Aramoho Kindergarten - 29/04/2019

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

Aramoho Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Aramoho Kindergarten is in Whanganui. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30am until 2:30pm. Full day places are available for children aged from two to six years. At the time of this ERO evaluation, 30 children were enrolled, with seven identifying as Māori.

The philosophy statement emphasises children's independence, exploration and creativity.

The October 2015 ERO report identified that self review and assessment, planning and evaluation for children's learning required improvement. These remain areas for further development.

Aramoho Kindergarten is one of 15 kindergartens governed and managed by the Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the 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.

Since April 2018, the association's programme of professional learning and development and curriculum implementation has been managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated. An association senior teacher and two senior teachers from Whānau Manaaki provide regular support for teachers.

This review was part of a cluster of 15 in the Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated.

The Review Findings

Children lead their own learning in an environment well organised to support their exploration. They participate enthusiastically in a range of learning experiences. Children are engaged, curious, confident and independent.

Children and whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten. Parents know they have a place here. They stay and socialise with one another and join in the children's play. A sense of friendship and community is apparent.

Aspects of a bicultural curriculum are evident. Children learn about te ao Māori through some activities, experiences and routines. Leaders recognise that teachers' bicultural practice requires strengthening. In addition, supporting teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of promoting educational success for Māori children is an important next step.

Assessment and planning for children's learning requires strengthening. This was an area for development in the previous ERO report. Leaders are taking steps to improve teachers' capability and a new approach to group planning is in the early stages. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction. Teachers should continue to focus on:

  • how well teachers recognise and support individual children's learning

  • the extent to which assessment practices are responsive to children's language, culture and identity and parents' aspirations

  • promoting consistency of practice across the teaching team

  • how teachers will document and evaluate their planning for children's learning.

Self review is undertaken and has led to some positive changes in the kindergarten. A next step is for teachers to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of internal evaluation. This will assist in more consistently identifying how well teaching and kindergarten practices are promoting children's learning and well-being.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported. Teachers work closely with whānau and external agencies to support children's individual learning pathways.

The governing board is future-focused and has taken appropriate steps to strengthen opportunities for teachers’ professional learning and development. An association-wide appraisal process is in place to support teacher practice in promoting positive learning outcomes for children. Consistency of its implementation across all kindergartens requires strengthening.

Key Next Steps

Association leaders and ERO agree that for ongoing and sustained improvement, staff at Aramoho Kindergarten should strengthen:

  • teachers' understanding and use of internal evaluation focused on outcomes for children

  • assessment, planning and evaluation processes

  • the bicultural curriculum

  • teachers' knowledge and understanding of promoting educational success for Māori children.

The senior management team of Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated should continue to strengthen the implementation of teacher appraisal.

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.

In order to improve practice teachers should:

  • strengthen record keeping in relation to children's accidents, administration of medication to children and excursions away from the kindergarten

  • ensure that at least one of the toilets for use by children is designed to provide them with some sense of privacy.

Since the on-site stage of the review, association leaders have provided ERO with steps taken to address these areas.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

29 April 2019

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

30

Gender composition

Girls 19, Boys 11

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

7
21
2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February

Date of this report

29 April 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2015

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

May 2008

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.