Henwood Kindy - 10/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Henwood Kindy

How well placed is Henwood Kindy 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

Henwood Kindy is a privately owned early childhood service located in a spacious rural setting in Bell Block, New Plymouth. It is licensed for up to 56 children aged over two years to attend between 8.30am and 3.15pm on week days. At the time of this review, 64 children were enrolled, three of whom identify as Māori.

Since the October 2012 ERO review, the centre has expanded to meet community demand. A second classroom opened in January 2015. A particular focus, this year, has been on supporting new teachers, families and children to settle, and developing the new classroom environment. The owner is committed to retaining small group sizes in each building.

All teachers are qualified and registered. Two have yet to complete requirements for full teacher registration. Of the seven teachers, three have been employed in the last six months and one is about to commence appointment.

The philosophy emphasises the importance of families, whānau and tamariki working together as a community of learners and kaitiaki of the land. The provision of authentic learning experiences, such as caring for animals and the garden, in sustainable ways, are key aspects.

This is the second ERO review of Henwood Kindy.

The Review Findings

The intent of the philosophy and the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum are evident in all aspects of operation. Sustainability, nature, whakamana, whanaungatanga and manaakitanga clearly underpin management, teaching practice, and the organisation of the environment and programme for children.

The daily programme is strongly child led, giving effect to teachers’ belief in children as competent leaders of their own learning. Self expression is fostered through the many open-ended opportunities for creativity and investigation. Independence in self care and responsibility for caring for others are actively promoted. Literacy, numeracy, science and the arts are woven throughout daily activities in play-based ways. Children are empowered as learners.

The learning environment is rich and challenging. Beauty and order are emphasised. Resources reflect a focus on real things and the natural environment. Gardens and animals are carefully and communally tended to promote children’s respect for, interest in, and understanding of, the natural world. Displays and documentation celebrate children’s work and the importance of families and whānau. Regular excursions extend centre boundaries into the local community.

Teachers prioritise the development of close and reciprocal relationships with families and whānau to support children’s learning. There are many opportunities for communication and sharing ideas about children’s learning. Parents’ aspirations for their children and their views about operation are sought and valued to support decisions about development. The community is highly supportive of the centre’s philosophy and approach.

Teachers are highly respectful and inclusive. They use a range of effective strategies to settle children, encourage their thinking and understanding, and to facilitate their social competence. Older children are encouraged to support those younger. The quiet and calm tone in classrooms reflects children’s high level of sustained engagement in play and learning.

The kaupapa of the centre actively promotes te reo me ngā tikanga Māori and opportunities for Māori children to experience aspects of their culture. Te ao Maori is incorporated into events, interactions, daily rituals and protocols. Reviews of centre practice are starting to include consideration of bicultural perspectives and values. Teachers have accessed Ministry of Education resources to support their understanding of suitable ways to work with Māori learners and whānau. They agree they should also continue to seek suitable links through whānau and with mana whenua to support their approach.

A carefully-considered, individualised approach effectively supports children’s transitions into the kindy and on to school. This has involved teachers researching best practice and seeking the views of parents and school personnel. Teachers should continue to develop purposeful links with local primary schools and ways of sharing children’s early learning at school entry. Researching available community resources for supporting families from non-English speaking backgrounds should be useful to inform decisions about the further development of the transition process into the service.

Children with additional learning needs are welcome at the centre. Teachers’ highly inclusive practice and developed links with relevant community agencies aid them in supporting these children’s participation in the programme.

Teachers’ approach to planning for learning effectively supports individuals to achieve and progress. They know children well, working with parents to identify priorities and needs. Children display strong ownership of their learning journals, which record details of their participation and aspects of their learning. Teachers agree they should continue to support parents’ understanding of early learning. The continuing development of a bicultural perspective in learning journals, and of more collaborative evaluation of children’s learning, is planned. Teachers should also consider strengthening how they show individuals’ progress in relation to their interests, dispositions for learning and parents’ aspirations.

A recently implemented appraisal process effectively supports teachers to inquire into aspects of their teaching. They should ensure that they also identify suitable goals to strengthen their practice, linked to outcomes for children, philosophical ideals and centre priorities.

Shared leadership is highly effective in building cohesive practice, the sense of team and teachers’ capability. Teachers are very reflective and regularly engage in review and discussion. Formal self review is comprehensive and underpinned by relevant research and input from families and whānau. Next steps are for teachers to develop a more evaluative approach and support new teachers to develop their understanding and participation in the process.

The owners and teachers have a strong, shared vision for the development of the centre. Expectations for teacher performance are high. Creativity and innovation are encouraged. High quality and ongoing professional learning is promoted. A collaboratively reviewed range of documentation supports consistent practice. Annual plans highlight short-term priorities for development. Next steps for management are to develop strategic goals, linked to outcomes for children, to ensure the sustainability of ideals, values and ways of working. Monitoring and measurement of progress should be an integral part of planned self review.

Key Next Steps

The team agrees it should continue to focus on strengthening systems that sustain good practice and promote improvement, including the:

  • collaborative review and further definition of the philosophy and strategic priorities
  • continued development, review and implementation of the teacher appraisal process
  • ongoing strengthening of self review.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Henwood Kindy 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 Henwood Kindy will be in four years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

10 June 2015

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

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

45424

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

56 children aged over 2

Service roll

64

Gender composition

Girls 32

Boys 32

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

3

51

10

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

10 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2012

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.