Hawera Kindergarten - 15/05/2015

1 Evaluation of Hawera Kindergarten

How well placed is Hawera 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

Hawera Kindergarten is one of 24 kindergartens administered by the newly established Kindergarten Taranaki, formerly North and South Taranaki Kindergarten Associations. The governing board is responsible for setting overall strategic and policy direction for the organisation. Four professional leaders are employed to support learning and development for teachers. The present management structure is under review.

The kindergarten is licensed for 41 children and has a roll of 43. Mixed-age sessions operate daily, from 8.30am to 2.45pm. All teachers are registered and qualified. The head teacher role was shared during 2014 and 2015 while the head teacher worked in another leadership area. Teamwork is a feature of the kindergarten. Sustained progress has been made since the July 2012 ERO report. Good foundations have assisted a programme of steady improvement.

Centre practices and curriculum are guided by a clear philosophy. Whakawhanaungatanga underpins the programme: ‘The connections we make, the relationships we have with people, places and things. It takes a village to raise a child’. This is an expression of the kindergarten’s approach to education and care. The philosophy is very evident in the inclusive and respectful practices that nurture relationships with children and their whānau.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews in Kindergarten Taranaki.

The Review Findings

Children learn in a spacious environment with natural materials and resources that encourage exploration and socialising. Routines are calm and unhurried. Kai time is a shared, social occasion when children and teachers talk and eat together.

The bicultural curriculum is highly evident in the environment and in what happens throughout the day. Children’s language, culture and identity are valued. Whānau identity is supported through teachers’ planning, resources and in their learning profiles. Tuakana teina relationships are a natural part of each session.

Interactions among children and teachers are warm and positive. Children play cooperatively, using their imagination and being challenged to try new things. Reading, writing and number activities are integrated through the programme. Teachers encourage children to make good choices and to manage themselves. Children are relaxed and confident.

Each child’s learning journey is effectively captured in their profile. Parents contribute, sharing experiences and what they know about their child. Teachers plan how they will respond by extending children’s learning and keeping their interests alive. Children persevere with activities and develop individual and group skills such as sharing and communicating.

All children are welcomed. Support for those with more complex needs includes changing the programme and routines to meet their needs and seeking assistance from experts beyond the kindergarten. Children participate fully with others.

Self review is highly responsive to events and issues as they arise. Topics are relevant to improving kindergarten practice and making the curriculum exciting for children. Strengths, weaknesses and opportunities contribute to improvement-focused change.

Transition times are very well managed. Home learning guides planning to cater for children’s individual needs when they enrol in the kindergarten. Teacher networks with new entrant teachers help establish a comfortable new relationship for children and their family, when beginning school. Kindergarten staff continue to build positive links with the wider community.

Partnerships with parents and whānau are strong and mutually supportive. Parents’ role as first teachers is valued. Family interests and experiences are reflected in the programme. Communication is open and responsive to parents’ views. Children who speak te reo Māori as their first language are confident in play and social interactions. They are frequently teachers of others.

Key Next Steps

  • Self review in response to immediate issues or events is efficient and effective. The next step is to begin more in-depth reviews with a strong evaluative focus on how change impacts on outcomes for children. The aspect of ‘what next’ is likely to be clearer.
  • Teachers’ planning and assessment is closely linked through entries in children’s portfolios and team discussion. Teachers identify, and ERO agrees, that evaluating the impact of their response is the next step.

Kindergarten Taranaki Key Next Steps

Kindergarten Taranaki is a new entity established in March 2014. Collaboratively developed strategies and values guide future direction. An internal review of capacity and capability of non-teaching roles has been completed. Further development of processes and practices is required.

ERO, the chief executive and professional leaders agree that priorities for improvement are:

  • developing the annual plan
  • strengthening systems and processes for performance management
  • consistent implementation of appraisal
  • reviewing and clarifying professional leaders’ role in building teachers’ capability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer

Central

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

Hawera

Ministry of Education profile number

5232

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

41 children, aged over 2

Service roll

43

Gender composition

Girls 26, Boys 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

14

26

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

March 2015

Date of this report

15 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

July 2012

 

Education Review

October 2008

 

Education Review

September 2003

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.