Hawera Kindergarten - 15/11/2018

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 licensed to provide all day education and care for up to 41 children, aged over two years. Of the 38 children enrolled, 14 identify as Māori.

Since the May 2015 ERO report, a new head teacher and teacher have been appointed. All teachers at the Hawera Kindergarten are fully qualified.

The kindergarten's philosophy, reviewed in 2017, emphasises the importance of relationships and is strongly bicultural.

A parent committee supports the kindergarten with fundraising, finances and community events. The kindergarten participates in the Enviroschools and Healthy Heart programmes. It is a member of the South Taranaki Kāhui Ako.

Hawera Kindergarten is one of 24 kindergartens governed and managed by Kindergarten Taranaki - Te Putahi Kura Pūhou Taranaki (the association). Day-to-day management of the association is the responsibility of the chief executive. A governing board sets the overall strategic direction. A professional manager and two professional leaders provide regular support and a range of learning and development opportunities for teachers. An operations manager supports kindergartens' policy development and compliance.

In 2017, the board developed a strategic plan with the intention for individual kindergartens to align their strategic plans to the association's goals and measures. A Quality Evaluation Tool was introduced in late 2017. The purpose of this document is for teachers to self-assess teaching and learning practices to inform internal evaluation and improve outcomes for children.

The previous ERO report identified that the kindergarten needed to continue to strengthen understanding and use of evaluation within children's documentation and self review. Some progress has been made.

ERO also identified areas for the organisation to strengthen. These included:

  • developing the annual plan

  • strengthening systems and processes for performance management

  • consistent implementation of appraisal

  • reviewing and clarifying the role of the professional leaders in building teachers’ capability.

Progress in these areas is evident.

This review was part of a cluster of three in Kindergarten Taranaki - Te Putahi Kura Pūhou Taranaki.

The Review Findings

Children actively participate in the child-led programme. They are seen as competent leaders of their own learning and empowered as learners. Literacy, oral language, and physical activity are woven throughout daily activities. Spacious learning environments encourage children's creative exploration through a wide range of open-ended activities.

Resources reflect a focus on real things and the natural environment. Displays and documentation celebrate children’s work and the diversity of the community. Children enjoy opportunities to freely investigate materials, work with others and make choices about their participation. The quiet, calm tone of the kindergarten reflects the high levels of engagement in learning.

The philosophy is evident in practice. Te ao Māori perspectives are meaningfully integrated across the curriculum. Children enjoy positive, inclusive relationships with adults. Tikanga Māori practices are highly visible and authentically promoted throughout the programme. Children confidently lead karakia and waiata. Leaders agree that the philosophy should be reviewed in consultation with parents and whānau, to specifically reflect the aspirations and valued outcomes of this kindergarten community. ERO's evaluation confirms this decision.

Children with additional needs are well supported to fully engage in the programme through their individual interests. Teachers liaise with parents and whānau, as well as external agencies as appropriate, to plan and monitor children's learning and progress.

Planning for children's learning is continuing to develop. Portfolios are used well to record children's unique interests, strengths and dispositions. Whānau contribution is effectively promoted. Culture, language and identity is highly valued and celebrated. Teachers closely observe children and note their progress. Leaders and ERO agree that planning, recording and evaluating teaching strategies is an area to strengthen. As this progresses, portfolios should clearly show how purposeful teacher actions have impacted on children's learning.

Teachers are responsive to the culture, language and identity of Māori children. This is supported by the association's environmental focus, consideration of local bicultural values, teacher development goals and professional learning opportunities. A number of new initiatives and systems have been developed that should further develop culturally responsive practice.

The association generally provides useful governance and management support for this kindergarten. This includes:

  • purposeful support from the professional leaders to build teacher capability

  • effective and targeted teacher and leadership development through an appraisal process and a range of professional learning opportunities.

Association leaders are purposefully building teachers’ understanding of internal evaluation through ongoing mentoring. Teachers should continue to clearly measure the impact of practices on children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the professional leader and teachers agree the following key next steps for Hawera Kindergarten are to:

  • review the philosophy to better reflect families aspirations for their children

  • planning for learning that incorporates and evaluates teaching strategies

  • understanding and use of internal evaluation for improved outcomes.

ERO and Kindergarten Taranaki agree that the organisation should further develop:

  • quality assurance processes and guidelines linked to compliance with regulations and association expectations

  • a policy framework to support kindergartens.

Managers and leaders should consolidate newly introduced plans and processes and evaluate the effectiveness of practices and operation across all levels of the organisation.

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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

15 November 2018

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

40

Gender composition

Girls 24, Boys 16

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

16
19
5

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2018

Date of this report

15 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

July 2012

Education Review

October 2008

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.