a stronger focus in documentation on identifying and contributing to children’s progress over time. Consideration of teacher effectiveness would be strengthened through increased focus on the impact of teaching strategies on children’s learning.

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.

Progress has been made in developing aspects of a bicultural curriculum. Leaders and teachers have increased the extent to which te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is reflected in the kindergarten programme and surroundings. This is supported by an environmental focus, bicultural values, teacher development goals and professional learning opportunities. Whānau knowledge and use of a cultural adviser supports the development of culturally responsive practices. Teachers agree they should continue to build the extent to which:

  • te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is a part of everyday practice

  • a bicultural curriculum and cultural responsiveness is documented in assessment and planning.

Teachers have built positive relationships with families and the wider community that support them to respond to the learning needs of Pacific children.

Transitions into the kindergarten are thoughtfully considered, planned and responsive to children's and families' needs. Families are encouraged to visit schools and to share their portfolios with them. Teachers are continuing to build the extent to which children’s learning is shared with schools.

Teachers are reflective and share ideas about teaching, learning and operational matters. The association is supporting teachers to use a more evaluative approach to review for improvement. Use of the association model of internal evaluation 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 development of 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:

  • assessment and planning practice

  • 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 Follett Street 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 Follett Street 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

Marton

Ministry of Education profile number

5533

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Girls 28, Boys 27

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Other ethnic groups

13

35

6

1

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

April 2016

Date of this report

10 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

July 2009

Education Review

May 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.