Hobsonville Kindergarten - 29/05/2015

1 Evaluation of Hobsonville Kindergarten

How well placed is Hobsonville 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

Hobsonville Kindergarten serves a predominantly European/ Pākehā community in West Auckland. The kindergarten offers a Kindergarten Day model of six hour days and is licensed to provide for up to 40 children, between the ages of three and five years of age.

The kindergarten team includes four registered teachers, including the head teacher, a support staff member and an administrator. A teacher and the administrator have had long association with the kindergarten. Other staff have joined the team in recent years. Staff are building positive relationships with families and the community.

The positive features highlighted in ERO’s 2012 report continue to be evident. The team made good use of the report’s recommendations to improve the programme and teaching practices.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides considered leadership, a management framework, support personnel and a programme of professional development for teachers.

After extensive review, consultation and development, the AKA has recently launched a new 10-year strategic direction. Its four strategic pillars or objectives relate to educational excellence, core organisational processes, community engagement and a future focus. These objectives are intended to guide the AKA and its kindergartens in their ongoing development. The AKA’s approach to rolling out a substantial change in its organisational structure has been carefully considered.

New AKA roles have been established to provide more targeted support for kindergarten operations, curriculum and development. Professional development is planned to support kindergarten head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is being developed to monitor quality in kindergartens and contribute to self review and ongoing improvement.

This review is one of a cluster of ten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are encouraged to make independent choices for their play. They enjoy positive and affirming relationships with teachers and each other. New children are supported well to settle in the kindergarten.

Teachers have reviewed and improved the learning environment. Storage areas for equipment are well organised and accessible. New furniture is improving children’s access to equipment and enriching play. New adult furniture has been arranged to invite parents to engage in the programme. The outdoor environment provides children with a wide range of physical challenge.

The new team has worked hard to establish good relationships with families, and teachers are keen to establish partnerships that support children’s learning. Some traditional kindergarten strategies continue to be used to encourage closer connections with parents.

Teachers aim to promote children’s learning dispositions or attitudes to learning. However, much of the programme planning is adult directed. It would be beneficial to children's learning if teacher planning responded more clearly to children’s emerging interests. Regular assessment of each individual’s learning and programme evaluation should improve outcomes for children.

Approaches to help children’s readiness for learning at school are aligned appropriately to theoretically-based early childhood practices. Teachers are reconsidering the content of the programme, including literacy, mathematics and science in response to discussions they have had with teachers from local schools.

Teachers are developing bicultural practices. Some teachers are beginning to use te reo Māori in the programme. Celebrations such as Matariki are becoming a part of annual celebrations. Displays are beginning to reflect Māori culture. Teachers are considering ways to engage more with whānau.

The head teacher has good theoretical knowledge about early childhood education. She promotes professional learning to develop teachers’ shared understandings about effective teaching practices. Staff demonstrate a commitment to building a cohesive team and developing a common vision for the kindergarten.

The head teacher is new to the AKA and to managing an early childhood centre. She brings fresh ideas of how the kindergarten team could align more closely with the kindergarten community. Support is being provided to transition her into her role and into the AKA organisation.

AKA systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. A variety of useful systems and processes contribute to the teaching team’s self review. This self review is supported by research into best practice. It is timely now for teachers to raise the level of critique of their teaching practice, and more specifically identify outcomes for children as part of their self review.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for the centre include teachers evaluating the:

  • effectiveness of programme planning to promote child-directed play
  • effectiveness of teaching strategies for increasing learning outcomes for children
  • provision of bicultural practices
  • impact of learning partnerships with parents on supporting children’s learning.

Recommendation

ERO recommends that the AKA support the teaching team to systematically implement strategies to raise the quality of teaching practices and the quality of learning outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 May 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Hobsonville, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5057

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

52

Gender composition

Girls 30

Boys 22

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

other

5

37

10

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

29 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2011

 

Education Review

September 2008

 

Education Review

October 2005

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.