Lansdowne Kindergarten - 18/01/2017

1 Evaluation of Lansdowne Kindergarten

How well placed is Lansdowne 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

Lansdowne Kindergarten is situated in Masterton. It is one of 85 kindergartens and three homebased education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. This is the first review for this kindergarten since the merger.

The kindergarten operates for six hours daily and caters for up to forty children each day. There are 11 Māori learners on the roll. Ongoing property enhancements have occurred since the 2013 ERO review.

The kindergarten’s teaching philosophy is underpinned by the principles of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, and the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It emphasises the core values of respect, communication, relationships, confidence and endeavour.

The experienced teaching team are all qualified and certificated teachers.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers. Since the August 2013 ERO report, there has been a change to the association senior teacher for Lansdowne Kindergarten.

In 2012, the Wellington association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning. Its introduction within the exRimutaka Kindergartens occurred during 2015, with kindergartens adapting it to respond to their community. Lansdowne teachers are making good use of this document to guide practice in this area.

The 2013 ERO report for Lansdowne Kindergarten identified that building understanding of strategic review, adding depth and complexity, further developing partnerships and assessment and planning were needed. The teaching team is making positive progress and good gains in responding to these areas. 

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Children have many opportunities to lead and sustain their play. Learning spaces are inviting, attractive and challenging. These promote curiosity and discovery. A calm and settled tone prevails. Routines and rituals are well known to children and foster understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Children demonstrate high levels of cooperative play. They are empowered to make choices and decisions. Relationships with parents, families, whānau and community are positive and affirming.

Teachers express high expectations for children's learning. Tuakana teina relationships are valued. Mathematics and literacy experiences are meaningfully integrated into the programme. Teachers use a range of strategies that effectively extend children's language and thinking. Children's independence and social learning are promoted.

Teachers make good use of self review and internal evaluation to improve outcomes for children. They have identified aspects of this process to strengthen further. ERO's evaluation affirms this further development.

The kindergarten enjoys close relationships with its local schools. Reciprocal visits and connections assist children and families as they transition to school. Teachers participate in a local network with schools and other early learning services to share ideas and improve successful transition experiences for children.

Positive and sustained links with Pukaha Mount Bruce, Kandahar Rest Home and Te Rangimarie Marae add to experiences outside the kindergarten. Families actively involve themselves in the kindergarten. Teachers share information about kindergarten happenings in a range of ways.

Sound processes guide teachers to notice, recognise and respond to children's interests and learning. These records increasingly focus on incorporating aspects of te ao Māori and better reflecting the language, culture and identity of children. Useful feedback from the senior teacher should assist in further developing assessment practices.

Kindergarten planning processes make visible current interests, possible learning pathways and ways teachers respond in the programme. Families are invited to contribute their ideas to support these interests. Making clearer the impact of planned teaching actions on children's learning is a useful recent development.

Teachers work well together. They access relevant professional learning to develop and improve their practice for children.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported. Teachers work positively with families and local services and agencies to respond to the identified needs of individuals.

The bicultural curriculum is woven through processes and interactions with children, parents and whānau. An acknowledged next step is for leaders and teachers to consider, then respond to, what success for Māori children as Māori means in this kindergarten.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback that outlines agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. She completes an annual internal evaluation that supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance.

Managers undertook an internal review of the appraisal system. The revised model is being implemented across the kindergartens. The process includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Lansdowne Kindergarten, to:

  • further develop internal evaluation practices

  • build on assessment and planning practices

  • extend practices that promote Māori children's success as Māori learners.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening responsiveness to Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

18 January 2017 

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

Masterton

Ministry of Education profile number

5307

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Boys 37, Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Other ethnic groups

12

37

6

2

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

October 2016

Date of this report

18 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

August 2013

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.