Clevedon Kindergarten - 13/07/2016

1 Evaluation of Clevedon Kindergarten

How well placed is Clevedon 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

Clevedon Kindergarten is a semi-rural service that is licensed for 30 children over two years old. The kindergarten provides six hour sessions that align well with school hours. It is part of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. A professional practice manager (PPM) visits and provides leadership and curriculum support for teachers.

All but one of the teaching team is new since 2013. There are now three permanent teachers with a part-time teacher employed to cover lunch hours. The teachers, who are all fully registered, work collaboratively and are supported by an active parent fundraising group. Teachers have a commitment to bicultural practices and a teaching philosophy underpinned by respect and high expectations.

In 2013 ERO endorsed the positive reporting history of the kindergarten. High quality teaching and learning continued to be features of the service and the curriculum engaged children effectively. ERO recommended that teachers further involve children in planning their learning and continue to build relationships with families and local schools. There has been good progress in these areas.

This review was part of a cluster of four kindergarten reviews in the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are motivated learners who confidently lead their own learning. They competently work independently or in collaborative groups, often sustaining their interest for prolonged periods. Children have well developed communication skills and use them to investigate, solve problems and plan with their friends. They understand the kindergarten ‘I can’ culture and know that hard tasks take practice and persistence. Children model the value of respect and willingly help others as they learn new skills. They benefit from bicultural practices that enable them to become familiar with some te reo Māori, waiata and aspects of tikanga Māori.

Teachers believe in children's competence. They have high expectations that children will make positive choices about what they do, engage in challenging learning and explore new ideas. Teachers skilfully prompt children with open-ended questions but also trust them to independently guide the direction of their play and negotiate with peers. Teachers promote the notion of ‘ako’, recognising all are learners and enabling children to use their expertise to teach others, including adults.

Teachers know children very well and use their interests to develop a diverse curriculum. Children's learning is enriched by opportunities to sew, make pottery and learn about photography. Teachers actively make links with school learning by integrating early literacy, mathematics, science and technology in the context of play. They have also established an environment that is extensively resourced, easily accessed and that invites children's exploration. Teachers document children's learning well and analyse their experiences to demonstrate the dispositions that support children to become lifelong learners.

Parents are partners in their children's learning. They actively support centre events and are kept well informed about children's learning. Families make good use of an interactive digital portal that enables them to read and comment on the child’s learning stories. Parents who were interviewed by ERO value the rich learning experiences their children enjoy. They also value the extent to which teachers know their child and respond to their interests.

The kindergarten is led and managed effectively. The head teacher has established a collaborative environment that enables teachers to take leadership responsibilities and confidently contribute to decision making. They work together as a highly reflective team who value their different skills and knowledge. Teachers engage in a range of internal evaluation processes that enable them to address incidental issues as well as to develop new approaches to their teaching and continually improve practice. A new format for linking strategic goals, the kindergarten’s annual plan, teachers’ professional development and their appraisal goals is contributing to efficient management of the service.

The Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association continues to support the kindergartens well. Leaders establish overarching long-term goals that enable teachers to align their centre development with the strategic direction of the Association. They are responsive to changing community needs and have prepared teachers well to face the challenges of increased competition, the intake of two-year olds and providing variable session hours. Leaders continue to adapt personnel systems to meet legislative changes, including a revised appraisal process to help teachers meet certification expectations.

Key Next Steps

The teachers and the PPM agree that the key next steps for the kindergarten’s development should include:

  • ongoing review of children's assessment portfolios to increase the focus on individual learning and maintaining teachers’ collaborative stories about children's first experiences as they settle into kindergarten
  • continuing to strengthen bicultural practices by developing a measurable plan for improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 July 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

Clevedon, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

10023

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

49

Gender composition

Girls 29 Boys 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

others

4

42

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

June 2016

Date of this report

13 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

January 2013

Education Review

March 2010

Education Review

November 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.