Roskill South Kindergarten - 20/03/2015

1. Evaluation of Roskill South Kindergarten

How well placed is Roskill South 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

Roskill South Kindergarten in Mt Roskill, Auckland, provides education and care for up to 40 children over two years old. Children attend sessions that match school hours, but also allow some children to attend for mornings 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 philosophy values a culture of kindness. High priority is placed on providing an environment that is welcoming, caring, inclusive and fun for every child and their family/whānau. Partnerships between children, families, teachers, and the wider community are highly valued.

The curriculum is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. An important feature of the service is the ‘bush kindergarten’. This outdoor programme provides opportunities for children to take on challenges, to explore and to learn in the local reserve behind the kindergarten.

Roskill South Kindergarten has a history of positive ERO reports. The 2011 ERO report noted that strengths of the kindergarten were its programme, leadership practices, learning environment and the partnerships it formed with the community. These strengths have been sustained and developed. The report identified that teachers should continue to increase their understanding of tangata whenua and Te Ao Māori. Good progress has been made in this area.

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

The Review Findings

Children have a strong sense of belonging in the kindergarten. They play in very attractive, well organised environments that invite their curiosity and participation in centre activities. The outdoor environment promotes imaginative and collaborative play.

The experienced professional team of teachers works well together to provide high quality programmes for children. Teachers reflect on programmes of work and their evaluation of children’s learning. Teachers acknowledge children as capable and competent learners who make choices and direct their own play. Teachers have high expectations of children as learners and encourage them to be highly motivated, self directed learners, who persevere and to take on new challenges.

Children confidently talk about their interests with teachers and other children. They benefit from warm and respectful learning relationships with teachers. Children can readily revisit their learning through their portfolios and indoor displays.

Teachers promote bicultural practices and aspects of te ao Māori well. They have good knowledge of Māori concepts relating to children’s wellbeing and foster these in the daily programme. Teachers use te reo Māori incidentally, and particularly through waiata and karakia. The service is making connections with and exploring the tikanga of Ngāti Whatua, the local iwi. As a result, Māori children are well affirmed in their language, culture, and identity.

Self review is purposeful and well documented. Teachers use self review to promote continuous improvement of programmes and operations. Progress against annual and strategic goals is regularly reviewed.

The teaching team work collaboratively and have a high level of understanding of current education, research and theories. The head teacher provides highly professional and knowledgeable leadership. The high quality programmes for children are the result of well considered research-based development over time. Consistent practice and processes ensure teachers have shared understandings of what effective teaching practice looks like for young children's learning. This positions the centre well to make ongoing improvements.

The Auckland Kindergarten Association continues to provide strong governance for kindergartens. Positive strategies include effective professional learning and development that is responsive to strengthening teachers’ skills, knowledge and practice. Distributed leadership among kindergarten teaching teams is also promoted. 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, PSM and ERO agree that key next steps for the kindergarten should include:

  • continuing to find ways to respond to parents’ aspirations for their children
  • extending the ‘bush kindergarten’ concept to provide further opportunities for children to play and learn in natural environments
  • continuing its high quality practice of 'teachers as researchers' who establish their own priorities for review and improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Roskill South 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 Roskill South Kindergarten will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

20 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

Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5097

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

50

Gender composition

Boys 26

Girls 24

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Afghan and other Middle East

Samoan

Tongan

Indian

Pakistan

other

4

11

11

8

4

3

3

6

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

November 2014

Date of this report

20 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2011

 

Education Review

December 2008

 

Education Review

January 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.