Grey Lynn Kindergarten - 08/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Grey Lynn Kindergarten

How well placed is Grey Lynn 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

Grey Lynn Kindergarten, formerly St James Kindergarten, is licensed to provide education and care for 30 children aged over two years.

Grey Lynn Kindergarten has a positive ERO reporting history. In the last year the kindergarten has employed a new team of three qualified teachers, who are supported by a teacher aide.

The teaching team is rethinking the kindergarten vision, appreciating past high quality practices, with a view to optimising the new team's strengths for the future. This review has resulted in a change in focus with an emphasis on music and a redirection of the 'enviroschool' programme.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters. There continues to be a period of transition for staff as they adapt to shifts in AKA operational practices.

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

The Review Findings

Positive and sensitive relationships help families and children to feel a sense of belonging in the kindergarten. Teachers welcome parents and children on arrival, and engage them in conversation to help them reconnect with the kindergarten. Children settle quickly to the centre's routines, and demonstrate a sense of ownership of their kindergarten.

Children are articulate and readily initiate conversations with peers and adults. Teachers respect and respond to children's ideas. Children play well together, have fun, and make choices from a wide array of easily accessible activities.

Teachers promote children's social and learning competencies. They skilfully encourage children to think for themselves and to make decisions in their play, supporting them to take risks and to solve problems. Teachers provide resources and provocations to allow imaginative and creative play to occur naturally. They encourage parents/whānau to be part of their children's play.

Children make good use of the indoor and outdoor play spaces. They play in an environment that is influenced by a strong literacy, mathematics and natural science curriculum, and an ongoing tradition of environmental sustainability practices. This focus encourages children to have an increased sense of responsibility and respect for their world.

Teachers are committed to integrating te reo and tikanga Māori as part of their daily practice. They use the morning formal gathering time to sing waiata and incorporate karakia.

Teachers link children's learning to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. They use an online portal to communicate with parents about their child's learning. Teachers should focus on ensuring that each child's portfolio shows their development over time, and that their interests and strengths are highlighted. The team could consider ways to encourage more parent participation in the learning partnership within the online portal.

A parent committee strongly supports the teaching team. Parents work collaboratively with teachers to ensure that improvements to the kindergarten are ongoing and aligned with the teaching team's strategic plan.

Teachers are very supportive of each other and are aware of their individual strengths. The new team is establishing shared teaching approaches, and teachers are considerate in their decision making. They receive good support from AKA.

The AKA is reviewing the appraisal process to align to the new Educational Council requirements. As part of this development the leaders should ensure that there is depth in the quality of teachers’ reflection and their professional goals.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and the AKA education specialist have recognised that in order to enhance current practices, the teaching team should continue to:

  • build on bicultural practices and further promote children's culture, language and identity
  • continue to strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation practices
  • develop leadership and whole- team capacity
  • develop internal evaluation to continuously improve practices and programmes and the impact they have on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Grey Lynn 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.

To improve current practice, AKA managers and teachers should ensure that recognised hazards are promptly minimised or removed.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 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

Grey Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5100

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Boys      20
Girls       18

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Niuean
Samoan
other Asian
other

  3
23
  2
  2
  4
  4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

8 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2013

Education Review

September 2010

Education Review

June 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.