Fanau Pasifika - 30/05/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Cambridge Street Kindergarten is affiliated to the Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association has a governing board and a general manager. The general manager is thelicensed service provider contact person for the kindergarten. The association employs a team of senior teachers, one of whom is responsible for leading the professional support, advice and guidance to this teaching team. She also liaises with the kindergarten community.

Children’s well-being and belonging are effectively fostered through the relationship focused programme. Children are self-directed and independent learners who engage for sustained periods in activities, well supported by teachers. Early literacy and mathematics are well integrated and children’s physical development is also given strong emphasis. Te reo Māori is regularly used by children and teachers. Portfolios capture the uniqueness of the individual child and record their significant learning, progress and skill development. Children are celebrated as competent and confident learners.

The kindergarten has undergone many changes over the last year. A new senior head teacher was appointed to lead the team through association innovations for the direction of the service. The hours have changed to be aligned to the school day and rolls have dropped to enable planned developments to the building to occur more easily.

The new teaching team has worked to enhance the learning environment and increase the resources to better support children’s play and interests. A good range of easily accessible materials, games, accessories and equipment is well set up throughout the spacious environment. There is ample room for whole group activities and sustained uninterrupted play. Children’s physical dexterity and challenge are well supported. The attractive gardens provide children with real life experiences and the creation of interesting play spaces. A settled and calm atmosphere prevails.

Children are confident and cooperative. Their social competence is evident through the strong friendships established with peers and supporting each other well through tuakana/teina relationships. Children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging at the kindergarten. Teachers are warm, positive and respectful. They promote problem solving, planning and thinking and engage in interactive conversations with children. Good relationships are evident with families.

The teaching team agrees that developing a team philosophy is a priority and that robust, planned self review requires strengthening. Aspects of assessment and planning are also areas for further development.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Cambridge Street Kindergarten was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atCambridge Street Kindergarten.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

In addition, ERO decided to evaluate:

  • association management and support.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

The 2008 ERO review noted that Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, provided the foundation for planning and teachers’ practice. Programmes reflected children’s strengths and interests. Interactions between teachers and children were calm, respectful and responsive. Areas identified as requiring further development were the use of te reo Māori, evaluation of programmes and transition to school resources. Teachers have worked positively to strengthen these areas.

In July 2011 the kindergarten was relicensed and now offers all day education and care for young children. The kindergarten currently operates on a transitional licence while awaiting major building redevelopment. Roll numbers have been reduced during 2011 in preparation for this work.

A new head teacher was appointed at the beginning of 2012. One of the team has taught at the kindergarten for several years. Another relieving team member has been employed in a permanent capacity. The teaching team had been together for six weeks at the time of this ERO review and are working to develop a constructive and professional team culture.

Areas of strength

Programme

Children’s well-being and belonging are effectively fostered through the relationship focused programme. They are self-directed and independent learners who engage for sustained periods at activities, well supported by teachers. Kindergarten routines are unhurried. Early literacy and mathematics are integrated in meaningful ways. Children’s physical development is also given strong emphasis. Te reo Māori is regularly used by children and teachers. Planning stories successfully record the progress of strong group interests over time.

Assessment

Learning stories are consistently high quality. They are creatively written and well analysed to identify learning dispositions. Te reo Māori is well-integrated. Portfolios capture the uniqueness of the individual child and record their significant learning, progress and skill development meaningfully. Children are celebrated as competent and confident learners.

Environment

A good variety of equipment and resources is available to support children’s play and interests. The spacious indoor and outside environments enable ample room for whole group activities and sustained uninterrupted play. Children’s physical dexterity and challenge are well supported and they use the whole environment as their play develops. Attractive gardens provide them with real life experiences and interesting play spaces. A settled and calm atmosphere prevails.

Interactions

Children are confident and cooperative. Their social competence is evident through the strong friendships established with peers and supporting each other well through tuakana/teina relationships.

Teachers are warm, positive and respectful in their interactions with children. They promote problem solving, planning and thinking and trust children to make good decisions. They engage in interactive conversations and effectively link different experiences to put learning in meaningful contexts for the child. Positive relationships are evident with families.

Self review

Regular responsive review has successfully resulted in enhancing the learning environment, increasing resources to support children’s play and interests and adjusting daily routines. The head teacher has prioritised policies and procedures for review and development. The association template guides an appropriate planned review process.

