Stanmore Bay Kindergarten - 05/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Stanmore Bay Kindergarten

How well placed is Stanmore Bay 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

Stanmore Bay Kindergarten on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula provides high quality education and care for up to 40 children over two years of age. The kindergarten operates as a ‘kindergarten day model’ which enables children to attend sessions similar to school hours. The kindergarten is staffed by four teachers and an administrator. All teaching staff are qualified and experienced.

The kindergarten is part of the North Auckland Kindergarten Association Manatōpū Kura Pūhou o Te Tai Tokerau (NAKA) and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. NAKA is governed by a motivated, well informed board with a clear strategic direction and a focus on continuous improvement. The Association continues to provide highly effective governance and management.

ERO’s 2011 report commented on teachers’ skilful support for children’s play and the very good quality of the educational programme. Positive relationships with the adjacent school have continued to be fostered, as has the high level of parent and community involvement in the kindergarten. Since the 2011 ERO report, there have been extensive renovations to the inside of the kindergarten and major improvements in the outside areas. These include a climbing wall fitted with approved safety equipment. There are further plans in place to enhance the outdoor area. The Explorers Club in which children explore the local beach and bush is a special feature of the kindergarten programme.

This review was part of a cluster of four reviews in the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Highly effective and inclusive teaching practices affirm and build on the strengths children bring. Teachers provide a careful balance of challenge and support in meaningful learning experiences. Respectful and responsive relationships foster children’s strong sense of belonging and teachers partnerships with parents/whānau. Teachers value children’s mana and the background that they bring with them. Te reo and tikanga Māori and promoting the image of Māori children as strong successful learners are embedded in the culture of the kindergarten. Teachers’ sensitive and skilful interactions extend children’s ideas, language and interests in play and discussion. Teachers promote positive educational outcomes for all children very effectively.

Kindergarten practices reflect teachers’ strong and shared commitment to a philosophy based on the ‘pedagogy of listening and relationships’. They implement a high quality curriculum based on Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, that is strongly responsive to children and that prioritises Māori language, culture and values.

Rich programme documentation shows how children’s interests, strengths and parent aspirations guide the programme. Children’s portfolios are highly valued, include children’s input and are often added to by families. They clearly show children’s learning journey and their cultural background.

Children learn in an attractive and stimulating learning environment that promotes child initiated learning. It is welcoming and inviting to adults and children. Well resourced play areas support children’s engagement in play for sustained periods of time. Wall displays reflect teachers’ respect for te ao Māori and children’s family backgrounds. Teachers and children share a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. This is evident in the enjoyment and care children show as they explore the centre’s naturally landscaped outdoor area and when participating in trips within the local community.

Children are self-directed, enthusiastic learners who engage in complex sustained play. They have fun and their natural curiosity is encouraged, as is their ability to plan, negotiate and problem solve. They are confident communicators and use literacy, science and information communication technologies (ICT) as part of their play. Opportunities for early mathematics learning are highly evident in children’s play, programme documents and teacher practice.

Teachers are reflective, innovative, and work collaboratively. They benefit from the head teacher’s strong professional leadership. There is a culture of continuous improvement that is supported by research and professional development.

Self review is robust and focused on bringing about continuous improvement in educational outcomes for all children. There is a shared vision and clear direction for the future that is aligned with the Association’s strategic plan and which includes deepening bicultural practices. Children’s transitions into the kindergarten and on to school are well supported and responsive to individual children and whānau needs.

There is a strong sense of mutual respect and trust between the Association and its kindergartens. The Association is very well informed about each kindergarten’s curriculum and how it reflects the local community context. Decisions about staff appointments are strategically made. Teaching services managers (TSMs) visit kindergartens regularly and provide professional advice and support. They encourage teachers to be innovative, engage in professional learning, and share knowledge within and outside the Association.

The Association has a strong commitment to bicultural practice and to embracing diversity. Teachers contribute to the Association’s systematic policy review cycle. The teacher appraisal process is currently under review. The Association has high expectations that all kindergartens will use evidence based teaching practices, will undertake effective self review, and will promote positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The teachers and the TSM have identified that appropriate priorities for ongoing development could include continuing to:

  • use critical reflection and evaluation to refine and enhance teaching practices
  • explore ways to enhance the use of information communication technologies with children and families.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Stanmore Bay 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 Stanmore Bay Kindergarten will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer-Northern Northern Region

5 February 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Stanmore Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5027

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

40

Gender composition

Boys 22,

Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori NZ European/Pākehā other

12 26 2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

NA

 
 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

5 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

September 2011

 

Education Review

July 2008

 

Education Review

June 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.