Devonport Kindergarten - 27/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Devonport Kindergarten

How well placed is Devonport 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

Devonport Kindergarten is licensed to provide sessional care and education for 45 children aged over two years. Younger children attend three afternoon sessions per week, and those who are slightly older attend five mornings a week. Plans are underway to transition to the Kindergarten Day Model (KDM) which allows children to attend longer sessions, similar to school hours. Devonport Kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework to support its operation.

The kindergarten is staffed by three qualified teachers, a teacher aide and an administrator. The kindergarten's teaching philosophy clearly outlines the teaching team's commitment to providing a service that is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, inclusive of all children and their families, and embraces the bicultural nature of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The kindergarten has a very positive reporting history with ERO. The 2013 ERO report noted a high quality programme that promoted children's confidence, encouraging them to be critical thinkers and directors of their own learning. The teaching team were highly reflective and focused on continuously improving the programme. These positive features have been sustained.

In 2013 teachers agreed that they should continue to build their bicultural understandings, strengthen assessment processes, and acknowledge parent contributions to children's assessment. There has been good progress in all of these areas.

The AKA restructure in 2015 has introduced new responsibilities and ways of working for both AKA and kindergarten personnel. A period of transition is continuing for staff as they develop their understanding and competence in relation to new roles and systems.

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

The Review Findings

Children engage in self-directed play, becoming fully involved in a wide variety of activities. Teachers provide good quality resources and environments that encourage children's meaningful and enjoyable exploration. The level of resourcing and carefully considered setting of the environment support children to choose, experience learning challenges and revisit prior learning.

Children are relaxed and demonstrate a sense of belonging in the kindergarten. They initiate conversations with each other and teachers. Friendships amongst children are well established. Teachers listen well to children before responding, supporting them to be independent, to collaborate with others, and to solve their own problems. Teachers' high quality interactions with children are encouraging them to take responsibility for themselves, their peers, and the group.

Teachers establish inclusive partnerships with parents and whānau. They have a strong belief that children's learning is best supported when teachers, whānau, and children work closely together. Teachers value parent contributions to the programme.

Children's learning is recorded in a portfolio which is complemented by an online assessment tool. Parent aspirations for their child's learning are recorded, regularly revisited and included in learning stories. The programme promotes children's dispositional learning, creativity, challenge and social relationships. Developing children's knowledge of literacy and mathematics concepts is also a feature of the programme.

Teachers honour the cultural uniqueness and mana of each child. They have provided space and time for local iwi and whānau Māori to tell their stories and create their own images. This respectful approach is evident in the kindergarten's Tuarongo o Te Whare project and the koruru, legends and stories included in the programme for children.

Teachers have worked with other kindergartens to deepen their understanding of Pacific Island cultures, through the sharing of knowledge and resources. This valued new knowledge has enabled them to provide a meaningful programme for Pacific Island children and their families.

Teaching practice reflects the aspiration of Te Whāriki for each child to become a competent and confident learner and communicator. Teachers strongly promote a bicultural curriculum and their practice incorporates the partnership and protection principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Children are sensitively supported as they transition into and beyond the kindergarten. Teachers have established positive relationships with local schools, and children's regular school visits are a feature of the programme.

Teachers work together as a highly capable team. They have a strong belief in the purpose of self review and are responsive to constructive feedback. Teachers keep up to date with current best teaching practice through ongoing professional learning.

AKA support and guidance is responsive to each kindergarten's individual context. New AKA positions are providing more targeted support for head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A new Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is aligned with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. This process monitors quality, and promotes ongoing improvement in the kindergartens.

Key Next Steps

To enhance their current good quality provision for children, teachers plan to further strengthen their bicultural and programme planning practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

27 May 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

Devonport, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5045

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

82

Gender composition

Girls 43, Boys 39

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other

1

73

8

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

NA

 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

27 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

April 2007

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.