Taiaotea Kindergarten - 05/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Taiaotea Kindergarten

How well placed is Taiaotea 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

Taioatea Kindergarten, on Auckland’s North Shore, provides high quality education and care for up to 40 children over two years old to school 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 Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association Manatōpū Kura o Te Tai Tokerau (NAKA) and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. NAKA is governed by a well informed board with a clear strategic direction and a focus on continuous improvement. The Association continues to provide highly effective governance and management.

Taiaotea Kindergarten’s vision of ‘a place where everyone learns and grows’ is reflected in the culture of the kindergarten. Its whakatauki ‘Whakatepea te ko, kia kotahi – We are in this together’ is at the heart of the kindergarten practices and aligns well to teachers’ philosophy and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The kindergarten has responded very well to the 2011 ERO review. Teachers have strengthened their self review. A teaching and learning folder provides relevant information for parents and children to share and revisit. Team meetings have been restructured to better utilise professional conversations and decision making.

A noteworthy feature of the kindergarten is the importance that is placed on listening to children and allowing them uninterrupted time to work at their own pace.

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

The Review Findings

Children, parents and whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten. Teachers know their families well. The teaching and learning programme is inclusive of and responds well to children’s diverse cultures and learning needs. The kindergarten values the wider community and positive relationships have been established with other early childhood services and the local library.

Children are settled, confident and highly engaged in their learning. Their relationships with others are respectful and caring. Children respond well to the unhurried pace of the programme. They benefit from teachers’ carefully considered approach to programme planning. Children negotiate, are imaginative, and make independent choices from a wide range of resources.

Teachers are highly responsive and respectful. They are skilled at listening, supporting and challenging children to extend their understandings. Teachers successfully integrate literacy, numeracy and science learning experiences into the programme and provide children with many opportunities to develop in these areas. Teachers value parents’ aspirations for their children and have developed systems to include these into programme planning.

The learning environment challenges and extends children’s play. An appreciation of the arts as a mode of learning is reflected within the kindergarten. Teachers and children are building their skills and knowledge around Māori culture and language. Aspects of Te Ao Māori are integrated into the programme.

Programme planning and assessment are of a high quality. Teachers’ very good knowledge of children informs decisions about the programme. They have established good processes to support children’s transition to school. Productive working relationships have been established with local schools.

Kindergarten leadership is shared. The strengths of individual teachers are valued and utilised. There is a strong team culture where care for each other is important. A culture of ongoing improvement underpins the kindergarten’s operations. Teachers work effectively together and make good use of professional development. Self review is consultative, effective and informs all aspects of programme management and practices.

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 TSM have identified appropriate priorities for ongoing development, including continuing to strengthen:

  • bicultural practices across all areas of the kindergarten
  • partnerships with parents in the programme planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern Select Region

5 February 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Browns Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5025

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

59

Gender composition

Girls 31,

Boys 28

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Korean

British

Chinese

2

45

6

4

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

September 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.