Grace Kindergarten - 01/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Grace Kindergarten

How well placed is Grace 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

Grace Kindergarten is a community-based centre located in the Wellington suburb of Ngaio. The service's philosophy is based in Christian values. It promotes the uniqueness of each child and the importance of family.

The service is licensed to provide care and education for 27 children, aged over two years. A young tamariki session operates two days a week, and older tamariki session operates for the remaining three. A diverse range of children attend the centre from the local and wider community. 

A charitable trust and a management board govern the centre. The head teacher is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the centre. All full-time teachers are qualified and registered. Parent helpers support the operation of each session.

The July 2014 ERO report identified areas requiring development in relation to curriculum indicators and bicultural practices. Significant work has been completed on creating curriculum indicators that strongly align to philosophy and the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The Review Findings

Children experience a curriculum that effectively responds to their interests, strengths and capabilities. The service's priorities for learning clearly drive development of the programme and teacher practice. Children lead their own learning in an environment that encourages participation and exploration. Science, literacy and music are highly evident.

Plentiful resources support a bicultural curriculum. Teachers use basic te reo Māori in conversation and more deliberately in formal parts of the programme. Leaders should continue to strengthen the meaningful use of te reo Māori across the teaching team.

Teachers effectively support children's investigation. A range of strategies extend children's thinking and develop oral language. Children engage in sustained play, communicate effectively and revisit their prior learning. 

Children with additional learning needs are very well supported to achieve positive learning outcomes. Teachers carefully consider how to build an inclusive learning environment. They work with parents and external agencies to identify, progress and monitor learning goals for these children.

Strong, respectful relationships are evident between teachers, children, parents and whānau. Parents regularly participate in sessions and centre activities.

Teachers collaboratively plan for and assess individual children's learning in response to their interests and needs. Regular evaluation of progress towards learning goals over time is evident. Parent aspirations and feedback contribute to teachers' knowledge about the child. Children's profile books give a sense of who they are and what they can do.

Responsiveness to individual culture, language and identity is developing. Teachers should continue to explore ways to uphold children's cultural connections within daily practice and planning. A focus on increasing effectiveness in promoting educational success for Māori, and for children of Pacific heritage, is required.

Transitions are well considered and responsive to individual children. Links to local schools are continuing to strengthen. The current review of the transition to school process is timely.

The head teacher fosters the enactment of a shared vision within the centre. Teachers are given the opportunity to lead areas of interest. Building staff capability is identified as a priority of the board. A key next step is to develop a robust appraisal process that aligns with Education Council expectations.

Governance and management responsibilities are not clearly separated. Further clarifying the roles and responsibilities of board members should promote more effective operation of the centre.

Regular self-review on all aspects of operation results in change. A key next step is for teachers to develop an evaluative focus that identifies high quality practice, steps for improvements and the impact of change on children's outcomes.

Key Next Steps

ERO has identified that key next steps are for leaders and teachers to:

  • increase the meaningful use of te reo Māori to further enrich the curriculum
  • build knowledge and understanding to support educational success for Māori and Pacific children
  • develop use and understanding of internal evaluation to focus on improved outcomes for children.

Leaders and managers should:

  • develop an appraisal system that supports teachers' professional growth
  • clarify roles and responsibilities of governance and management. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Grace 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance.

  • The service provider must ensure that furniture or equipment that could topple and cause injury or damage is secured.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS6] 

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Grace Kindergarten will be in three years.

Alan Wynyard
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

1 February 2018 

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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60347

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

27 children aged over 2

Service roll

49

Gender composition

Boys 33, Girls 16

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Chinese
Pacific groups
Other ethnic groups

  1
30
  4
  4
  3
  7

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

1 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

July 2014

Education Review

October 2011

Education Review

June 2008

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.