Greenhithe Kindergarten - 27/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Greenhithe Kindergarten

How well placed is Greenhithe 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

Greenhithe Kindergarten, located on Auckland's North Shore, is licensed to provide education and care for up to 30 children aged over two years. Most children attend kindergarten days similar to school hours. The head teacher leads a team of two other qualified teachers.

The teaching philosophy is strongly underpinned by the strands and goals of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers aim to provide an environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all and that celebrates the bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand. They are committed to growing and refreshing their practice through ongoing professional learning.

The 2015 ERO report acknowledged how effective teaching strategies supported children to develop as confident and socially competent learners. It noted that teachers' relationships with children skilfully supported their learning and extended their knowledge. These positive aspects have been maintained. Areas for development included self review, engagement with whānau, the promotion of mathematics in the programme, and a review of mat times. There has been good progress in these areas.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). The AKA has a range of specialist personnel who assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters. There continues to be a period of change for staff as they adapt to changes in AKA’s operational practices, leadership and management.

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

The Review Findings

Children settle quickly into their day. They lead their own learning activities, easily accessing the materials and space they need for their play. Children are confident, self-managing and independent. They are engaged and focused in their learning.

Children are open, friendly and articulate. They work well with others in small groups and form friendships. They are listened to well by their teachers, who provide numerous opportunities for them to take leadership roles.

Teachers build effective, supportive relationships with children, their parents and whānau. Parents who spoke with ERO appreciated how knowledgeable the teachers were about their children and the warm and welcoming culture of the kindergarten.

The bicultural nature of Aotearoa New Zealand is evident in the environment and in teachers' use of te reo Māori when working with children. Meaningful and relevant whakataukī are included in operational documents.

Teachers provide a well resourced learning environment. Children can choose from a wide range of materials that support their creativity and promote critical thinking. Mathematics, literacy and science are included meaningfully in the programme and are very visible in records of children's learning.

Children's portfolios are individual and capture their participation in the programme well. They show continuity of learning and many show developing complexity. Teachers are currently trialling new systems for programme planning and evaluation, with a focus on how they will respond to the learning dispositions that they identify.

The head teacher's reflective style of leadership supports ongoing challenge, and research based changes, to teaching practices. A well implemented appraisal process focuses on goals that increase teachers' capabilities. Internal evaluation occurs regularly and results in improvements. The kindergarten's business plan aligns with the AKA strategic goals, includes timelines and is well monitored.

The AKA has useful processes for supporting teachers' ongoing professional development and supporting teachers' interests. AKA has specific processes for ensuring that children with additional needs receive appropriate learning support. They have good systems in place to support children and whānau with health and wellbeing needs.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive kindergarten plan and a shared vision that are linked to AKA strategic goals. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) also aligns with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure and to improve consistency and coherence across internal evaluation, quality assurance and improvement systems, and strategic planning.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team agrees that, to enhance their current good quality provision for children, next steps include:

  • evaluating and continuing to increase the extent to which te ao Māori concepts and values articulated in operational documents align with programme practices

  • continuing to strengthen the evaluative nature of their internal evaluation practices

  • consolidating and continuing to build on new programme planning and evaluation systems, keeping dispositional learning at the forefront.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

27 June 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

Greenhithe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5637

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

42

Gender composition

Boys 22 Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
other

30
12

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

27 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

February 2009

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.