Colwill Kindergarten - 12/09/2014

1 Evaluation of Colwill Kindergarten

How well placed is Colwill 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

Colwill Kindergarten provides high quality education and care. Children experience respectful, positive relationships within an inclusive and stimulating environment. Families attending come from a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and can choose to send their children for half-day sessions or for school day hours.

A well qualified teaching team work cohesively to provide a well considered programme for children. Teachers continually review the environment to promote high quality outcomes for children. The kindergarten’s commitment to environmental sustainability is evident.

The kindergarten’s philosophy aims to foster children’s curiosity and enquiry, and to nurture their wellbeing and sense of belonging. The celebration of children’s cultures and experiences has helped teachers, whānau and children understand each other better.

Staff have positive connections with the wider community. Regular meetings with leaders at the local kohanga reo, a Samoan pre-school and a refugee centre have enriched the kindergarten's cultural celebrations. These good relationships are enabling the kindergarten to further develop its bicultural curriculum and to strengthen the capacity of teachers to cater more effectively for the multi-ethnic community. Teachers work closely with families needing support to ensure that all children receive a good quality education.

Colwill Kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA) and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. A professional services manager (PSM) visits regularly and provides professional advice and support for teachers.

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

The Review Findings

Teachers provide a high quality, child-led programme. The curriculum is underpinned by the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers have a deep commitment to being inclusive of all learners and to promoting a bicultural curriculum. Respectful relationships are central to the kindergarten’s approach to providing positive outcomes for children. Teachers affirm and build on the strengths children bring. Children’s language, culture and identity are valued and promoted in the kindergarten.

Children make choices about their play in a vibrant and well resourced environment. They have a strong sense of belonging in their kindergarten and are enthusiastic about sharing their ideas. They trust adults and play well together. They have very good opportunities to explore and be physically active in the spacious outdoor area. Children engage in creative and imaginative play and have many opportunities to experience art, dance, and musical activities.

Teachers value and use parent information, ideas and support to help children become confident, capable learners. Teachers work as a high performing, cohesive team. Children have good opportunities to explore and experience literacy, numeracy, and science in meaningful ways. Children’s portfolios are highly valued, by teachers, children and families and show the development of children’s interests. Children living close to school are very well supported as they move on to start school.

Self review is relevant, child focused, and used to bring about improvement. Clear strategic goals, which align to the kindergarten’s vision statement and centre philosophy, are clearly outlined in annual plans. Teachers’ performance appraisals promote high quality teaching practice and leadership opportunities. Teachers are now keen to receive and gather parent and whānau feedback to help further improve teaching and learning.

The head teacher provides strong professional leadership. Positive working relationships contribute to the centre’s culture of trust and respect. Teachers model good practice for teachers from the wider network of early childhood professionals. There are effective systems and a comprehensive framework of policies and procedures.

The Auckland Kindergarten Association has good systems for self review and accountability to guide kindergarten management, and it continues to provide effective governance for kindergartens. The AKA has a strong commitment to biculturalism and to implementing strategies that support kindergartens in promoting positive outcomes for all children. The association is currently reviewing the appraisal process used in all of its kindergartens.

Key Next Steps

ERO and the centre managers agree that next steps for teachers include continuing to:

  • enhance the kindergarten’s focus on building its bicultural focus
  • embed the centre’s sustainable practices in its Enviroschools journey
  • promote information computer technologies to further strengthen the programme provided for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

12 September 2014

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Massey, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5042

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

45

Gender composition

Boys 23

Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

other ethnicities

12

16

5

1

11

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2014

Date of this report

12 September 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

April 2011

 

Education Review

April 2008

 

Education Review

May 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.