Lincoln North Kindergarten - 04/03/2015

1. Evaluation of Lincoln North Kindergarten

How well placed is Lincoln North 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

Lincoln North Kindergarten in Henderson provides education and care for up to 40 children over two years old. Children attend sessions that match school hours, but provision is also made for children to attend morning sessions only. The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA) and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. A professional services manager (PSM) provides management and curriculum support for teachers. The AKA has high expectations that teachers will provide a bicultural programme. 

The kindergarten’s philosophy fosters positive relationships and supports the all round development of the child. The curriculum is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. A significant upgrade of the outdoor environment is planned to create more opportunities for children to explore and to develop their imaginative play.

Since the previous ERO review, the building has undergone a significant extension and upgrade. The indoor environment for children is now light and spacious and teachers have better spaces in which to plan and meet.

The 2011 ERO report noted that the programme and partnerships with the community were strengths. The report identified the development of children’s language, cooperative play, assessment processes and the learning environment as areas for development. Some progress has been made in these areas.

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

The Review Findings

Children are keen to learn and explore. They play individually and cooperatively in small groups. Children talk together about their play and their experiences. Some children sustain their play over time.

Children are confident users of information and communication technologies (ICT). Professional learning and development in this area is helping teachers become confident with the use of ICT in the kindergarten and to consider how it can be extended in the future. Teachers ensure that children balance the use of ICT tools with other learning resources.

Teachers document their programme planning and assessment processes well. They meet regularly to plan collaboratively and to discuss children’s learning. They share their planning with parents. As a result parents are better informed about how teachers are promoting their child’s learning. This has also strengthened the relationship between parents and teachers. Teachers encourage parents to increasingly contribute to the planning.

Teachers support children and their families well as they make the transition to school. They have established good relationships with the schools the children are likely to attend. Children’s confidence to start school is helped by regular contact with students from a local school.

The indoor environment is attractive and appropriately organised. Children select from a good variety of resources in discrete areas of play. Children’s work is well displayed and reflects the programme. These displays promote a sense of belonging and ownership for children in the kindergarten.

Teachers undertake regular self review. Good frameworks and processes are in place to help teachers document self review. It is now timely to ensure that self review focuses on, and results in, high quality outcomes for children and ongoing improvement to programmes.

The Auckland Kindergarten Association continues to provide strong governance for kindergartens. It promotes positive strategies which include professional learning and development that strengthens teachers’ skills, knowledge and practice. Distributed leadership among kindergarten teaching teams is also promoted and the sharing of knowledge and expertise within the association is encouraged. Association leaders are currently reviewing the appraisal process and continue to explore appropriate ways to support teachers and deliver high quality outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The teachers, the PSM and ERO agree that key next steps for the kindergarten should include:

  • teachers developing a shared understanding of good quality practice to enact the kindergarten’s philosophy
  • using robust self review to promote high standards for learning and ongoing improvement
  • continuing to find ways to involve parents in their children’s learning
  • continuing to build teachers’ knowledge and confidence to promote te reo and tikanga Māori throughout programmes
  • promoting Pacific children’s language, culture and identity by involving parents in sharing their cultural perspectives.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

4 March 2015

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

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5095

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

54

Gender composition

Boys 32

Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Tuvaluan

Chinese

Niue

Tongan

Fijian Indian

other

11

12

8

5

3

3

3

2

7

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

December 2014

Date of this report

4 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2011

 

Education Review

December 2008

 

Education Review

February 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.