Aramoho Kindergarten - 06/10/2015

1 Evaluation of Aramoho Kindergarten

How well placed is Aramoho 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

Aramoho Kindergarten is situated in Whanganui. It is one of 14 kindergartens administered by the Whanganui Kindergarten Association. The kindergarten operates under an all day licence for up to 30 children over two years of age, six of whom identify as Māori. Teachers are qualified and registered.

The governing board is responsible for setting overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day running of the association is the role of the general manager, who is responsible to the board. Two senior teachers are employed to support the learning and development of teachers. Two cultural advisors were recently appointed to support teachers to realise potential and success for Māori and Pacific children.

Sustained progress has occurred since the July 2012 ERO review. Good foundations have assisted a programme of steady improvement. This has been well supported by focused professional learning and development.

This review was part of a cluster of seven kindergarten reviews in the Whanganui Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children confidently lead their learning. Teachers use practices that effectively develop their thinking and problem solving. ERO observed examples of sustained and cooperative play, and older children supporting those younger through tuakana teina. Teachers encourage children’s social competence.

Outdoor areas are spacious and well designed, providing opportunities for challenge, exploration, and discovery. Children are empowered to make changes to the environment as they follow their interests.

Literacy and numeracy experiences are naturally integrated into the programme. Children’s oral language development is enhanced through deliberate acts of teaching.

A trained teacher of music encourages children to express themselves through singing, movement and the performing arts.

The kindergarten’s philosophy focuses on a warm welcoming community, embracing the performing arts, physical development, virtues, and providing children with opportunities to develop their learning through knowledge, skills and attitude These focuses are evident in the inclusive and respectful practices that nurture relationships with children and their families.

The Priorities for Children’s Learning initiative was guided by the senior teacher’s response to a recent ERO National Evaluation Topic. This provides a useful framework to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation processes in each kindergarten.

Teachers have made significant progress in refining assessment processes. Children’s individual and group interests are celebrated on kindergarten walls and in profile books. Parents and children enjoy reading these and sharing learning.

Planning makes clear connections between individual interests and teaching strategies. Teachers are highly responsive to parents' and whānau aspirations through decision making about curriculum emphases. Teachers continue to focus on increasing the continuity of learning in assessment.

Whanaungatanga and manaakitanga are highly evident. Partnerships with parents are based on genuine attitudes of acceptance, respect and willingness to listen and change. Children benefit from flexible, unhurried and relaxed interactions. Teachers are gentle and nurturing. The kindergarten atmosphere is harmonious.

Children have many opportunities to learn about the Māori world. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are effectively woven through the programme. Teachers incorporate the skills and expertise that whānau Māori bring to the kindergarten. Leaders and teachers are committed to further developing the curriculum to promote success for Māori children.

Transitions into the kindergarten and on to school are well considered, flexible and responsive. Reciprocal and established links with local principals and new entrant teachers support children and families as they move on to school.

Collaborative teamwork is a feature of the kindergarten. Teachers are active advocates for all children and their families/whānau.

Leadership is collaborative and guided by a shared vision, based on trust, respect and honesty. The team of experienced teachers is highly cooperative, engaging in professional dialogue and debate. Each teacher plays an active role in the kindergarten’s development.

Appraisal effectively supports teachers’ ongoing professional learning and development. Priorities for children’s learning, the Practicing Teacher Criteria, professional standards and cultural competencies are well aligned within the process.

Teachers clearly understand the purpose of, and the process for, self review and follow a wellstructured framework. There is a strong focus on improving teaching to enhance children’s learning. Leaders and teachers have made good use of self review to evaluate the impact of teaching and programmes on children’s learning. Self review and evaluation guide improvement and sustain effective practice.

Leaders and teachers have identified the importance of further embedding the use of the self review framework to continue to strengthen high quality teaching to promote outcomes for all children.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, general manger, head teacher, teachers and ERO agree that the following are key next steps:

  • continuing to embed and consolidate self-review processes
  • refining aspects of assessment practice.

The senior management team of the Whanganui Kindergarten Association is continuing to build teachers’ capability to be more responsive to Māori and Pacific children’s culture, language and identity to enhance cultural practices. ERO affirms this direction.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

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

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

5237

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

34

Gender composition

Girls 14, Boys 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

6

26

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

N/A

 
 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

6 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2012

 

Education Review

May 2008

 

Education Review

September 2003

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.