Wadestown Kindergarten - 28/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Wadestown Kindergarten

How well placed is Wadestown 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

Wadestown Kindergarten is located in Wellington. Since the December 2011 ERO report, daily six hour sessions have been introduced. The service is licensed for 30 children aged over two years. Of the 57 children enrolled, five are Māori. The parent-led committee works proactively to support developments and strong community involvement is a feature of this kindergarten.

The kindergarten philosophy reflects values that provide children with an environment promoting their sense of place, belonging and wellbeing and where they are encouraged to explore and challenge themselves.

Wadestown Kindergarten is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In 2012, the association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery, including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning.

The previous ERO report for Wadestown Kindergarten identified that teachers needed to strengthen the bicultural perspective, aspects of programme planning and understanding of evaluation to improve outcomes for children. Areas where the association could strengthen its support for teachers were also identified, and positive progress has occurred. The alignment of individual kindergartens’ annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been appropriately addressed.

All four teachers at the kindergarten are qualified and registered. Several staffing changes have occurred since the previous ERO report, including a new head teacher joining the team in late 2015.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Children are purposeful and active learners. They experience an inviting and stimulating programme that fosters emerging interests, and supports child-led inquiries and investigations. Children’s risk-taking within a safe environment is well supported. They make choices from the variety of learning opportunities.

Assessment practices focus on children making progress. Parent involvement in programmes for children is significant and valued. The introduction of on-line social networking further supports regular consultation with parents and encourages their contribution to decision-making processes.

Children are confident learners. Teachers support and encourage them to solve problems and explore through play. Early literacy and numeracy experiences are included meaningfully throughout the programmes. Children's learning and development are celebrated and shared between teachers and parents.

Learners with additional needs are welcomed and supported by helpful partnerships with parents.

Strong links are established with two community playgroups. This connection helps children to smoothly transition into the service as many attend these sessions prior to beginning kindergarten. Positive relationships have been developed with two local schools. Teachers support families with information and discussion to guide decision making about transition to school.

The environment reflects the dual heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Children experience te reo me ngā tikanga Māori practices incidentally within the programme. Teachers continue to extend their knowledge and understandings in giving significance to Māori learners’ culture, language and identity. ERO's evaluation affirms this approach for ongoing development.

The teaching team is collaborative and the new head teacher welcomes initiative. Each teacher plays an active role in the kindergarten’s development.

Teachers are developing a shared understanding about the purpose of, and process for, internal evaluation. They are in the early stages of using evaluation to strengthen current practice and meet the objectives in their strategic teaching and learning plan. Internal evaluation to guide improvement and sustain best practice should be strengthened by deepening the analysis of the information gathered.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback that outlines agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. She completes an annual internal evaluation that supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance.

The 2012 ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal process. Managers undertook an internal review of the appraisal system. The revised model is being implemented across the kindergartens. The process includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Wadestown Kindergarten to continue:

  • embedding assessment, planning and evaluation practices to guide future curriculum emphases and decision making

  • developing and using shared understandings of internal evaluation to enhance teaching and learning.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening of responsiveness to Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

28 June 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

Wadestown, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

5387

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Boys 31, Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Australian

Other ethnic groups

5

47

2

3

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

May 2016

Date of this report

28 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2011

Education Review

May 2008

Education Review

August 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.