Epsom North Kindergarten - 04/03/2015

1 Evaluation of Epsom North Kindergarten

How well placed is Epsom North 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

Epsom North Kindergarten in Auckland provides education and care for up to 30 children over two years old. The kindergarten provides morning and afternoon session options, as well as a six-hour session each week day. It operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a policy framework and good professional guidance for teachers. The AKA has high expectations that teachers will provide a bicultural programme.

The head teacher and one other teacher have been together as a team since 2008. A third teacher joined the team in 2013 as a result of the change to the six-hour Kindergarten Day Model. An administrator and a teaching assistant also support teachers.

The 2011 ERO report identified many positive features of the service. Strengths were noted in the quality of children’s play, the strong partnerships with families and whānau, and teachers’ skilful support for literacy, science and mathematics learning. At that time teachers identified the need to enhance the quality of self review and further develop children’s early understandings of ICT and environmentally sustainable practices. Teachers have responded positively to these next steps, using professional learning opportunities to build on existing very good practices.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 kindergarten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are self-motivated, confident explorers who lead their own play. They learn in a stimulating, well resourced environment that supports their sustained engagement in play and learning. They have many opportunities to experience literacy, numeracy, science and environmental practices through meaningful play activities. Children choose to play independently or in small collaborative groups. Teachers focus on building self-management skills as children prepare for transition to school. Children’s portfolios show how they have genuine opportunities for leadership.

The curriculum is underpinned by the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, bicultural practices and partnerships with parents/whānau. The development of children’s dispositions is embedded in the programme. Children’s ideas and parents’ aspirations are sought and valued. Families are encouraged to be active partners in the kindergarten. Parents appreciate the strong sense of belonging that teachers provide for children.

Teachers are inclusive and culturally responsive. They celebrate cultural diversity and the knowledge their families bring. Their respectful interactions, high expectations and sustained conversations contribute to children being confident capable learners. Teachers have extensive knowledge of children’s interests, needs and home experiences. They respect children’s work, foster their strengths and nurture their interests.

Sound systems for self review guide teaching practice and inform programme improvements. The head teacher promotes effective professional development and shared leadership practices. Teachers are reflective practitioners who value ongoing professional development. They work collegially using a high trust model.

The Auckland Kindergarten Association continues to promote positive strategies which include professional learning and development that strengthens teachers’ skills, knowledge and practice. Distributed leadership and sharing of expertise among kindergarten teaching teams are also promoted, and the sharing of knowledge and expertise within the association is encouraged. Association leaders are currently reviewing the appraisal process and continue to explore appropriate ways to support teachers to deliver high quality outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Teachers, the professional services manager and ERO agree that key next steps for the kindergarten should include:

  • building on children’s growing competence by helping them to set long-term learning goals and to assess their progress towards achieving these goals
  • improving learning stories to provide more information about children’s learning in specific curriculum areas.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Epsom North 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 Epsom North Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

4 March 2015

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

Epsom, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5639

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

46

Gender composition

Boys 24 Girls 22

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

Middle Eastern

Australian

Korea

other

18

10

4

4

3

3

4

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 2014

Date of this report

4 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2011

 

Education Review

December 2008

 

Education Review

January 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.