Chelsea Kindergarten - 28/08/2015

1. Evaluation of Chelsea Kindergarten

Chelsea Kindergarten How well placed isto 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

Chelsea Kindergarten is adjacent to the local primary school and serves a culturally diverse community on the North Shore of Auckland. In 2013 attendance hours changed from a sessional service to the Kindergarten Day Model (KDM) of six-hours per day. Teachers and the community have responded positively to this model.

The kindergarten is licensed to provide education and care for up to 30 children between two and five years of age. The kindergarten team is made up of three teachers, including a head teacher. A teaching assistant and an administrator provide support for the team. Warm relationships, child-directed learning and a sense of wonder form the foundation of the philosophy. Kindness, empathy and respect are encouraged and modelled by teachers.

The 2012 ERO report noted that children were caring and inclusive in their play. Teachers prioritised children’s learning about the natural environment and sustainable practices. Children’s ideas were recorded in portfolios. The report also identified that self-review outcomes could have been strengthened, the curriculum could have been more inclusive of parent’s aspirations, and teachers could have been more responsive to children’s ongoing emerging interests. Very good progress has been made in these areas.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association, which provides effective leadership, a management framework, support personnel and a programme of professional development for teachers.

After extensive review, consultation and development, the Auckland Kindergarten Association has recently launched a new 10-year strategic direction. Its four strategic pillars/objectives relate to educational excellence, core organisational processes, community engagement and a future focus. These objectives are intended to guide the Association and its kindergartens in their ongoing development. The Association’s approach to bringing about substantial change in its organisational structure has been carefully considered.

New Association roles have been established to provide more targeted support for kindergarten operations, curriculum and development. Professional development supports kindergarten head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is being implemented to monitor quality in kindergartens and contributes to self review and ongoing improvement.

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

The Review Findings

Children are independent learners who are confident, articulate communicators and problem solvers. They are respectful and empathetic of others and engage in sustained play. Children with special learning needs are well catered for. Teachers adapt the use of learning environments and resources to provide individual programmes to meet children’s needs.

Partnerships between parents and teachers have been strengthened to support children’s learning. An on-line programme is used to record children’s learning and facilitate conversations about individual children’s interests. Parents share their aspirations for their children and teachers incorporate these into the curriculum. Parents appreciate the support teachers provide to help their children prepare for school.

Teachers work collaboratively as a team and are given opportunities to develop individual leadership skills. They reflect frequently on improving the quality of their service and the effectiveness of their teaching practice. A wide range of training courses are provided to increase teachers’ professional knowledge. They are actively developing bicultural practices and are seeking a range of ways to work alongside of children to extend their learning.

The programme is calm, settled and predominantly child-led. Teachers’ skilful and sensitive interactions effectively support children’s engagement in the programme. They give careful consideration to maintaining a balance between routines and active learning experiences. Children’s learning dispositions, such as curiosity and perseverance are promoted. They are encouraged to develop thinking and reasoning skills and take leadership of projects, based on their interests.

The centre’s curriculum is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Assessment and planning documents provide evidence of the effectiveness of the curriculum in responding to children’s interests, strengths and abilities. Māori culture, tikanga and te reo are being developed. Literacy, numeracy and natural science are well integrated into the programme.

The learning environment is attractive, welcoming and caters well for the requirements of children, parents and teachers. Since the 2012 ERO report the learning environment has been improved with alterations to the physical environment and the enrichment of the learning resources. A continued focus on nature in the outdoor area provides children with a deeper understanding of natural science and environmental sustainability.

Auckland Kindergarten Association systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. A variety of useful systems and processes contribute to the teaching team’s continuously improving self review. The experienced and skilful head teacher fosters leadership opportunities for teachers, children and parents. Centre operations are also guided by clear future planning and a shared vision that is linked to the AKA’s plan. The Association has a strong commitment to biculturalism and in embracing diversity. There are sound systems in place for health, safety and accountability.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team, the Education Specialist-Curriculum and Pedagogy and ERO agree that appropriate priorities for ongoing development could include continuing to:

  • further deepen children’s sense of cultural identity and provide opportunities for children from all cultures to become leaders
  • explore opportunities for bicultural development.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Chelsea 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 Chelsea Kindergarten will be in four years 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

28 August 2015

2. Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Birkenhead, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5566

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

48

Gender composition

Boys 29

Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori 2

NZ European/Pākehā 32

Samoan 3

Filipino 2

Indonesian 2

Japanese 2

Indian 1

Thai 1

other European 3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Review team on site

June 2015

Date of this report

28 August 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review August 2012

Education Review June 2009

Education Review April 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.