Anne West Kindergarten - 25/02/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Anne West Kindergarten teachers are well placed to promote positive outcomes for children. The new teaching team is in a good position to sustain, refine and build on current good practices.

Context

Anne West is one of three kindergartens in the far north governed by the board of the Kaitaia and Districts Kindergarten Association. A manager oversees kindergarten operations, including financial management and employment matters, and reports regularly to the board. Professional Practice Managers (PPMs) from the Northland Kindergarten Association are contracted to support teachers’ professional learning and development and to promote high quality programmes for children.

The kindergarten has a rich history and well established connections with its community. It provides six-hour days for children, who are over the age of three when they enrol. More than half the children enrolled are Māori and most have whakapapa links with northern iwi. Teachers place a high priority on bicultural practice and on developing strong relationships with children and their whānau. Their growing knowledge about tikanga and kaupapa Māori informs many centre practices. Teachers have a strong commitment to providing well for children with diverse learning needs.

Since ERO’s 2009 review, the kindergarten has had several staff changes and long periods of temporary or relieving teachers. A permanent teaching team has now been established and an experienced teacher has been appointed to the head teacher role. The three qualified teachers are supported by a part-time administrator.

Improvements since ERO’s 2009 report have included provision of better access to a new covered deck area and, recently, a new ramp and entry. Further building renovations that will include a whānau room and increased staff workspace are expected to be completed by February 2013. Teachers plan to extend the spacious outdoor area to develop an ‘edible forest’.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in three early childhood education services within the Kaitaia and Districts Kindergarten Association umbrella organisation.

The Review Findings

Teachers have established accepting, caring relationships with children and their families and a welcoming, inclusive environment where whānau are comfortable to spend time with their children. Whanaungatanga is a positive feature of the kindergarten. There are many opportunities for whānau to be involved in and contribute to the programme. Children’s individual kupenga (portfolios) provide whānau with good information about their children’s progress and their developing dispositions for learning.

Teachers’ very good knowledge about the children, their whānau, and the community, helps them to tailor programmes to suit the children. They engage children in conversations that promote the development of their thinking and oral language skills. Children have good opportunities to develop literacy and numeracy skills.

Children generally get along well together, play cooperatively and develop their own play ideas. They confidently take leadership roles and participate in small group discussions. Teachers are skilled listeners and actively promote children’s sense of themselves as capable, independent learners.

The good quality bicultural practices identified in ERO’s 2009 report have been sustained. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are a natural part of conversations, the environment and day-to-day kindergarten practices. Whānau often join children and teachers for group times. Māori children share their knowledge, and are supported to feel pride in their heritage. Teachers promote tuakana/teina relationships, manaakitanga and aroha. They have recently established connections with a kaumātua and kuia to help them deepen the bicultural nature of the programme, incorporate local knowledge about the land, and provide further support for whānau.

Teachers have a strong, underpinning philosophy based on the principles of Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum. They continually reflect on their work and consider ways to refine their practices. They have begun to establish processes for formal, documented self review. Through their visits and regular communications, PPMs promote professional reflection and self review. The manager and board of trustees receive regular reports and are well informed about kindergarten developments and challenges. They are committed to supporting teachers in their work with children and their whānau.

To support the development of more complex child-directed learning, teachers could consider how to better:

  • document children’s contributions to programme development, partnerships with whānau, and planned teaching responses and strategies
  • illustrate the value that they place on whānau contributions and on recognising each child’s identity and heritage
  • develop more in-depth evaluation of their teaching practice and resulting outcomes for children.

The manager of the Kaitaia and Districts Kindergarten Association has also identified the need to strengthen self review at their governance and management levels. Further steps to improve their support for kindergarten teachers could include:

  • reviewing the effectiveness and impact of the PPMs’ contract, and including review processes in future contracts
  • providing more targeted induction processes and strengthened support systems for head teachers.

To improve current reporting practices, the Association should ensure that information about the allocation and use of Ministry of Education equity funding is shared with the kindergarten community.

2 Legal Requirements

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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

25 February 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Kaitaia

Ministry of Education profile number

5001

Licence type

All Day Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2 years

Service roll

48

Gender composition

Boys 28 Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island Māori

Chinese

Samoan

other

23

15

3

2

2

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

No children under 2 years

 
 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2012

Date of this report

25 February 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

December 2009

October 2006

May 2004

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.