Andersons Bay Community Kindergarten - 22/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Andersons Bay Community Kindergarten

How well placed is Andersons Bay Community 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

Andersons Bay Community Kindergarten is a small, community-based centre. It provides education and care for 33 children over the age of two and up to five years of age. The vision for children is that they will `live their lives following their passions and seeking to make the world a better place'.

The kindergarten is governed by a parent committee. Day-to-day management is overseen by a head teacher. Leadership and staffing have been very stable over recent years.

Teachers and the management committee have effectively addressed the areas identified for improvement in the kindergarten's 2013 ERO report.

The management committee is currently investigating an alternative site for the kindergarten following the closure of the church that it leases premises from. It is working closely with its parent community and the Ministry of Education to carefully manage this transition.

The Review Findings

This service is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

Children experience a well-designed curriculum that is highly responsive to their interests, dispositions and developmental needs. Teachers know the children very well as learners and individuals.

They have a deep understanding of how children learn and develop and how best to support this. They use this knowledge skilfully to identify personalised goals for children and to plan engaging, authentic experiences to support children's learning.

The head teacher and teachers have focused on building shared understandings of effective assessment and planning practice. This is evident in the way learning stories:

  • clearly identify intended learning outcomes and the progress children are making

  • identify how teachers have purposefully supported the learning

  • respond to parents' aspirations and priorities

  • respond to children's cultural identities.

The head teacher and teachers work closely with parents, teacher aides and external specialists to provide appropriate care and education for children with additional needs.

Other strengths of the curriculum include:

  • meaningful integration of Māori language and culture

  • an appropriate focus on early numeracy and literacy learning

  • effective support for children's transitions into kindergarten and on to school.

The kindergarten's philosophy of learning about the environment and in the community is strongly evident in practice. This includes frequent planned outings to explore their environment and care for the local reserve. Visits are also designed to make connections with children's lives beyond the kindergarten.

Teachers very effectively support children to develop the skills and competencies identified as priorities in the kindergarten's philosophy.

They do this by:

  • encouraging the development of independence, choice and problem solving

  • role-modelling and promoting appropriate ways of interacting and being inclusive in play

  • extending children's critical thinking and oral language development.

Internal evaluation is very well used to inform changes and improvements across the kindergarten. Teachers collectively and individually evaluate their teaching practices and the impact they are having on children's learning. These teacher inquiries are structured, sustained and involve the collection and analysis of multiple sources of evidence.

The head teacher effectively oversees the smooth operation of the kindergarten. There is a culture of trust, collaboration and continual improvement. Teachers' strengths are recognised and well used to enhance curriculum planning and delivery and beginning teachers are well supported. The head teacher communicates frequently and effectively with the management committee and parent community.

The parent committee has a strong focus on ensuring the ongoing sustainability of the kindergarten and is actively involved in exploring options for a new site. It is well informed about kindergarten operations and teaching and learning. The committee regularly consults with parents and responds to their feedback.

Key Next Steps

To further strengthen existing high quality practices, the kindergarten needs to:

  • develop new plans (strategic and annual) which identify how the kindergarten's strategic priorities will be actioned over time

  • improve processes for the ongoing monitoring of progress against annual and strategic plans

  • simplify the kindergarten's policy framework to make the policy-review cycle more manageable

  • continue to develop processes for giving teachers rigorous feedback on their practice as part of appraisal processes.

The schedule for planned internal evaluation could provide more detail about what aspects of kindergarten operations are covered within each inquiry. This will help ensure all aspects are being covered in a regular cycle.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

22 March 2017

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

Dunedin

Ministry of Education profile number

83001

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

33 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

31

Gender composition

Girls: 18

Boys: 13

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

5

26

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

22 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

September 2013

Education Review

February 2011

Supplementary Review

May 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.