St Pauls Kindergarten - 27/06/2018

1 Evaluation of St Pauls Kindergarten

How well placed is St Pauls 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

St Pauls Kindergarten, located in Massey Auckland, is licensed for up to 50 children over the age of two years. Children who attend the centre are from diverse cultural backgrounds and are aged from three to five years of age. Children from all religious backgrounds are welcome to attend the centre.

The centre philosophy is consistent with the intentions of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the Catholic Early Childhood Education Curriculum. It promotes social competency and partnership with parents. The centre's responsibility to the Treaty of Waitangi is acknowledged, and social justice and equity are seen as principles that guide centre operations and teaching practice.

A new centre manager/head teacher was appointed approximately two years ago. She is supported by long-standing teachers who have worked with her as co-workers. The premises, next door to St Pauls Church, provide a range of learning spaces including rooms for art and for music. There is a spacious outdoor area that is easily accessed by children.

The 2014 ERO report commented positively on the educational partnerships that had been developed with parents and the support teachers gave children to develop social competencies and communication skills. It recognised the staff commitment to bicultural practice and effective internal evaluation. The two areas identified as next steps, strengthening individual planning and improving the centre's appraisal system, have been successfully addressed.

The Review Findings

Children at the centre have many opportunities to learn in a supportive environment. Their wellbeing is fostered. They are encouraged by skilled teachers to develop social competencies and other learning that will support their positive transition to school.

Teachers are committed to providing a bicultural curriculum, and several are enrolled in te reo Māori classes. Teachers often use te reo Māori when conversing with children, and ensure that children have access to texts and displays related to Māori culture.

Teachers acknowledge the diverse backgrounds of children and families that attend the centre. They provide significant support for children who speak languages other than English at home, and all children who need additional support in the areas of speech and language.

Teachers provide children with provocations that promote their thinking and creativity. The indoor environment is well resourced and thoughtfully organised. The environment and teacher interactions support children to develop literacy and mathematics skills and knowledge.

Teachers know the children and their families well. They maintain successful relationships with parents, and encourage them to contribute to the assessment and planning for their children. Teachers are increasingly planning for individual children's dispositions, interests and strengths. Assessment and planning processes are being evaluated as part of professional learning related to the revised Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Teachers often support children to increase the complexity of their play by asking open-ended questions and helping them access resources. Older children are encouraged to plan and sustain projects related to their interests. The centre's work in growing vegetables and recycling promotes children's understanding of environmental sustainability, and provides opportunities for children to contribute produce to their community.

The centre manager provides well-considered and effective leadership. She led a review of management systems that has resulted in greater cohesion between strategic planning, internal review, professional learning and performance appraisal.

Internal evaluation is used successfully to identify areas for improvement, and the centre's strategic planning guides ongoing improvement. The centre manager reports regularly on progress towards strategic goals.

The revised appraisal system has a focus on improving teaching practices, and is valued by teachers as a way of providing constructive feedback. It is being used successfully by teachers to inquire into their learning and teaching. Professional learning and development is relevant to the centre's improvement goals.

The centre manager has a focus on increasing the sustainability of the centre into the future. She is reviewing the governance structure with the intention of the committee becoming more responsible for the stewardship of the centre. Teachers are being provided with opportunities to develop their leadership to support centre operations. The manager plans to embed these initiatives and those related to planning and assessment into centre operations.

Key Next Steps

Centre staff agree that next steps include continuing to:

  • enhance planning and assessment for individual children, and making links to Te Whāriki 2017

  • explore ways to increase children's role in their learning

  • encourage parents to contribute to children's assessment and planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

27 June 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

Massey, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20152

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

61

Gender composition

Boys 31 Girls 30

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Korean
Filipino
Indian
other ethnicities

23
11
10
5
3
3
6

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:9

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

27 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2014

Education Review

June 2011

Education Review

May 2008

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.