Blockhouse Bay Kindergarten - 18/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Blockhouse Bay Kindergarten

How well placed is Blockhouse Bay 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

Blockhouse Bay Kindergarten is located in West Auckland, and provides education and care for up to 40 children over two years of age. The centre offers the Kindergarten Day Model (KDM) where children attend sessions that match school hours, but also allows some children to attend for mornings only. The Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA) is the umbrella organisation and provides effective management and governance. A professional services manager (PSM) provides management and curriculum support for teachers.

The kindergarten philosophy places a high value on environmental sustainability, and on children being independent, learning through play and developing valuable life skills. Teachers have a strong commitment to bicultural practices and value the cultural diversity of the community. Parents and whānau are appreciative and supportive of the kindergarten.

Since the 2011 ERO review of the kindergarten there have been changes to the teaching team. The kindergarten has three full-time teachers and one part-time teacher. They are supported by a teaching assistant, an administrator and a parent committee.

The 2011 ERO report noted that relationships, inclusive practices and support for children were strengths of the centre. These areas of good practice have been sustained. Since the 2011 review teachers have focused on improving planning practices and documentation, and have participated in professional development to improve centre self review.

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

The Review Findings

Children are confident capable learners. They learn in a vibrant, very well resourced and stimulating environment that reflects their cultures and interests. Teachers’ inclusive and welcoming practices foster children’s sense of belonging and actively promote child-led learning.

Teachers’ sensitive and supportive interactions underpin children’s high levels of engagement in the programme. They are culturally responsive and build on the strengths children bring. They listen carefully to children, support sustained conversations, and encourage children to problem solve.

Teachers build on children’s knowledge of Te Ao Māori, and naturally integrate te reo and tikanga Māori into the daily programme. Pacific children’s cultural identity is affirmed and all children's cultures are celebrated. Teachers actively encourage parent and whānau partnership in children’s learning and development.

Children have fun as they make discoveries and learn. They have numerous opportunities to use literacy, mathematics, science and information communication technologies in meaningful ways. Children play cooperatively, show care for others and have leadership opportunities. Teachers foster children’s communication skills and problem solving abilities.

The kindergarten’s focus on environmental sustainability is evident in both the indoor and outdoor areas. The large, naturally landscaped outside area emphasises Māori culture and mythology. It also provides opportunities for physical challenge, exploration and investigation. Children engage in complex play and their creativity is promoted through an extensive variety of art, dance, and music activities.

Respectful and responsive relationships, a sound knowledge of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and inclusive practices underpin the centre’s child-led curriculum. Teachers have well established planning systems to guide programme implementation. Colourful displays show children’s involvement in centre projects. Children’s portfolios are highly valued and show the development of children’s interests and strengths. Parents and whānau are well informed about their child’s progress and their ideas are valued. Children’s transition into the centre and to school is well supported.

Teachers are reflective practitioners and seek ongoing improvement in their practice and outcomes for children. They work as a collaborative, cohesive teaching team. Kindergarten operations are guided by a clear strategic plan and a strong philosophy. There are sound systems for self review and evaluation.

The Auckland Kindergarten Association continues to promote positive strategies which include professional learning and development that strengthens teachers’ skills, knowledge and practice. Distributed leadership and sharing of expertise among kindergarten teaching teams are also promoted, and the sharing of knowledge and expertise within the association is encouraged. Association leaders are currently reviewing the appraisal process and continue to explore appropriate ways to support teachers to deliver high quality outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The teachers, the PSM and ERO agree that key next steps for the kindergarten could include continuing work to:

  • strengthen their understanding of biculturalism and Te Ao Māori
  • explore ways to enrich and extend children’s thinking
  • enhance self review through teaching as inquiry.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

18 March 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Blockhouse Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5035

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

53

Gender composition

Boys 28

Girls 25

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Afghan

Tongan

Chinese

Samoan

other

9

18

8

3

3

2

2

8

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

December 2014

Date of this report

18 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2011

 

Education Review

October 2008

 

Education Review

December 2005

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.