Inglewood Kindergarten - 18/01/2017

1 Evaluation of Inglewood Kindergarten

How well placed is Inglewood 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

Inglewood Kindergarten provides education and care for children from two to five years of age. It is open five days a week, for six hours daily and licensed for up to 40 children. Within these hours, sessional care and education is also provided. Of the roll of 48, six identify as Māori.

Children enrol from both urban and rural areas, with some travelling a considerable distance. Sessions are designed for mixed ages, to respond to families' needs and allow siblings to attend together. The kindergarten is a participant in a recently formed Community of Learning located in the Inglewood area.

Since the October 2013 ERO report, the outdoor area has been redeveloped to include an orchard, raised vegetable planters and grass.

The teaching team is fully qualified and the programme is further assisted by support staff.

The kindergarten is one of 24 governed by the newly established Kindergarten Taranaki (the association), formerly North and South Taranaki Kindergarten Associations. A chief executive was appointed to lead the association in 2014. Three professional leaders are employed by the association to provide professional support and guidance to teachers.

The previous ERO report identified areas of practice requiring further development. These included enhancing assessment, building relationships and transition to school practices. Progress is evident. In addition, the 2013 and 2015 ERO reviews identified key next steps for the association. Progress in addressing these is ongoing.

This review was part of a cluster of eight in the Kindergarten Taranaki Association. 

The Review Findings

Children are empowered through a child-led curriculum that responds to their strengths, interests and abilities. They play collaboratively in groups of their choosing and have opportunities to reflect and build on prior learning experiences. Flexible routines contribute to their emerging independence and confidence. Literacy experiences are integrated throughout the curriculum.

The learning environment clearly reflects the diverse cultures, languages and identities of the children and their families. Staff draw on their positive relationships with families to enhance children's sense of belonging and wellbeing. Whānau are valued as experts in their culture. A strong sense of place and community is evident. Children with additional needs are effectively identified, supported and monitored over time. Teachers liaise with external agencies as required.

Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are evident in aspects of the curriculum and embedded in teacher practice. This strong foundation, along with association guidance, should support understanding of and enhance the focus on promoting educational success for Māori children.

Positive changes have recently been made in assessment, planning and evaluation practices. Teachers now observe children's interests, clearly articulate their learning, share this with whānau and invite feedback. Further consideration should be given to:

  • regularly seeking and responding to whānau aspirations for their children's learning

  • more consistently recording teachers' responses to children's learning in their portfolios

  • planning for children's progress and evaluating the impact of this over time.

A useful appraisal process supports teacher practice. The association has recently revised the appraisal procedure, this now includes the use of formal observations of teacher practice. Once fully established this should assist leaders to strengthen the process. Professional leaders should then undertake regular monitoring of practice and evaluate how well appraisal is being implemented in each kindergarten.

A self-review process is in place that results in improvement. Useful indicators of success guide teachers in their decision-making approach. Shifting teachers' focus to evaluating how well their practices support and improve learning outcomes for children is a next step.

Teachers, in consultation with parents, sensitively support children's successful transitions into kindergarten and onto school. Close relationships with local schools are likely to be further strengthened through the kindergarten's participation in the recently formed Community of Learning for the Inglewood area.

The board works collaboratively with its community to establish vision, values and strategic priorities. Establishing clearer measures of success should enable the board to measure progress and evaluate how well practices support realisation of goals and vision.

The board's ongoing commitment to biculturalism is evident through planned initiatives to support teachers to promote te ao Māori in the curriculum and to develop culturally responsive practices. Senior association leaders are focused on developing initiatives to better determine the impact of curriculum delivery and teaching and learning in each kindergarten.

The association should establish clear expectations of the purpose and use of assessment, planning and evaluation in kindergartens. Professional leaders in partnership with teaching teams, should then monitor the effective implementation of:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • review and internal evaluation.

In addition, the association should establish a system for the ongoing monitoring of compliance with legislative requirements, including those related to health and safety.

Key Next Steps

ERO and kindergarten teachers agree that key next steps are to continue to strengthen:

  • educational success for Māori learners with the support of the association

  • planning and assessment to clearly show children's learning progress

  • teachers' understanding of review and evaluation.

The association should:

  • strengthen the processes used to evaluate the progress of the strategic plan

  • provide effective guidance and monitoring of association expectations related to assessment practice, review and internal evaluation and health and safety practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

18 January 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

New Plymouth

Ministry of Education profile number

5221

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2

Service roll

48

Gender composition

Boys 27, Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

6

35

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

November 2016

Date of this report

18 January 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

October 2013

Education Review

August 2010

Education Review

February 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.