Central Kids Kindergartens - Jackson Park - 30/10/2015

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Jackson Park

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Jackson Park 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

Central Kids Kindergartens - Jackson Park is located in Springfield, Rotorua, adjacent to Otonga Road School. It provides education and care for 48 children from two years to school age. The roll reflects the increasing cultural diversity of the local community, and includes 12 children of Māori descent. The kindergarten offers school day sessions from Monday to Friday.

Central North Island Kindergarten Trust continues to provide effective strategic direction for the kindergarten in accordance with its vision, expected educational outcomes, and values. The trust also specifies strategies for respecting Te Tiriti o Waitangi and delivering the principles and strands of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki. The trust’s professional leaders monitor individual kindergarten compliance with policies, procedures, trust expectations and regulatory requirements. Teachers have generous professional development opportunities to grow their teaching and leadership skills.

Since January 2014, the teaching team has experienced many changes of personnel. Significant leadership changes in 2015 included the appointment of a new head teacher in January, and a change of professional leader a month later. The current teaching team of four fully qualified early childhood teachers is assisted by an administrator and a lunch-time support person.

The head teacher continues to benefit from high quality induction and mentoring programmes, and ongoing professional development and support organised by trust management. The teaching team has also received tailored professional development to support the development of a shared vision and philosophy.

The teaching team has made significant progress in addressing the areas for development identified in the August 2012 ERO report. These areas included self review, annual planning, philosophy development, and strengthening the inclusion of Māori perspectives. The team is currently participating in ongoing professional development to strengthen self review, assessment and bi-cultural practices.

This review was part of a cluster of seven kindergarten reviews in the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust.

The Review Findings

Children learn at their own pace in a calm and settled environment. They confidently initiate learning through play and maintain high levels of interest and engagement. Children play well with and alongside others, willingly share their knowledge, and support the learning of others. Older children often explore their theories about the world through complex cooperative play. Children demonstrate a love of books and the creative arts, including retelling and re-enacting stories.

Adult interactions with children are warm, respectful and affirming. Teachers skilfully foster development of self-management and social skills, emerging friendships, and a strong sense of belonging and inclusion. Effective strategies for developing and extending children’s oral language include modelling, listening to children, and responding to what they to say. Teachers also provide frequent opportunities for children to express their needs, ask questions, and talk about plans and ideas. They make good use of learning conversations to challenge children’s thinking.

The curriculum and learning environment are well-designed to support child-initiated learning and meaningful integration of literacy, mathematical and science concepts.

Children have independent access to a wide variety of high quality resources and equipment, and a spacious outdoor area that provides diverse challenges for children of different abilities. Aesthetic presentation of the learning environment reflects the increasing emphasis in the curriculum on te reo, tikanga and te ao Māori. Teachers set up equipment to inspire children to explore identified emerging interests in new and interesting ways. They also make effective use of large photographic displays to encourage children to revisit their learning.

Recent review and professional development has resulted in:

  • the introduction of a less structured programme with more opportunities for children to engage in sustained, child-initiated play

  • children using a wider variety of open-ended and natural materials and resources to develop more complex and creative play

  • teachers extending their knowledge of waiata and pakiwaitara (traditional stories) to develop their own and children’s understanding of te ao Māori

  • further enhancement of strategies for sharing parent and teacher knowledge about individual children, and using this information in learning stories to extend children’s learning.

Teachers place a strong emphasis on establishing positive, responsive and respectful relationships with parents and whānau. Parents and whānau highly value the support that key teachers provide for newly enrolled children and their families. They find teachers to be friendly, welcoming and very willing to discuss individual children’s learning, interests and progress. Teachers also keep families well informed about their children’s learning through written and on-line portfolios. A feature is the high level of parent/whānau participation in the daily programme, kindergarten events, and excursions.

Effective professional leadership has been integral to improved outcomes for children and families. Features of the collaborative leadership provided by trust management, the professional leader and head teacher include:

  • a planned and measured approach to team building and change management

  • evolution of a shared vision and direction through whole team professional development, and involvement in decision making

  • fostering leadership skills and understanding of self review

  • development and introduction of a robust, personalised and meaningful appraisal system.

Key Next Steps

The professional leader and teaching team have identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps for the team are to:

  • document and embed a shared teaching and learning philosophy based on best teaching practice

  • strengthen assessment practices to better support the languages, cultures and identities of Māori and other children

  • build relationships with local iwi to enhance children’s learning

  • better reflect the diversity of children’s languages and cultures in the programme and learning environment.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergartens - Jackson Park 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 Central Kids Kindergartens - Jackson Park will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

30 October 2015

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

Rotorua

Ministry of Education profile number

5181

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

48

Gender composition

Boys 25 Girls 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other European

Chinese

Indian

Other Asian

12

22

6

5

2

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

September 2015

Date of this report

30 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2012

 

Education Review

June 2009

 

Education Review

August 2006

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