Hibiscus Coast Kindergarten - 15/04/2016

1 Evaluation of Hibiscus Coast Kindergarten

How well placed is Hibiscus Coast 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

Hibiscus Coast Kindergarten is part of the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association, Te Matōpū 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 well established and provides a service for the families of Orewa and its surrounding rural community. Many families have longstanding relationships with the kindergarten. The service has strong connections with local schools, which helps to smooth transitions to school for children. The service is licensed for up to 40 children over two years of age. Forty children attend in the mornings and 20 children stay all day. The children come from an increasingly diverse community. Almost one fifth of the children are of Māori descent.

The teaching team is made up of both long serving and recently appointed, fully registered teachers. Since the 2012 ERO review, a new head teacher and two new teachers have been appointed. The kindergarten's philosophy is based on the values of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and ako, and has a strong focus on environmental sustainability.

The 2012 ERO report identified many positive features of the service. Children were competent and confident learners, and teachers engaged children in frequent, affirming conversations. These good features have been sustained.

The 2012 report also identified that self-review processes and children's assessment records needed to be strengthened. This review finds that planning, evaluation and assessment practices have evolved with changes in the teaching team. Teachers have used self review well to sustain and improve established good practices.

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

The Review Findings

The long-term relationships many families have had with the kindergarten contribute to children's strong sense of belonging. Children are settled and confident. They play well, both independently and cooperatively, using resources flexibly to extend their play. They have good opportunities to develop early literacy skills. They experiment with writing and enjoy books. Children encourage each other and confidently engage in a wide range of play areas. They are independent and are developing good selfmanagement skills.

Teachers are welcoming and inclusive. They prioritise strategies that will enable children to become independent, capable learners who work well with others and actively explore their environment. Teachers are respectful in their conversations with children, acknowledging their competence and supporting them to make their own decisions. Through their relationships with families, teachers know about children's backgrounds and provide resources that support their sense of belonging and identity. Children learn about environmental sustainability and have many opportunities for physical challenge.

Teachers are responsive to children's interests and strengths. They discuss children's assessments and strategies to extend their learning at staff meetings. There are good examples of assessment that show how well teachers know children. These records show children's dispositions and learning progress over time.

Parents/whānau are encouraged to be partners in their children’s learning, to contribute to the programme, and to enhance children's experiences at the kindergarten. Families have many opportunities to participate in the programme, contribute to reviews and be aware of their children’s progress. Digital communication is beginning to strengthen partnerships with parents, based on children's learning.

The new head teacher has led and modelled reflective practice. Teachers have a collaborative approach to building their capability and work well together as a team. Whānau are beginning to support the development of bicultural practices, including the use of te reo Māori in the kindergarten. The kindergarten's philosophy of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, ako and environmental sustainability is evident in 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:

  • completing the in-depth review that teachers are presently undertaking of how children's critical thinking can be further challenged through play

  • more explicitly documenting, in the portfolios of Māori and Pacific children, how their cultural identity is being acknowledged and responded to in order to better reflect the kindergarten's actual practice

  • more frequently recording planned teaching strategies and evaluating their effectiveness in responding to the interests and abilities of all children

  • continuing to grow the leadership of staff.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Hibiscus Coast 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 Hibiscus Coast 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

Orewa

Ministry of Education profile number

5022

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

58

Gender composition

Boys 31 Girls 27

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

other

11

35

4

8

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

December 2012

Education Review

November 2009

Education Review

December 2006

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.