Bairds Kindergarten - 15/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Bairds Kindergarten

How well placed is Bairds 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

Bairds kindergarten is a well established service in Otara. It is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework and support personnel to assist the kindergarten.

The kindergarten caters for up to 30 children over the age of two years who can attend sessions that align well with school hours. The kindergarten serves a mainly Māori and Pacific Island community, and this diversity is reflected in the teaching team. A long-serving head teacher is supported by two fully qualified teachers, two teacher aides and an administrator. This team, established during 2016, has a focus on improving teamwork.

Aspects of the kindergarten's philosophy that are evident in practice include learning partnerships with whānau, working as a cohesive team, shared values and ongoing teacher professional development.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 kindergarten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

A feature of the kindergarten has been the way that staff have developed innovative ways to encourage whānau participation. This has resulted in deeper whānau engagement with the programme. Whānau are beginning to take on leadership roles in kindergarten events and becoming advocates for their children as they transition to school.

Children are happy and engaged in their self-chosen activities. They are affirmed in their languages and cultural identity and are supported in their use of home languages. Children have opportunities to participate in a variety of externally provided performing arts and sport experiences.

The learning programme is based on children's interests and includes excursions into the local and wider community. Regular stories about children's learning experiences identify their dispositions for learning. Parents have many opportunities for contributing to the records of their children's learning. Teachers plan appropriate experiences to widen children's interests and evaluate parent participation with the programme. This process could be more useful if teachers planned learning programmes more purposefully to extend and deepen the dispositions that they identify.

The teaching team participates in a variety of professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities to support the ongoing improvement of their teaching and family support practices. PLD has resulted in a greater focus on increasing children's English vocabulary and skills for positive social relationships. A stronger focus on critical inquiry into the effectiveness of teaching practices could help teachers to continue improving learning outcomes for children.

Association systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision, linked to the AKA strategic goals. The AKA continues to review and refine its policies and procedures, including those for teacher appraisal and the endorsement of teachers' practising certificates.

New AKA roles have been established to provide more targeted support for head teachers and their leadership and management roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is aligned with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans, monitors quality and promotes ongoing improvement in kindergartens. AKA support and guidance is responsive to each kindergartens individual context.

Key Next Steps

The kindergarten team and AKA personnel agree that key next steps for ongoing kindergarten improvement are to:

  • implement a more useful internal evaluation process

  • review the effectiveness of the learning programme and increase the complexity of learning for individual children.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that teaching staff access external support to establish effective internal evaluation for ongoing improvement in teaching practices and learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

15 March 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

Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5030

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

30

Gender composition

Girls 19 Boys 11

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Cook Islands Māori
Niue

10
1
12
6
1

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

November 2016

Date of this report

15 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

April 2011

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 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.