Fitzroy Kindergarten - 19/04/2017

1 Evaluation of Fitzroy Kindergarten

How well placed is Fitzroy 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

Fitzroy Kindergarten is located in the coastal suburb of Fitzroy in New Plymouth. Full day and sessional education and care is provided for children aged from two to five years.

The kindergarten is open for six hours, five days a week and is licenced for up to 34 children. The teaching team is fully qualified and the programme is further assisted by support staff.

The philosophy emphasises support, collaboration, independence, partnership with families, and the promotion of a "give it a go attitude". Of the total roll of 40, 10 children identify as Māori.

The kindergarten is one of 24 governed by the newly established Kindergarten Taranaki (the association), formerly North and South Taranaki Kindergarten Associations. A Chief Executive was appointed to lead the association in 2014.

Two professional leaders (PLs) are employed by the association to provide professional support and guidance to teachers. Since the 2016 reviews a programme manager and a human resource generalist have been appointed.

ERO's October 2013 report identified areas requiring further development. These included self review, assessment, and transition to school practices. These areas have been addressed. In addition, the association was asked to strengthen appraisal. Progress in this area is ongoing in this area.

This review was part of a cluster of eight in the Kindergarten Taranaki Association.

The Review Findings

Interactions between teachers and children are highly respectful. Well-considered consistent strategies support children's emotional wellbeing and growing social competence. Children are effectively encouraged to respect people, places and things. The environment is used purposefully to invite children's interest and promote positive interactions with their peers. Teachers take time to listen to children and extend their thinking with open questions. 

Strong systems are in place for successfully transitioning children into the kindergarten and on to school. A thoughtful induction process for children and families ensures shared understandings and expectations. A thorough transition to school programme supports children to confidently continue their education journey.

Teachers collaborate on an effective assessment, planning and evaluation cycle focused on progressing children's learning. Social and dispositional learning is highly evident. Partnerships with whānau are strong. Teachers regularly liaise with parents and value them as active partners in their child's education. Teachers have identified that children's cultures, languages and identities should be better reflected in assessment documentation. ERO affirms this as a next step.

Children with additional needs are identified, well supported, and their progress monitored. Teachers access outside agencies where appropriate.

Deliberate, useful strategies are in place to promote the educational success of priority groups, including Māori and Pacific learners and children with English as an additional language. Association guidance should further strengthen the kindergarten's ongoing focus on promoting educational success for Māori.

Kindergarten practices consistently incorporate the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Children regularly see, hear and experience elements of te ao Māori. Teachers actively seek opportunities to extend their knowledge and strengthen links with iwi. The programme includes valuable learning and excursions meaningfully linked to local tikanga and sites of significance to Māori.

Leadership is effective and staff are highly motivated. Professional learning is effectively used by the teaching team to scrutinise and improve practice. They successfully reflect the kindergarten's philosophy in action.

Useful appraisals are undertaken. A recently revised association procedure includes the use of formal observation of teacher practice. Once fully established this should assist leaders to strengthen the process. PLs should then undertake regular monitoring of how well appraisal is being implemented in each kindergarten.

ERO affirms recent changes to the framework used for internal evaluation. The teaching team are highly reflective and evaluative. Reviews are closely linked to the kindergarten's philosophy and strategic direction, and support continuous improvement.

The board works collaboratively with its community to establish vision, values and strategic priorities. Establishing clearer measures of success should enable the board to measure progress and evaluate how well practices support the realisation of its goals and vison.

The board's ongoing commitment to biculturalism is reflected by initiatives to support teachers to promote te ao Māori in the curriculum and to develop culturally appropriate practices. Senior leaders are focused on developing initiatives to better determine the impact of the curriculum delivery and teaching and learning in each kindergarten. 

The association should establish clear expectations of the purpose and use of assessment, planning and evaluation in kindergartens. Professional leaders in partnership with teaching teams should then monitor the effective implementation of:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • review and internal evaluation.

In addition, the association should establish a system for the ongoing monitoring of legislative requirements, including those related to health and safety.

Key Next Steps

ERO and kindergarten teachers agree that the key next steps are to:

  • consistently draw on information about children's cultures, languages and identities, to inform individual learning programmes

  • embed the recent changes to internal evaluation.

The association should:

  • strengthen the processes used to evaluate the progress of the strategic plan

  • provide effective guidance and monitoring of association expectations related to assessment, planning and evaluation, review and internal evaluation and health and safety practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

19 April 2017 

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

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

5219

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

34 children aged over 2

Service roll

40

Gender composition

Girls 21, Boys 19

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

10
23
7

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

March 2017

Date of this report

19 April 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

August 2010

Education Review

December 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.