Alfriston Road Kindergarten - 13/07/2016

1 Evaluation of Alfriston Road Kindergarten

How well placed is Alfriston Road 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

Alfriston Road Kindergarten is a well-established service that is licensed for 40 children over two years old. The kindergarten offers both three and six hour sessions in order to meet the needs of the community. It is part of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. A professional practice manager (PPM) visits and provides leadership and curriculum support for teachers.

There have been changes in the teaching team since 2013. The teachers, who are all fully registered, work collaboratively to serve the multicultural community. They celebrate diversity, welcoming several children with special needs and others for whom English is a second language.

In 2013 ERO identified several positive features of the service including the quality of relationships, teachers’ use of te reo Māori and strategies to develop children as confident learners. ERO recommended that teachers further develop practices for programme planning, providing learning challenges and for supporting children who were still learning to speak English. The new team is making good progress in these areas.

This review was part of a cluster of four kindergarten reviews in the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are enthusiastic learners who show a sense of belonging in this kindergarten. They enjoy positive and respectful relationships with teachers and engage well in conversations with adults and their peers. Children play cooperatively in small groups and some sustain independent play for prolonged periods. The growing number of two-year olds are well settled and benefit from tuakana/teina relationships with older children. While children mix well teachers plan to review practices to ensure the programme is catering appropriately for all children.

Teachers encourage learning effectively. They engage children with meaningful conversations and questions that help to extend their ideas. Teachers expect children to care for each other and work together to solve problems. Teachers support children with special needs very well and have several strategies to help with children’s language acquisition. They continue to build on their bicultural practices and endeavour to respond to the language and cultural interests of children with diverse ethnic backgrounds. As a new team they are excited about opportunities to invigorate the environment and explore ways that they can extend children's learning.

Teachers use children's strengths and interests to identify learning topics. Their focus on individuals is helping teachers to know children well and recognise ways to support them better. Teachers are also beginning to assess learning more deeply and reflect on children's learning dispositions. They could now consider ways to more deliberately integrate early skills and knowledge into the programme in areas such as literacy, numeracy and science. Teachers have shared extensive professional development that is contributing to improvements in programme management.

Parents and whānau are becoming increasingly involved in their children's learning. Teachers actively foster partnerships with parents and families. Parents make good use of an interactive digital portal that enables them to read and comment on their child’s learning stories. Good use of diverse communication strategies has encouraged parents to provide more feedback for teachers. Parents and whānau who spoke to ERO are enthusiastic about the kindergarten as a rich learning environment. They also value the support teachers provide in relation to special needs and their child’s cultural identity.

The kindergarten is well managed. The systems and personnel in place for supporting centre operations, ongoing review and Association monitoring contribute to efficient management of the service. Teachers have become a reflective team who value the different skills and knowledge they bring to their work. They are developing effective internal evaluation processes that include meaningful consultation with families. A new format for the kindergarten’s annual plan is enabling teachers to show more clearly how goals and tasks are being addressed.

The Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association continues to support the kindergartens well. Leaders establish overarching long term goals that enable teachers to align their centre development with the strategic direction of the Association. They are responsive to changing community needs and have prepared teachers well to face the challenges of increased competition, the intake of two year olds and providing variable session hours. Leaders continue to adapt personnel systems to meet legislative changes, including a revised appraisal process to help teachers meet certification expectations.

Key Next Steps

The teachers and the PPM agree that the key next steps for the kindergarten’s development should include:

  • ongoing development of planning, assessment and evaluation to increase awareness of children's learning strengths, and using these to extend learning challenges
  • continuing the development of internal evaluation to ensure that notable changes and their impact on children's learning is documented effectively
  • developing a measurable plan to support ongoing improvement in bicultural practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 July 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

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5115

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

54

Gender composition

Boys 33 Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Chinese

Indian

Tongan

South East Asian

Cook Island Māori

others

15

8

9

6

5

4

3

2

2

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

13 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

November 2009

Education Review

February 2007

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.