Anne West Kindergarten - 05/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Anne West Kindergarten

How well placed is Anne West 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

Anne West Kindergarten is licensed for up to 30 children between two and five years of age. It provides sessions for children that are similar to school hours. The kindergarten’s philosophy is founded on respect for Te Tiriti o Waitangi and values te reo me ōna tikanga Māori. Most of the children enrolled in the kindergarten have Māori heritage and many whakapapa to the five iwi of Muriwhenua.

The kindergarten is one of three in the Far North governed by the Kaitaia and District Kindergarten Association. A manager oversees kindergarten operations and reports regularly to a board that is responsible for the strategic direction of the association. A senior teacher was appointed in 2015 to support professional learning and the ongoing improvement of teaching practices. An experienced head teacher leads a team that includes qualified teachers and a part-time administrator.

Positive features identified in ERO’s 2009 and 2013 reports have been sustained. These include warm, respectful relationships and a programme that is responsive to children's interests and celebrates meaningful bicultural experiences. Teachers have considered how to increase complex child-directed learning. The outdoor environment has been enhanced by a natural 'Fallen Forest' that provides children with good opportunities for physical play and challenge.

This review was part of a cluster of three kindergarten reviews in the Kaitaia and District Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten's philosophy is highly evident in practice. Whanaungatanga and manaakitanga provide a strong foundation for children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging. Children are becoming more knowledgeable about Māori protocol, including karakia and waiata. A pepeha expresses the story of the kindergarten's place in the local area. Te reo me ōna tikanga Māori is an authentic part of the kindergarten’s programme. Tamariki Māori have many opportunities to see and hear their language and culture being valued and respected.

Children's engagement in the programme is supported by a calm and inclusive tone. They develop friendships and capably manage their relationships with teachers and other children. Children learn to negotiate and ask questions and this helps them to direct their own learning. They have rich conversations and share their ideas with others. Flexible routines promote uninterrupted and collaborative learning.

Teachers warmly welcome children and their whānau. They value children's knowledge, listen carefully and provide resources to support children's exploration and learning. Teachers' skilful, intentional conversations with children contribute to the development of their oral language. Teaching practices empower children to investigate and inquire. A focus on environmentally sustainable approaches and providing opportunities for children to assess and manage risk underpin the programme. Teachers are highly effective in supporting children to grow as confident and independent learners.

The programme is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and reflects the concept of ako. Children and teachers share information and ideas, learn alongside each other and work together to determine the curriculum. Teachers value the information that whānau share about children's home and community experiences.

There are high quality and extensive systems for assessing, planning for, and evaluating children’s learning. Children's progress over time is analysed well and celebrated in attractively presented kupenga (individual learning records) that parents can access online. A mihi haerenga (leaving story) provides very useful information about children's interests and strengths as they transition to school.

The head teacher promotes high expectations and there is a culture of professionalism in all aspects of kindergarten operations. Regular professional learning and development helps teachers to extend their skills and knowledge. The appraisal system is well used by teachers to help them reflect on progress towards their individual goals. A clear vision for future improvement is supported by long-term and annual goals and well documented internal evaluation. Teachers value the support provided by the senior teacher to improve programmes and practices.

Management policies and processes are well established. The association’s strategic plan focuses on making decisions to improve learning outcomes for children, which include investing in upgrading property and environments. The board is using the New Zealand School Trustees Association's tool, Hautū: Māori Cultural Responsiveness Self Review tool for Boards of Trustees to review how well the association is meeting its commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Key Next Steps

To build on existing high quality practices teachers agree they could:

  • refine programme documentation to focus on the aspects that are most meaningful for and valued by whānau
  • improve the evaluation of programme and strategic goals to clearly identify positive outcomes for children.

The board and manager agree to:

  • improve the policy and procedures for managing staff competency and performance
  • develop and implement an action plan to progress the association’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • evaluate progress towards meeting the association's strategic goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Anne West 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance. The board and manager should ensure the practices and procedures for police vetting meet the requirements of the Vulnerable Children's Act.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, GMA7A.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

5 December 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

Kaitaia

Ministry of Education profile number

5001

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Girls 20

Boys 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

other

26

8

4

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

October 2016

Date of this report

5 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

February 2010

Education Review

October 2006

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.