Birdwood Kindergarten - 27/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Birdwood Kindergarten

How well placed is Birdwood 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

Birdwood Kindergarten provides early childhood education for up to 38 children from two to five years of age. The kindergarten operates a mixed-age environment for these children. Families can enrol children for morning or afternoon sessions, or for six-hour days. Most children are of Māori or Pacific heritage.

The kindergarten has had recent staff changes. A newly appointed acting head teacher and two long serving teachers are developing as a new team. They are supported by two teaching assistants and an administrator. Consultation with the community is currently underway to investigate changes to the kindergarten's hours of operation. Parents who spoke to ERO appreciate being involved in consultation regarding proposed changes.

The kindergarten philosophy values children's holistic development. It is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and promotes and extends the learning of individuals and groups. The philosophy emphasises the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the values of respect, open communication, support and empathy.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters.

Many of the positive practices that were identified in the 2014 ERO report have been maintained.

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

The Review Findings

Children choose from a wide variety of easily accessible resources and have opportunities to explore and build friendships. Children learn about literacy, maths and science in the context of their play. They share cultural celebrations with their peers and have many opportunities to include their parents and families in their learning.

The kindergarten's strategic goals guide improvements to help Māori children to experience success. Teachers are beginning to use Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners, to support their ongoing professional development in this area. They should ensure that assessments of children's learning reference parents' aspirations for their tamariki. Teachers are continuing to encourage parents' engagement in children's learning. They use parent and whānau feedback to improve the programme and the bicultural curriculum. The learning environment increasingly reflects te ao Māori and Pacific artefacts that are representative of the families' cultures.

Teachers are continuing to strengthen their practice and support children to be responsible for their own learning. Teachers encourage children's independence and collaboration. They have used external support to help them extend learning for children with additional needs. The next step for teachers is to develop strategies to extend children's oral language and create opportunities for children to problem solve.

Teachers are continuing to improve the quality of programme planning, assessment and evaluation. They plan for group activities and should consider planning to extend individual children's learning. Learning stories could also be strengthened by showing children's learning progress over time.

Teachers have accessed AKA professional development to further develop their understanding of how internal evaluation helps guide improvements to outcomes for children and ongoing changes to teaching practice. The next step for teachers is to identify measurable outcomes for children based on children’s interests and to evaluate the quality or impact of the initiatives.

The AKA is supporting the teaching team to transition through a time of change. Internal processes to develop distributed leadership and enhance team consultation should contribute to shared ownership of the strategic and action plans.

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.

Key Next Steps

The AKA education specialist and teachers agree that teachers should strengthen internal evaluation to:

  • improve the quality of teaching practice, programme planning, assessment and evaluation
  • develop a shared team vision, collective capacity and distributed leadership.

The AKA has useful processes for supporting teachers' ongoing professional development. This process could be strengthened by ensuring that teachers' individual goals are measureable and based on the evaluation of teaching practices and their impact children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

27 October 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

Ranui, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5565

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

52 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Girls 18 Boys 20

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Tuvaluan
Samoan
Tongan
other ethnicities

14
4
7
4
2
7

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

August 2017

Date of this report

27 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 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.