Roslyn Kindergarten - 19/09/2016

1 Evaluation of Roslyn Kindergarten

How well placed is Roslyn 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

Roslyn Kindergarten is one of 25 early childhood services administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). It is licensed for 40 children. Of the children enrolled, 13 are Māori. All children enrolled are aged three years and over.

In 2015, the kindergarten’s licensed hours were increased to 30 per week and staffing was increased accordingly. Five teachers are qualified and registered and one is a teacher in training.

In 2015, a new head teacher and a newly constituted team began establishing relationships, practices and systems, including a review of the philosophy.

The kindergarten philosophy, founded on the framework of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, emphasises the importance of Ūkaipotanga (Belonging), Whanaungatanga (Relationships), and Kotahitanga (Connectedness). The teachers’ role in nurturing the taonga within each child is considered significant. Teaching and learning is influenced by the Reggio Emilia philosophy and the enviroschools initiative.

The 2013 ERO review identified that teachers needed to build confidence in self review, including determining how the philosophy is enacted in practice. The report also suggested teachers should better share information about children’s learning with schools as part of the transition process. Although these continue to be the key next steps, progress is evident.

Day-to-day management of the association's affairs is the responsibility of the general manager. A governing board sets the overall strategic direction. The senior teacher provides professional leadership for teaching and learning. An operations manager supports services’ compliance, policy development and leadership. A management restructure has been undertaken since the previous ERO review.

This review is one of a cluster of eight reviews of Ruahine Kindergarten Association early learning services.

The Review Findings

The values articulated in the kindergarten's philosophy statement are highly evident in practice.

High quality resourcing supports a wide range of exciting learning experiences and encourages children's participation, investigation and exploration. The wellconsidered physical environment challenges children, enables them to make choices about their engagement and enjoy the opportunities available. They are supported to be independent and self-managing learners. The routines are child driven and a busy and purposeful tone is maintained throughout the programme.

Literacy, mathematics, creativity, physical activity and science are well integrated into the programme in the context of everyday experiences. Learning conversations extend children’s thinking and ideas. For most of the session, children show high levels of engagement in their learning.

Cohesive and collaborative team work, and commitment to the new philosophy are evident. Teachers effectively use a positive approach to manage children’s behaviour. They are responsive, encouraging, affirming and nurturing, working together well to settle children. There is a strong focus on ensuring the wellbeing of children and their families is supported. Teachers warmly welcome parents and whānau. They regularly seek and value their views to support decisions.

Teachers continue to develop their approach to planning for learning. The programme is responsive to individual children’s interests and needs.

The curriculum strongly acknowledges the importance and place of te ao Māori. This is supported by the environmental focus, consideration of bicultural values, teacher development goals and professional learning opportunities. Association leaders are strongly committed to implementing a bicultural curriculum and promoting success for Māori children. The revised Te Tiriti o Waitangi policy, Wise Practice document and bicultural exemplars should support development of these practices.

Useful portfolios record children’s participation in the life of the centre and aspects of their learning. There is some evidence of increased whānau engagement through the use of an online programme. However, it is important to continue to develop the quality of the portfolios as assessment records. Portfolios should be enhanced by:

  • teachers documenting how they have added value to children's learning

  • acknowledging all children’s cultures, languages and identities more strongly

  • including a bicultural perspective in all children’s records

  • incorporating more child voice.

A flexible and inclusive approach supports children’s transitions into the kindergarten. Teachers continue to work on developing their approach to supporting children’s transition to school. This work has resulted in strengthened relationships with two nearby schools.

Internal evaluation is used to inquire into the effectiveness of the curriculum and measure the impact of curriculum decisions on children’s learning. Teachers are reflective and regularly meet to share ideas about teaching and learning. The association is providing good support for them to use a more evaluative approach to review for improvement. The association agrees the continued development of the Wise Practice indicators should support understanding about the quality and effectiveness of practice and operation at kindergarten through to board level.

The kindergarten's annual plan outlines priorities for the year linked to the association's strategic goals of having high quality staff, coordinated services, effective partnerships and operations. Progress is recorded and reflected upon in collaboration with the senior teacher and operations manager. Quality indicators linked to outcomes for children are a useful addition to the annual plan. These should be further defined to enable more effective monitoring of progress.

The association provides effective governance and management support for this service. This includes:

  • constructive and improvement-focused support from the senior teacher

  • suitable quality assurance processes and guidelines linked to compliance with regulations and association expectations

  • a variety of operational and administrative support

  • effective and targeted support for teacher and leadership development through appraisal and wide-ranging professional learning opportunities.

Key Next Steps

ERO and association leaders agree that teachers should be supported to continue to strengthen:

  • assessment for learning, including promoting continuity of learning with primary school

  • the team's approach to internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

19 September 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

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

5265

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2

Service roll

59

Gender composition

Boys 36, Girls 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

11

43

5

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

July 2016

Date of this report

19 September 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

May 2009

Education Review

May 2005

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.