Henderson Kindergarten - 15/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Henderson Kindergarten

How well placed is Henderson 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

Henderson Kindergarten is licensed for 40 children over two years old. The kindergarten provides a four-hour morning session and six-hour sessions that align well with school hours. Twenty children remain for the afternoon programme. The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework and support personnel to assist the kindergarten.

The kindergarten has a team of experienced, fully registered teachers, who have been together for more than three years. Their cultural diversity and complementary skills support the team's collaborative management of the kindergarten and the positive relationships they have with their community. Teachers have participated in professional learning related to bicultural practices, bilingualism, and effective support for two year old children. These areas are priorities for the teachers and are reflected in the kindergarten's philosophy statement, which commits them to providing an inclusive environment.

In 2013 ERO commended the quality of the learning environment, children's confidence, and the development of teaching strategies. Teachers continue to strengthen these positive features. ERO's 2013 recommendations related to self review, bicultural practices, planning and deepening children's thinking. These aspects have been the focus of teachers' professional learning and have resulted in noteworthy improvements.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 kindergarten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are confident, independent learners. They settle quickly and enthusiastically engage in activities, often sustaining interests for long periods. Although several have English as an additional language, children are articulate and readily converse with adults and their peers. They fully expect that adults will listen, respond and support them. Children can independently access a variety of resources and many have become competent with difficult tasks. Teachers have high expectations that children will respect and help each other, especially including the large group of two year olds and children with special needs.

Teachers skilfully prompt children to be curious learners. They use open questions well to foster problem solving and persistence and encourage tuakana/teina relationships, enabling the more capable children to tutor their peers. Teachers integrate Māori concepts well and celebrate the cultural diversity of the kindergarten. They have responded positively to the growing number of two year old children on the roll and recognise they can further develop the challenges available for this age group.

Teachers use their knowledge of children's interests and parents' aspirations to develop a responsive curriculum. They encourage children to lead the exploration of resources and ideas, allowing group topics to evolve and diversify over time. Each week teachers document their observations of children's individual interests, and the ways in which they have involved parents and incorporated Māori concepts. Teachers share these reflections in order to continually enhance the quality of the programme.

There is ongoing improvement in teachers' assessment practices. Teachers confidently analyse play experiences to identify children's learning dispositions and strategies to extend interests. They have established an inviting environment that is very well resourced and supports children to independently access and use equipment to meet their learning needs.

Families support the kindergarten well. Teachers have established partnerships with their community through ongoing informal discussion, frequent cultural events and excursions, and extensive displays about children's learning. Families make good use of an on-line portal that enables them to read and comment on the child’s learning stories. Parents who were interviewed by ERO enthusiastically endorse the quality of learning, the depth of relationships and the social development their children enjoy.

The kindergarten is well led and managed. As an established, collaborative team, teachers share leadership responsibilities and decision making. They think deeply about their practices and value the different skills and knowledge they each bring.

Teachers have developed and documented a range of internal evaluation processes. Spontaneous and strategic reviews guide them to address incidental issues as well as developing an inquiry approach to their teaching practices. A newly established business plan is strongly linked to AKA strategic goals and Quality Improvement Process (QIP), as well as teachers’ professional development and appraisal goals. Teachers now want to further develop the usefulness of this plan.

New AKA roles have been established to provide more targeted support for head teachers in their leadership and management roles. The QIP is informed by ongoing internal evaluation, monitors quality and promotes continual improvement in kindergartens. AKA support and guidance are responsive to each kindergarten's individual context.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and AKA personnel agree that key next steps include:

  • continuing to develop and refine internal evaluation and assessment practices

  • establishing curriculum leadership roles in key areas such as literacy, numeracy, science and technology

  • considering more specific planning to extend the learning of two year olds
  • further improving the effectiveness of the kindergarten's business plan.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

15 March 2017

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

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5054

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

42

Gender composition

Boys 25 Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Filipino

Indian

others

7

16

6

3

3

7

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

December 2016

Date of this report

15 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

November 2013

Education Review

October 2010

Education Review

May 2007

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.