Gate Pa Kindergarten - 14/02/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Gate Pa Kindergarten is located in Tauranga and operates under the umbrella of the Tauranga Regional Free Kindergarten Association. The kindergarten was formerly known as Tauranga South Kindergarten. An all day model was implemented at the start of the new school year in 2010. The kindergarten embraces children, families and whānau from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Since the last ERO review teachers have reviewed the kindergarten’s philosophy, focused on developing and embracing their bicultural heritage, and made significant progress in strengthening documentation of children’s learning.

Teachers have worked hard to create a calm and caring learning environment and stimulating programme. Children enjoy ready access to spacious areas where they can initiate play and confidently make choices. Assessment portfolios include a strong bicultural reflection, and provide a valuable record of learning for each child.

The programme of activities enhances children’s learning and development, including children with special needs. Teachers are now reflecting on how to strengthen the learning potential of programme routines and maximising opportunities provided by the longer kindergarten day.

The experienced head teacher sets clear direction for the kindergarten. She works collaboratively with teachers in a distributive leadership style and is well respected by staff and families. Dedicated staff work effectively as a team to achieve positive outcomes for children. Diversity within this team is celebrated and contributes to a vibrant and inclusive culture in the kindergarten.

Teachers know children and families well and demonstrate empathy and respect in their interactions and responses to individual needs and aspirations. They nurture children’s holistic well-being and foster a strong sense of belonging.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Gate Pa KindergartenBefore the review, the management ofwas invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

Gate Pa KindergartenThe detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children at.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

The Quality of Education

Background

Gate Pa Kindergarten was formerly known as Tauranga South Kindergarten. The new name identifies more with the local community and historical roots in the area of Gate Pa. An all-day model was implemented at the start of the new school year in 2010. This change impacted on the staffing ratio and daily routines.

The kindergarten embraces children, families and whānau from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The past two years have seen significant change in the learning environment, with the development of orchard trees and vegetable gardens. Alongside this has been the redevelopment of the kitchen area and kindergarten storage.

Since the previous ERO review teachers have reviewed the kindergartens philosophy, focusing on developing and embracing their bicultural heritage, and strengthened relationships with their neighbouring school, Tauranga Girls College, and local primary schools.

Areas of strength

Leadership:The experienced head teacher sets clear direction for the kindergarten. She has been instrumental in renaming the kindergarten and changing hours of operation to more accurately reflect its location and community needs. The head teacher works collaboratively with teachers in a distributive leadership style and is well respected by staff and families.

Teamwork:Dedicated staff work effectively as a team to achieve positive outcomes for children. They contribute a wide range of experiences, strengths and expertise to their work with children, whānau and the wider community. Diversity within this team is celebrated and contributes to a vibrant and inclusive culture in the kindergarten.

Relationships and interactions:Highly positive and reciprocal relationships at all levels are a feature of the kindergarten. Teachers know children and families well and demonstrate empathy and respect in their interactions and responses to individual needs and aspirations. They nurture children’s holistic well-being and foster a strong sense of belonging.

Learning environment and programme:Teachers have worked hard to create a calm and caring learning environment and stimulating programme. Children enjoy ready access to spacious areas where they can initiate play and confidently make choices. There are extensive opportunities for them to develop interest, skills and concepts in aspects of literacy, science, mathematics and technology. In addition, ERO observed examples of teachers using open-ended questions to extend children’s interests, ideas and language development.

Assessment:Since ERO’s previous review, teachers have made significant progress in strengthening documentation of children’s learning. Assessment portfolios include a strong bicultural reflection, and provide a valuable record of learning for each child. There is also an increasing presence of child and whānau input into assessment practice.

Area for development and review

Ongoing programme review:Teachers have reflected on the impact of the longer kindergarten day on the programme and children’s learning. Teachers are now focusing on how to:

  • strengthen the learning potential of programme routines through greater opportunities for children to develop their leadership and make decisions about learning; and

  • maximise the opportunities provided by the longer kindergarten day to deepen children’s engagement in learning and pursue their interests.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Inclusion of children with moderate to severe special needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions ensure the continuing well-being, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs;
  • children with moderate to severe special needs supported to be confident and capable learners; and
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs.

Background

Gate Pa Kindergarten provides inclusive early childhood education for children with special needs from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures. The kindergarten’s philosophy aims to value every child as a unique individual and support them to be fully involved in all aspects of the curriculum.

Areas of strength

Transition:Teachers ensure the continuing well-being, learning, and development of children with special needs. They encourage parents to visit prior to their child’s start and talk about the child’s strengths and interests, and whether they have any concerns about their child’s development or needs. The kindergarten’s good relationship with external agencies means that teachers receive pre-enrolment information and meet families and whānau before the child arrives. Children with special needs are welcomed as individuals who bring strengths and interests into the kindergarten.

Inclusion:Children with special needs have equitable access to experiences and opportunities as other children. Through building strong reciprocal relationships with the child and whānau/parents/caregivers, teachers gain an understanding of their strengths, interests and needs. The highly experienced teaching team uses a variety of strategies to meet individual children’s learning and care needs. They have developed assessment, planning and evaluation practices to ensure that the child is viewed in a holistic manner. The programme of activities enhances children’s learning and development, including children with special needs.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Gate Pa Kindergarten Before the review, the staff ofcompleted an EROCentreAssurance StatementandSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5. Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

 

About the Centre

Type

All day

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Roll number

32

Gender composition

Girls 12

Boys 20

Ethnic composition

New Zealand/Pākehā 17

New Zealand Māori 9

Indian 5

Tongan 1

Review team on site

November 2011

Date of this report

14 February 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review Report December 2008

Education Review Report May 2006

Education Review February 2003

14 February 2012

To the Parents and Community of Gate Pa Kindergarten

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Gate Pa Kindergarten.

Gate Pa Kindergarten is located in Tauranga and operates under the umbrella of the Tauranga Regional Free Kindergarten Association. The kindergarten was formerly known as Tauranga South Kindergarten. An all day model was implemented at the start of the new school year in 2010. The kindergarten embraces children, families and whānau from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Since the last ERO review teachers have reviewed the kindergarten’s philosophy, focused on developing and embracing their bicultural heritage, and made significant progress in strengthening documentation of children’s learning.

Teachers have worked hard to create a calm and caring learning environment and stimulating programme. Children enjoy ready access to spacious areas where they can initiate play and confidently make choices. Assessment portfolios include a strong bicultural reflection, and provide a valuable record of learning for each child.

The programme of activities enhances children’s learning and development, including children with special needs. Teachers are now reflecting on how to strengthen the learning potential of programme routines and maximising opportunities provided by the longer kindergarten day.

The experienced head teacher sets clear direction for the kindergarten. She works collaboratively with teachers in a distributive leadership style and is well respected by staff and families. Dedicated staff work effectively as a team to achieve positive outcomes for children. Diversity within this team is celebrated and contributes to a vibrant and inclusive culture in the kindergarten.

Teachers know children and families well and demonstrate empathy and respect in their interactions and responses to individual needs and aspirations. They nurture children’s holistic well-being and foster a strong sense of belonging.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

Quality of Education– including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.

Additional Review Priorities– other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.

National Evaluation Topics– This strand contributes to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.

Compliance with Legal Requirements– assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.