Whangaparaoa Kindergarten - 17/04/2015

1. Evaluation of Whangaparaoa Kindergarten

How well placed is Whangaparaoa 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

Whangaparaoa Kindergarten is located on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula north of Auckland. The kindergarten is licensed for 40 children over two years of age. Most sessions include a mix of ages, and increasingly younger children are enrolling in the service. The teachers welcome and effectively support children from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.

The kindergarten operates under the guidance of the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association (NAKA). The Association continues to provide the kindergarten with a framework of policies and procedures. A teaching services manager (TSM) regularly visits the kindergarten and offers the team useful professional advice and guidance.

The kindergarten has recently increased its operating hours. They now offer a seven hour day or shorter sessions Monday to Thursday, with Friday operating a half day in the morning.

The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO. Since the 2012 ERO report, the teaching team has remained stable and effective bicultural practice has continued. The kindergarten has recently joined the Enviroschools project, developing a focus on sustainability and the environment.

The Review Findings

Children are well supported to develop their social and emotional competence. They enjoy a spacious and well resourced environment that offers a wide range of learning activities. At the time of the review, settling routines were a priority with the number of younger children and new children joining the kindergarten.

Teachers are experienced and friendly. They respect children’s contributions and extend conversations to help children develop their thinking skills. Teachers also encourage children’s self management at meal times and provide effective care to help support children’s wellbeing.

Whānau have good opportunities to contribute to kindergarten operations. They also have many opportunities to contribute to the programme and participate alongside their children, supporting their learning. Teachers develop effective relationships with families, promoting whanaungatanga and a strong sense of belonging.

Māori children benefit from a programme and environment that clearly affirm their language and culture. Te reo Māori is well modelled by an experienced teacher who provides very good leadership to other teachers. Māori children have meaningful experiences leading powhiri-whakatau and are developing confidence in their identity and heritage. Other children also benefit from bicultural education that includes a Māori perspective.

Teachers know the individual identities of Pacific children. They consult with families well and know their aspirations. Increasing opportunities for children to explore the different Pacific cultures and languages as part of New Zealand’s place in the Pacific could enhance positive outcomes.

Children with additional learning requirements are well supported. The environment is accessible and adapted to meet their learning preferences. Individual planning and a thoughtful approach helps teachers to find ways that enhance children’s independence and learn new skills.

The programme offers good opportunities for children to make decisions and choices. With the change in age group, teachers could review current routines to minimise interruptions to children’s learning. Children could also benefit from a review of the purpose and use of group times and the afternoon structure with a view to maximise and extend their play.

Children’s literacy and numeracy are well promoted and documented in portfolios. Children’s portfolios are attractive and are valued by parents. They are useful records of individual children’s learning. An online tool is being introduced to help increase parent input. Teachers could also consider how well portfolios show children’s progress over time, and support children to evaluate their own contributions.

Teachers have complementary skills and are well established as a team. They have very good professional development opportunities, including those provided by NAKA. As the new teacher appraisal system is implemented, the team would benefit from using indicators of high quality practice to evaluate their own performance.

The head teacher continues to provide effective leadership. The kindergarten is well managed and an annual plan guides key management events and responsibilities. A clear NAKA vision and specific centre strategic plan provides longer-term direction. Self review is developing and outcomes are leading to improvement.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders have identified appropriate priorities. To continue kindergarten improvement and promote positive outcomes for children, teachers could also:

  • update the philosophy to reflect the kindergarten’s bicultural values and commitment
  • develop a system to monitor progress towards achieving the kindergarten’s strategic goals which are focussed on specific positive outcomes for children
  • seek professional development to enhance the programme catering for younger groups of children and individuals on the periphery of play
  • continue to promote challenge and complexity for older children and maximise learning time in the afternoon.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Whangaparaoa 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.

To improve current practice, the service should:

  • clearly identify the kindergarten’s privacy officer and regularly review privacy practices to ensure they align with centre policies and procedures
  • minimise risks for children and staff in the nappy changing area.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Whangaparaoa Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 April 2015

2. Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5538

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

67

Gender composition

Boys 35

Girls 32

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Cook Island

other

7

50

3

2

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

February 2015

Date of this report

17 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

February 2012

 

Education Review

June 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.