Flatbush Kindergarten - 15/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Flatbush Kindergarten

How well placed is Flatbush Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Flatbush Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Flatbush Kindergarten is a well-established kindergarten, licensed for 40 children over two years of age, and operating six-hour days. The majority of the children have Pacific or Māori heritage.

The kindergarten's philosophy emphasises children's connection to their whānau, and values their diversity.Teachers aim to promote children's holistic wellbeing. The teaching team includes a head teacher, two other registered teachers and two teaching assistants, supported by an administrator.

The 2015 ERO report noted teachers' meaningful relationships with children and families, and children's engagement in the programme. Areas for improvement included evaluating children's learning and progress, and including parents' cultural knowledge, values and contributions in their children's portfolios. Some progress has been made in these areas.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). The association provides a framework of policies and operational guidelines, support personnel and programmes of professional learning and development. The AKA is establishing new roles and responsibilities at management and governance levels. Recruitment of appropriate personnel to fill identified roles is underway.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the AKA.

The Review Findings

Children are supported to settle well, and they demonstrate a good sense of belonging. They have access to a wide variety of thoughtfully-presented resources. Children play independently with and alongside each other. They readily find something to interest them in the purposefully arranged indoor and outdoor environments.

Teachers intentionally provide for children's holistic development. They have strong nurturing relationships with children. Teachers are inclusive, and make efforts to ensure all children have good access to learning opportunities. Children from diverse backgrounds, and with differing needs and abilities, experience positive outcomes.

Teachers encourage parents to stay and spend time with their children. They know children and families well, and have respectful and responsive relationships with them. Teachers recognise the value of continuing to strengthen relationships with whānau, and have established a whānau committee. Teachers continue to develop strategies to gather, record and respond to parents' aspirations for their children's learning at the kindergarten.

Teachers promote the use of te reo Māori with children, whānau and each other. They have focused on creating opportunities for children to participate in relevant experiences, and strengthening their culturally responsive practices. Teachers affirm children's cultural identity. Wall displays and books provide opportunities for children and parents to recall and revisit significant events.

Children have access to well-presented, individual assessment portfolios. Some records document children's learning well. Teachers plan to make entries more meaningful by identifying and showing their response to children's interests and dispositions. They engage in discussions about children's interests, and plan to provide experiences and activities related to these.

Teachers' internal evaluation practices are collaborative and follow a sound framework. Teachers have identified specific indicators to measure the impact of changes made as a result of evaluation. Their next step is to evaluate how well they have achieved positive outcomes for children and whānau.

Changes in staffing and leadership have been well managed. The head teacher has worked diligently to establish a positive and collaborative team culture. The teachers have recently reviewed their philosophy and established a shared vision. Teachers have an understanding of their goals in relation to the 2017 revised Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Teachers find the professional development offered by the AKA useful and informative. This support has helped them to develop a vision and to contribute to the priorities for the kindergarten.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps include continuing to:

  • develop teachers' practice and to help them implement the kindergarten's shared vision

  • build meaningful conversations with children to extend their language development, and thinking and problem solving skills

  • strengthen teachers' recording of children's learning in portfolios, planning and evaluation.

It would be useful for AKA to:

  • continue providing appropriate support for the head teacher in her leadership role

  • monitor that all part-time or relieving teachers are well informed about AKA policies and procedures

  • increase support to improve assessment practices, planning and evaluation

  • continue to support teachers to fully implement Te Whāriki 2017.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

15 February 2019

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

Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5049

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

31

Gender composition

Boys 16 Girls 15

Ethnic composition

Māori
Samoan
Tongan
Niuean
other ethnic groups

9
10
4
4
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

15 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

April 2012

Education Review

May 2009

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.