Aorere Kindergarten - 02/06/2017

1 Evaluation of Aorere Kindergarten

How well placed is Aorere 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

Aorere Kindergarten provides six-hour sessions each day for up to 40 children between the ages of two and five years of age. Children come from a range of backgrounds including Pacific, Māori, and small groups of Asian and Pākehā families. The roll includes high numbers of children with additional learning needs.

Aorere Kindergarten's philosophy is based on the concept of ako. Children learn through play. Teachers learn from children, and teachers' practices are informed by the latest research. They view children as capable of making decisions and recognising that their actions have consequences.

The 2014 ERO report identified positive relationships, skilful leadership and effective support for learning in a child-led curriculum. It noted that teachers could increase their focus on bicultural approaches, strengthen self review and develop systems for ensuring that good practice is sustained. With the support of association staff, teachers have responded positively to these next steps.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework and support personnel, in a range of different roles.

This review was part of a cluster of nine kindergarten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children have settled relationships with teachers. They freely explore the learning environment, play collaboratively and solve problems together. Children are supported to become socially competent and add depth to their own learning through exploration. Teachers help children to adapt quickly to the kindergarten's learning environment, values and expectations. This results in children becoming confident, independent and connected learners early in their time at kindergarten.

The concepts of whanaungatanga and manaakitanga are embedded in practice. Positive, respectful relationships throughout the kindergarten community result in purposeful learning partnerships between children, whānau and staff. Teachers are deliberate in their encouragement of partnerships with parents and extended whānau. They engage whānau in discussions about early childhood theories for learning and in conversations about the relevance of teaching practices. Whānau are encouraged to participate fully in the programme and quickly gain a sense of belonging in the kindergarten.

The kindergarten has meaningful strategies in place to involve Māori parents in the programme. Teachers have been learning about the local iwi and whenua. They plan to continue deepening their knowledge about Māori language culture, beliefs and customs. The learning environment is culturally affirming and is a peaceful place for children to explore and grow. Teachers support the use of children's home languages and affirm their cultural identity.

The curriculum is responsive to children's strengths and interests and incorporates opportunities for literacy, maths and science learning as children play. Learning story assessments are individualised and readily available so children can revisit their learning. There are opportunities for parents to be involved in planning for their children's learning and as they transition to school.

Children with additional learning needs are welcomed and are well supported. Some children require support with using the English language as the main language for communication. Others are helped to develop social skills so that they can integrate positively with others. The AKA and teachers are committed to providing early specialist intervention for children requiring additional support. Teachers are learning more about children's individual learning needs and how they can provide more effective support.

The head teacher is a respected leader and team member. She promotes high levels of trust and confidence amongst teaching colleagues and provides them with opportunities to develop their leadership skills. Teachers are reflective researchers and lead self review projects that result in positive learning outcomes for children. They work well together and are keen to learn from each other's differences and strengths.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision, linked to the AKA’s strategic goals. A quality improvement process (QIP) also aligns with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans.  It enables the AKA and teachers to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure. It has begun a process of internal evaluation to establish how effectively the four pillars of its strategic plan are resulting in more positive outcomes for children, their families, and the organisation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Aorere 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 Aorere Kindergarten will be in four years.

Steffan Brough

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

2 June 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

Papatoetoe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5622

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

55

Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Fiji Indian

Samoan

Cook Islands Māori

Cambodian

Niue

Tongan

other

10

2

13

13

5

4

3

3

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

February 2017

Date of this report

2 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

December 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.