Forest View Kindergarten - 14/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Forest View Kindergarten

How well placed is Forest View 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

Forest View Kindergarten operates as part of the Northland Kindergarten Association (NKA) which provides a governance and management framework to support its operation. Children from the surrounding suburbs and from further afield attend morning or all day sessions in a mixed age group. The kindergarten is able to cater for up to 40 children over the age of two years. Children play together in a mixed age group. The majority of children have Māori heritage. The kindergarten has a staff of five qualified teachers.

The philosophy for the kindergarten clearly indicates a commitment to fostering children's understanding and knowledge of New Zealand's dual cultural heritage. This focus includes the use of te reo Māori and tikanga practices as part of the learning programme.

ERO's 2012 review recommended developments in self review as well as planning, assessment and evaluation. These areas continue to be the focus of development.

This review is part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews in the Northland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children and their whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten at the start of the day. They settle quickly to play, making choices from the wide range of activities and resources available. Teachers encourage children to be independent and to guide their own learning in the carefully prepared environment.

Teachers demonstrate genuine attitudes of respect and willingness to listen to whānau. Parents spoken to during the review expressed their appreciation of the kindergarten. Teachers have developed positive, sensitive relationships with children. They respect the children's right to express a point of view and have meaningful conversations with children.

Teachers promote children's self-choice and encourage them to take increasing responsibility for their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. There are good prompts in the environment for children to engage with print, to enjoy stories and to act out familiar stories. Children are also able to learn about mathematical concepts and the natural world. There are good opportunities for children to be imaginative and creative.

Assessment processes are well established. Children's portfolios are cherished by whānau and children, and provide a good pictorial story of the children's learning journeys. Some of the written stories are high quality and clearly demonstrate children's dispositions and personalities. This focus on recording children's time in the centre is also clear in the "Learning and Growing Together - Ako tahi tupu ana" large books on display around the centre. These records are clearly linked to the Māori values and tikanga that teachers identify in children's play.

Teachers have evaluated and reviewed the bicultural focus in the centre. The indoor environment demonstrates the progress they are making in showing their commitment to making bicultural intentions clear. Teachers support the deliberate use of te reo Māori with children and in written displays. This continues to be an area that all teachers wish to further develop.

The Association provides governance for kindergartens. Its long-term direction continues to focus on improving learning outcomes for children. Positive strategies include:

  • very good support and guidance by Association personnel in an organisational culture that supports ongoing improvement particularly in the development of culturally responsive practices that are meaningful

  • new and effective teacher appraisal systems, and professional learning and development that focuses more closely on whole team participation to improve skills, knowledge and practice, particularly in more shared leadership

  • a continuing focus and investment in property and environment upgrades to promote children's exploration and investigation

  • regular head teacher meetings that provide of collegial discussion and support.

Key Next Steps

Association managers and teachers agree that next key steps for teachers is to:

  • more explicitly record and evaluate the teachers' role in supporting children's learning

  • build capacity across the teaching team to increase consistency in assessment and teaching practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Forest View 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.

To improve current practices, the Association should ensure that all kindergarten policy folders include updated policies and procedures that reflect the latest legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Forest View Kindergarten will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

14 December 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

Tikipunga, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

5010

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

50

Gender composition

Girls 27 Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

other

27

20

3

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

August 2016

Date of this report

14 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

April 2009

Education Review

February 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.