Glamorgan Kindergarten - 15/04/2016

1 Evaluation of Glamorgan Kindergarten

How well placed is Glamorgan 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

Glamorgan Kindergarten is part of the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association, Te Manatōpū Kura o Te Tai Tokerau. The Association provides support and an organisational framework for 15 services. The Association’s management team comprises the general manager and two teaching services managers (TSMs), as well as development and finance managers. Teachers and whānau are represented on the Association’s board.

The kindergarten is an integral part of the Torbay community and has good links with Glamorgan Primary. There is a strong sense of community. Children who attend the kindergarten are predominantly New Zealand European, with increasing numbers of Asian children. Teachers have lengthened the daily programme in response to increasing parent requests for six-hour sessions. Programmes for children are underpinned by the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

There have been several changes to the teaching team and the learning environment. A new head teacher has been appointed, and two new teachers have joined the centre within the last year. The teachers are all registered and work as a collaborative team. The new team has undertaken a comprehensive review of the kindergarten philosophy and see the changes as an opportunity to renew and refresh the kindergarten's vision. There has been a significant upgrade of the learning environment, especially the outdoor and covered areas. This has increased opportunities for physical challenge and exploration.

In 2013 ERO identified many positive features of the service. The teaching team use effective strategies to make learning visible, and provide rich learning experiences for children. ERO recommended that management and teachers could continue to integrate bicultural and multicultural perspectives, provide further challenge for children and strengthen self review. Good progress has been made in these areas.

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

The Review Findings

Children are confident, articulate learners. They work well together and are encouraged to be independent and self-directed. Children settle in play areas and make deliberate choices about resources they need. Many persist at activities for prolonged periods, problem solving and experimenting with new ideas as challenges arise. Children are friendly and caring towards their peers and have a strong sense of belonging.

Teachers are welcoming and inclusive. They skilfully engage children in play that prompts them to collaborate and investigate ideas. They use open questions well to facilitate reciprocal, extended conversations and to challenge children's thinking. They encourage children to take learning risks and to set their own goals while they reinforce care for the environment and sustainable practices. The environment is beautifully landscaped and thoughtfully and attractively presented. It provides many inviting play areas for children to explore.

Teachers are committed to strengthening their bicultural practices. Review of bicultural practices has been in-depth and is ongoing. Teachers, children and families celebrate Matariki, learn pakiwaitara and also learn about the art of making Korowai to broaden their knowledge of Te Ao Māori. A Māori teacher provides leadership of bicultural practices in the kindergarten. A notable strength is the provision and support for children with additional needs, with one teacher taking a leadership role in this area.

Teachers are reflective practitioners who are responsive to children's interests. They encourage children's contributions to planning, and plan around projects, events and enhancing the environment. Teachers analyse children's learning well, and recognise their developing learning dispositions. An increasing sense of partnership with parents is evident through the use of digital communication. Literacy, numeracy, te reo Māori, science and creative art are well integrated into the curriculum. Some parents provide good leadership in the programme by sharing their culture with children and teachers. Teachers' commitment to responding to and valuing Chinese language and culture is evident.

The head teacher has a consultative and inclusive leadership style. There is a focus on shared leadership that draws on the strengths and passions of each teacher. The teaching services manager (TSM) has a strong leadership support role and promotes consistent practice.

Association managers lead a culture of reflective and strategic thinking. They continually seek to strengthen systems for knowing about and enhancing the quality of provision for children, communities and staff. Managers are currently reviewing and developing several key systems and practices. These include strategic planning, teacher performance appraisal, and health and safety systems. They are working to strengthen links between quality assurance processes and indicators of best practice in early childhood education.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team has appropriately identified strategic priorities for development, building on their current areas of focus and good practice. Key next steps include:

  • exploring how to strengthen and make partnerships with whānau more visible

  • more explicit recognition of and response to children's cultural identity

  • more frequently recording and evaluating the effectiveness of planned teaching strategies in responding to children's interests, abilities and cultural identity

  • using evaluative questions in self review and establishing processes for deeper analysis of self-review findings to identify specific next steps.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

15 April 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

Torbay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5021

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Pākehā

Chinese

other

46

5

4

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

February 2016

Date of this report

15 April 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

December 2009

Education Review

January 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.