Clayton Park Kindergarten - 18/01/2016

1 Evaluation of Clayton Park Kindergarten

How well placed is Clayton Park 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

Clayton Park Kindergarten is located alongside the Clayton Park School in Manurewa and offers session times that match school hours. Nineteen of the children enrolled are Māori and nine have Pacific heritage.

The kindergarten is part of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA), which provides a management framework for the kindergarten. A professional practice manager (PPM) provides leadership and curriculum support for teachers.

The 2014 ERO report identified a significant number of areas that required improvement. A CMKA head teacher was seconded to work with the Clayton Park teachers from January 2015. She focused on building a collaborative teaching team and strong relationships with families. Teachers have participated in intensive professional learning to develop their understanding about the value and processes of self review and to strengthen teaching practices. Learning environments and resourcing have also been improved. A new permanent head teacher is to be appointed in 2016.

The Review Findings

The teaching team has made significant progress in all areas identified by ERO in 2014 as needing attention. The head teacher has provided strong curriculum leadership and made strategic decisions to improve kindergarten operations. Through her leadership and participation in a professional development contract, teachers are developing a sense of shared responsibility for curriculum planning and implementation.

Children are capable learners and communicators. They settle quickly on arrival, are comfortable working independently or in small groups, and confidently approach adults for assistance if needed. Cooperative imaginative play is a positive feature, and children’s creativity is encouraged. Teachers follow children’s lead and provide unobtrusive support for learning through conversations about child-initiated play ideas .

The kindergarten’s settled, inclusive tone supports children’s sense of belonging and encourages them to sustain their focus on activities. Children choose from a variety of good quality, well presented activities and resources that are thoughtfully selected by teachers in response to current interests. The outdoor area is attractively landscaped, offers physical challenge and supports extended creative play. Children’s literacy learning is supported throughout the kindergarten and children have good opportunities to explore science and mathematics concepts. Teachers plan to re-introduce environmental sustainability as a programme focus.

Teachers often include te reo Māori phrases, waiata, and books or activities with Māori themes. Their key goals are to continue strengthening bicultural practice and reviewing their support for Māori children. These goals should establish a strong foundation for Māori children’s ongoing educational success. Teachers include cultural events as part of the programme. More specific recognition of, and response to, the cultures, languages and identities of children from Pacific cultures would also be worthwhile.

Teachers have improved processes for assessment, programme planning and evaluation. Very good quality programme documentation and records of teachers’ discussions show their ongoing analysis of children’s learning progress and outcomes over time. Some individual learning records are especially good quality. Useful plans are developed for supporting children with special educational needs. Teachers continue to consider ways to refine their documentation.

Children make good use of their portfolios and displays of photographs and stories to look back at previous experiences and build on their learning. Whānau contributions to assessment and planning are sought and valued by teachers, and often included in stories about children’s learning. Parents have a growing sense of partnership with teachers.

The teaching team has established a culture of thoughtful self review that contributes to improved understanding about high quality teaching practices to enhance children’s learning. They have also developed good processes for in-depth review and ongoing reflection about teaching and learning. Clearer identification of their specific role in extending learning would help teachers to evaluate their own work in more depth.

The PPM writes useful reports after her visits to provide professional support for teachers. The reports prompt teachers to further think about their practice. They also contribute to the CMKA’s information about the quality of kindergarten practices and developments. The kindergarten’s annual plan is clearly aligned with the CMKA strategic goals.

Key Next Steps

The teachers and the PPM have identified key areas for further development. These include:

  • continuing to strengthen relationships and learning partnerships with whānau and local schools
  • strengthening bicultural practice and cultural responsiveness
  • deepening critical reflection and evaluative thinking.

Establishing clear action plans should help teachers to achieve their goals for improvement in teaching practices, the quality of educational programmes and outcomes for children. Planned professional development and ongoing PPM support should also help teachers to consolidate and build on new practices and become more confident and capable in their teaching and leadership roles.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

18 January 2016

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

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5116

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

40

Gender composition

Girls 23 Boys 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

other

19

10

4

4

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

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2015

Date of this report

18 January 2016

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.