Frankton Kindergarten - 06/11/2014

1 Evaluation of Frankton Kindergarten

How well placed is Frankton 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

Frankton Kindergarten is located in Hamilton and provides both all-day and sessional education and care for children from two years to school age. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 40 children over the age of two years. At the time of this ERO review, 48 children were enrolled, of whom 20 are identified as Māori and four as Pacific.

There have been changes to the environment since the 2011 ERO review. Alterations to the verandah and the entry to the building have improved the attractiveness and use of these areas. A sustainable garden planted with fruit trees and vegetables has been developed to support the Enviroschools programme. A plan has been developed for further improvement of the outdoor playground.

The experienced and long-serving head teacher continues in her role, supported by two full-time teachers, who are new to the kindergarten. A third teacher, who is employed part time, and the support staff member are experienced and long-serving.

In response to the last ERO review, the kindergarten team has extended its use of systematic self review to cover and improve the effectiveness of aspects of teaching and kindergarten operations.

The kindergarten operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Kindergarten Association (WKA), which is a charitable trust, and does not operate for profit. The strategic direction of the association is guided by the overarching statement, ‘Every child reaching their full potential’. The WKA has a commitment to providing quality, inclusive services that effectively meet the diverse educational needs of all children attending. All WKA kindergartens provide an Enviroschools focus as a key curriculum feature to encourage children to better understand caring for the environment.

The Educational Service Manager (ESM) monitors and reports to the association on the kindergarten’s quality of education. A kaumātua from Tainui provides advice, guidance and support about Māori language, culture and identity. The kindergarten’s administrative responsibilities are well supported by association resource personnel.

The kindergarten benefits from the WKA's clear guidelines and expectations for practice and the availability of good self-review processes for monitoring and evaluating the quality of education and care it provides for children.

This review was part of a cluster of 12 kindergarten reviews in the Waikato Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

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

Children are confident learners who are highly engaged in sustained play in a meaningful and responsive programme. They have trusting relationships with staff, who treat them with dignity and respect. Children are caring towards one another, and develop genuine friendships as they play and learn happily in cooperative groups. Their wellbeing is supported by consistent, flexible routines that respond to their individuality and develop their independent self care.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises children having equitable opportunities to learn in an environment that expresses New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. Te reo Māori is strongly reflected in the programme, environment, and teachers’ practice. Children’s diverse cultural heritage is affirmed and celebrated. The philosophy also recognises the importance of children’s sense of belonging. This is fostered through home visits where teachers develop an understanding of children in their family environment. Each child has a key teacher who maintains a relationship with the child and family to sustain a secure foundation for learning and development.

Parents and whānau are actively engaged in their children’s education. Parents’ aspirations for their children contribute to decisions about the environment and programme. Teachers deliberately encourage parents’ involvement in the kindergarten. They seek parents’ views in a variety of ways, and readily spend time talking with them to share information about their children’s progress and development.

The kindergarten’s spirit of inclusiveness is evident in the way staff welcome children with additional learning needs and their families. Teachers work as a collaborative team to enable these children to choose freely and explore rich learning opportunities.

Skilful teachers engage children in authentic learning experiences guided by children’s interests, strengths and learning needs. They purposefully integrate early literacy and mathematics concepts and skills using intentional and responsive teaching strategies. Children are competent communicators who hold extended conversations to articulate their interests and needs to adults and their peers. Teachers use positive guidance techniques effectively to develop children’s social skills and ability to negotiate and solve problems. They plan a holistic programme to promote sustainable environmental practices, healthy living and participation in physical challenges.

Assessment of children’s learning pathways draws from a wide range of sources and viewpoints through teacher discussion and reflection. Children’s individual profiles are vibrant celebrations of their progress and achievement. They contain rich information for parents about children’s personality, patterns of learning, and their strengths and progress over time. Attractive photographs capture children’s engagement in the programme very well.

The head teacher is a professional, committed and highly capable leader who is well-respected by the teachers and community. The kindergarten, and the kindergarten association, benefit from her expertise in child protection, which has been used to refine the service’s ability to respond to the needs of children and their families. The head teacher provides teachers with leadership opportunities, and builds their capacity as members of a collegial teaching team. Together, they work thoughtfully and reflectively to evaluate and improve outcomes for children’s learning. They consult with parents and value their contributions when evaluating outcomes for children’s learning. Their review process could be further developed to consider how children’s voices could contribute to teachers’ decision-making.

Key Next Steps

The kindergarten has identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps for the centre are to:

  • continue to explore ways to extend older children’s critical thinking through self-assessment
  • further develop planning for intentional teaching to extend capable learners.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

6 November 2014

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

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

5141

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

Boys 32

Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Cook Island Māori

Indian

Other

24

20

3

1

1

1

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

September 2014

Date of this report

6 November 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2011

 

Education Review

October 2008

 

Education Review

May 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.