Areas for development and review

Philosophy

It is a priority for teachers to establish their team philosophy and procedures for implementing Te Manawa, the association’s criteria for curriculum implementation to better articulate their shared beliefs, values, vision and practices. These can then be used as a foundation for programme implementation, building on the kindergarten culture and to assist the team in the transition process of change.

Planning and assessment

Including more robust reflection in planning stories, especially in relation to teacher effectiveness, is likely to assist the team to identify further strategies and programme direction.

The information that families share about their children’s strengths, interests and aspirations is not yet effectively used in the assessment process. Integrating these aspects is likely to assist in building stronger partnerships with families and whānau in their child’s learning.

Self review

The teaching team has identified that planned self review requires further development. More rigour and depth is required at each stage and data used more effectively to better inform decision-making. Reviews undertaken in response to issues that arise are not consistently revisited to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of changes over time.

Association Support

Background

The 2008 ERO review of the association identified several strengths, including the provision of professional development, sound operation plans, support for property development and the use of a range of communication strategies to keep teachers and communities informed. Areas for improvement included the quality and depth of the written feedback given to teachers by the senior teacher and strengthening the appraisal process.

Since 2008, the association has led consultation with the community to modify session times and improve the ratio of teachers to children from 1:15 to 1:10 and maintained its policy of employing qualified, registered teachers in regulated permanent positions.

The association provides expectations and guidance to the kindergarten through its strategic plan, policies and procedures and more recently, the professional development strategy Te Manawa: Criteria for Curriculum Implementation.

Areas of strength

The association continues to provide high levels of guidance and support to teachers for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning. These include:

  • the strategic plan setting expectations for participation, parent/whānau involvement and quality teaching practices
  • clearly defined indicators of quality teaching and learning practice through Te Manawa
  • a wide range of professional development opportunities
  • ongoing support in property development, human resource management, finance and resourcing.

Areas for development and review

The association, senior teachers and ERO have identified areas where the association can strengthen its support for teachers. These include:

  • further developing and supporting leadership, including a review of the appraisal process
  • reviewing senior teacher documentation to show how teachers have improved their practice, as a result of feedback
  • reviewing how kindergartens’ annual plans for teaching and learning could more explicitly show how teachers respond to the association’s strategic priorities.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Cambridge Street Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Recommendations

ERO and the kindergarten leaders agreed that the priorities for development and review are those outlined in the report.

5 Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services (Acting)

Central Region

About the Centre

Type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Roll number

27

Gender composition

Boys 14

Girls 13

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 15

Māori 10

Cook Island Māori 2

Review team on site

March 2012

Date of this report

30 May 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review June 2008

Education Review August 2005

Accountability Review July 1998

To the Parents and Community of Cambridge Street Kindergarten

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Cambridge Street Kindergarten.

Cambridge Street Kindergarten is affiliated to the Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association has a governing board and a general manager. The general manager is thelicensed service provider contact person for the kindergarten. The association employs a team of senior teachers, one of whom is responsible for leading the professional support, advice and guidance to this teaching team. She also liaises with the kindergarten community.

Children’s well-being and belonging are effectively fostered through the relationship focused programme. Children are self-directed and independent learners who engage for sustained periods in activities, well supported by teachers. Early literacy and mathematics are well integrated and children’s physical development is also given strong emphasis. Te reo Māori is regularly used by children and teachers. Portfolios capture the uniqueness of the individual child and record their significant learning, progress and skill development. Children are celebrated as competent and confident learners.

The kindergarten has undergone many changes over the last year. A new senior head teacher was appointed to lead the team through association innovations for the direction of the service. The hours have changed to be aligned to the school day and rolls have dropped to enable planned developments to the building to occur more easily.

The new teaching team has worked to enhance the learning environment and increase the resources to better support children’s play and interests. A good range of easily accessible materials, games, accessories and equipment is well set up throughout the spacious environment. There is ample room for whole group activities and sustained uninterrupted play. Children’s physical dexterity and challenge are well supported. The attractive gardens provide children with real life experiences and the creation of interesting play spaces. A settled and calm atmosphere prevails.

Children are confident and cooperative. Their social competence is evident through the strong friendships established with peers and supporting each other well through tuakana/teina relationships. Children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging at the kindergarten. Teachers are warm, positive and respectful. They promote problem solving, planning and thinking and engage in interactive conversations with children. Good relationships are evident with families.

The teaching team agrees that developing a team philosophy is a priority and that robust, planned self review requires strengthening. Aspects of assessment and planning are also areas for further development.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services (Acting)

Central Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.