Foxton District Kindergarten - 11/12/2019

1 Evaluation of Foxton District Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Foxton District Kindergarten is located in Foxton. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 2.30pm for children aged from two to six years. At the time of this review, there were 34 children enrolled and 17 identify as Māori.

Since the June 2016 ERO evaluation the kindergarten has had changes in staff. The roll has been reduced to 30 children.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises building positive relationships, whanaungatanga and manaakitanga.

Foxton District Kindergarten has been a member of Enviroschools programme since August 2019.

The kindergarten is administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day running of the association is the role of the chief executive officer who is responsible to the board. An operations manager supports the service’s compliance and policy development. Two senior teachers provide educational leadership across the teaching teams.

The previous ERO report identified that teachers should continue to strengthen understanding and use of internal evaluation and strengthening planning for learning. They have worked positively with senior teacher support to strengthen these.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews and one early learning service review in the Ruahine Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The philosophy continues to be well enacted through the curriculum. Children experience a sense of belonging. Links between home and kindergarten are effectively established during children's transition into the kindergarten.

The calm settled environment allows children many opportunities to explore and be adventurous. Resources provide challenge and children confidently lead their own learning. They play well in small and large groups. Children have fun.

Teachers engage children in meaningful conversations to extend their learning. Respectful relationships between teachers, children and with whānau are strongly evident. Involvement is valued, and teachers respect the knowledge that parents and whānau have about their children.

Children and teachers are empowered to be leaders. Tuakana teina is valued and promoted. Adults in the kindergarten respect the strengths that each brings to their teaching role. They encourage each other and children to challenge themselves.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported to experience success. Teachers work alongside parents to share relevant information with the school as children transition out of the kindergarten. External agency support is accessed, as needed, to support children and their whānau. Ministry of Education equity funding is appropriately used to provide additional support within an inclusive environment.

A range of assessment information shows children's participation and learning across the curriculum. Teachers use this information to provide opportunities for children to enhance their skills as well as ways of knowing. Teachers have identified that a next step is to determine what is working well and what else could be done to continue to plan children's learning pathways.

Aspects of te ao Māori are woven through the curriculum. Children engage in a wide range of experiences that value Māori. Teachers continue to work in partnership with whānau to respond to the individual needs of Māori children and their whānau.

Good progress has been made since the previous ERO report to strengthen internal evaluation. Through internal evaluation teachers identify areas that can be improved to support positive outcomes for children.

Senior teachers work collaboratively to build teacher and leadership capability. There is a strong commitment to growing staff knowledge and skills through ongoing professional learning, research opportunities and the sharing of good practice.

Association leaders have a well-considered approach to progressing strategic objectives. Robust systems and processes are in place for reporting, monitoring and evaluating the quality of operations. Information is used to inform decision making and to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

At kindergarten level, priorities are to continue to strengthen assessment, planning and evaluation to determine ongoing learning pathways for children.

At the governance level, the Ruahine Kindergarten Association has identified that the priorities are to continue to:

  • strengthen and build knowledge and understanding of tikanga Māori and seek engagement with local iwi, with kaumatua support

  • support Foxton Kindergarten to further embed internal evaluation for improvement.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Foxton District 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

11 December 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

Foxton

Ministry of Education profile number

5269

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2

Service roll

34

Gender composition

Male 19, Female 15

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

17
12
5

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2019

Date of this report

11 December 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

June 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.