Auckland Point Kindergarten - 13/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Auckland Point Kindergarten

How well placed is Auckland Point Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Auckland Point Kindergarten provides all-day education and care for up to 50 children, including 25 up to two years of age. It is located on the grounds of Auckland Point School which is a site of cultural and historical significance to iwi who whakapapa to this rōhe. Infants and toddlers of parents who attend the young parents' school are educated and cared for in an adjacent building that is part of the kindergarten. Three programmes are offered to support the developmental needs of children. At the time of this review, seven Māori and eight Pacific heritage children were enrolled.

The kindergarten identifies its aim as nurturing empowered tamariki who know they are skilled learners, socially competent, effective communicators and who are citizens of a bicultural Aotearoa. Since the June 2016 ERO review, the building has been extended and the playground has been refurbished. It also has reached silver level of the Enviroschools programme and participates in the Kāhui Ako ki Whakatū I Community of Learning.

The association employs qualified early childhood teachers, teacher aides and an administrator in each kindergarten. The head teacher who has the day-to-day responsibility of managing the kindergarten has been appointed since the previous review. There have also been staff changes over this time.

The kindergarten is governed and managed by the Nelson Tasman Kindergarten Association (the association). Since the 2016 ERO reviews, a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has been appointed. A team of senior education advisors (SEA) oversee and support the professional practice of the teaching team. The 2018 ERO reviews identified a number of key next steps for the board. These included improving their planning to support the achievement of the board’s strategic objectives and ensuring that reporting is evaluative and focuses on outcomes for children. Progress is ongoing.

ERO's June 2016 report identified key next steps for this kindergarten. These included assessment, planning and evaluation, and self review. Teachers' practice continues to be developed in these areas.

This review was one of four in the Nelson Tasman Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

A warm and welcoming atmosphere is promoted. Teachers understand the child in the context of the family. Relationships with children and whānau are respectful. A sense of belonging is strongly promoted. This contributes to children's wellbeing and gives them the confidence to try new experiences.

Children experience a child-initiated curriculum where teachers work alongside them. They use a wide range of intentional teaching strategies to support and extend children’s emerging interests. Their social and emotional competence is strongly promoted. Responsive caregiving supports the need of infants and toddlers for a safe and secure attachment.

Teachers are attuned to children’s verbal and non-verbal communication cues and respond with care and attention. The curriculum is calm and unhurried which creates opportunities for children to explore and lead their own learning. The programme reflects places of significance in the local community. Planned excursions to these places of value enriches the curriculum. The kindergarten's teaching and learning statement is strongly evident in practice.

Children’s home language is valued and celebrated. Leaders and teachers have identified a next step is to explore Tapasā - Cultural Competencies Framework for Teachers of Pacific Learners in greater detail to deepen their knowledge of engaging with Pacific learners.

Leaders and teachers are highly committed to implementing a kaupapa Māori based curriculum. Teachers skilfully weave te reo Māori into everyday conversations. Children are well supported to respond in te reo Māori or in their own language. Waiata Māori and kapahaka sessions further enrich the programme.

Science learning reflects a focus on the living world. Children regularly have opportunities to explore and learn about elements of nature, insects and animals. Extending this focus to include a kaupapa Māori world view in science learning is a next step.

There is a well-considered approach to effectively minimise potential barriers to children’s full participation in learning. Children with additional learning needs are identified and well supported to succeed in the kindergarten setting. Where appropriate, liaison with external agencies occurs.

Group planning provides a shared focus for the programme. Teachers thoughtfully develop learning experiences and teaching strategies to support the focus of the plan. Clearly identifying learning outcomes at the beginning of the process should assist teachers to specifically identify strategies to support learners. Teachers should then evaluate the effectiveness of the plan and learning for children.

Children’s portfolios provide rich narratives of children’s engagement in the programme, their developing friendships and celebrate their developmental milestones. A next step is for teachers to better show how they plan to deepen and add complexity to children’s learning. This should also assist teachers to identify how children’s learning has progressed over time.

Self review is regularly undertaken and leads to improved practice. A useful framework has been introduced to guide the process. Continuing to build teachers' knowledge of internal evaluation for improvement and reporting evaluatively should enable them to judge the effectiveness of changes made on improving outcomes for children.

Leadership is strong and demonstrates a commitment to teaching and learning that contributes to positive outcomes for all children.

The board is well informed about outcomes from association-wide strategic reviews and the progress being made to achieve strategic goals.

The board and association are taking deliberate action to support Māori and Pacific children and children with diverse learning needs. The association has developed strong relationships with community organisations to support children and their whānau.

Appraisal is supporting growth in teacher capability. The association should update the performance management policy and the appraisal procedure. In addition, the association should introduce the Teaching Council appraisal summary annual report as part of the endorsement process.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for teachers are to:

  • strengthen group planning and children's individual assessment
  • further their understanding of internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Auckland Point 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.

To improve practice the association should:

  • review with urgency policies that are not current

  • ensure that the head teacher is appraised annually.

Dr Lesley Patterson
Director Review and Improvement Services 
Te Tai Tini Southern Region
13 November 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

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

45557

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 25 aged under 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Female 30, Male 25

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

7
37
8
3

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

13 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

May 2013

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.