Richmond Kindergarten - 24/09/2018

1 Evaluation of Richmond Kindergarten

How well placed is Richmond 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

Richmond Kindergarten is part of the Nelson Tasman Kindergarten Association (NTKA). The kindergarten provides for the education and care of up to 43 children, aged from two-to-five years, from a diverse community. The association offers up to 30 free hours to support children's participation in early childhood education. It also provides a range of external expertise to help all children succeed in their learning. This includes te ao Māori expertise, teacher aides, a speech-language therapist, whānau support and parent-education opportunities.

A new head teacher was appointed at the beginning of 2018. All teachers are fully qualified. A teacher aide provides support for children and teachers to help meet identified areas of need. An active parent committee leads fundraising initiatives to support ongoing resourcing, special outings and improvements to the kindergarten.

The NTKA, including a Chief Executive Officer and board, is responsible for the governance of the kindergarten. A team of senior education advisors (SEA) oversees and supports the professional practice of the teaching team.

The kindergarten has made steady progress with the recommendations identified in ERO’s 2013 report. This includes improving assessment and evaluation processes and building the evaluation capacity of teachers.

This review was part of a cluster of seven kindergarten reviews in the NTKA.

The Review Findings

Teachers warmly welcome children, parents and whānau. They actively foster positive, inclusive, respectful relationships. The language, culture and identity of Māori and Pacific children are valued. Bicultural practices that help all children to know about the dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand are integrated into the programme.

With the leadership of the new head teacher, the teaching team is reviewing many of the kindergarten's processes and practices, including the kindergarten vision, to better reflect the diversity of its community and the important learning that is valued for children. Teachers have established caring ways of working with children that promote children's social and emotional competencies, creative and physical skills, and literacy and mathematical learning. Teachers are reflective and open to new learning.

Children with additional needs are well supported through sensitive interactions and strong links to external agencies. Teachers work collaboratively with parents and external experts to develop an individualised approach to children's learning and wellbeing.

Children benefit from an orderly, well-resourced learning environment and predictable routines that promote their sense of security and confidence as a learner. They participate in a wide range of interesting experiences. Children's progress in learning is reflected in their records of learning. The contribution and involvement of parents, whānau and community enrich the curriculum provided for children within and beyond the kindergarten.

Managers and leaders have proactively addressed ERO’s recommendations for the association, identified in previous reports. There is strong alignment between the NTKA strategic priorities and each kindergarten’s priorities and plans.

The board is well informed about outcomes from association-wide strategic reviews and the progress being made to achieve strategic goals. The board and association managers are taking deliberate action to support Māori and Pacific children and children with diverse learning needs. NTKA leaders have developed strong networked relationships with community organisations to support children and their whānau.

There are effective systems and processes to ensure that regulatory requirements are met. Relevant professional learning opportunities, improved teacher-appraisal processes and effective ongoing coaching and mentoring by the education advisors are building leadership and teacher capability within the kindergartens.

Key Next Steps

A next step for association leaders and managers is to improve their planning to support the achievement of the board’s strategic objectives. This includes ensuring that reporting is evaluative and focuses on outcomes for children.

The key next steps for the board are to:

  • explore ways to know more about how well children are achieving in relation to the association’s valued outcomes (vision and philosophy)
  • evaluate the extent of improved outcomes for all children and use these findings to inform decision making and the future direction of the association.

Richmond Kindergarten’s teaching team has identified, and ERO's evaluation has confirmed, that the key next steps for this kindergarten are to fully implement the priorities identified in the kindergarten's annual strategic plan. This includes:

  • implementing robust appraisal processes

  • strengthening curriculum planning and evaluation processes to ensure a greater focus on valued learning outcomes for children

  • using Te Whāriki (2017), the early childhood curriculum document, when developing the kindergarten vision, and reviewing the localised curriculum

  • improving the focus on outcomes for children within annual planning and evaluation

  • strengthening internal-evaluation processes to include a focus on valued outcomes for children, and the impact of kindergarten and teaching practices on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

Te Waipounamu - Southern Region

24 September 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

Richmond

Ministry of Education profile number

5405

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

43 children aged over two years

Service roll

40

Gender composition

Boys: 23

Girls: 17

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnicities

2
32
2
4

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

June 2018

Date of this report

24 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

March 2010

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.