John Street Kindergarten - 06/06/2017

1 Evaluation of John Street Kindergarten

How well placed is John Street 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

John Street Kindergarten is governed by the Waimate Kindergarten Association and is one of a cluster of two. The service is licenced for 30 children and provides education and care for children over the age of two and up to school age. A general manager has responsibility for the overall operation. A senior teacher supports the teachers with their professional practice. Children from a range of nationalities within the local township and the wider rural area attend the centre. A new head teacher began at the beginning of 2017.

The 2014 ERO review recommended improvements in assessment, bicultural practice and internal evaluation. These continue to be work in progress as the new head teacher refines developments.

The Review Findings

Children attending John Street Kindergarten benefit from the strong relationships teachers have with the community. The positive, respectful relationships the head teacher, general manager and teaching team have with families helps support children to gain a sense of belonging and to feel at home at the centre.

The teachers effectively model inclusive behaviour through thoughtful, sensitive practices. This in turn is demonstrated by the children. Children are encouraged to be independent thinkers who can make decisions about what they want to learn. The teachers know the children well and extend their learning in a seamless way as the children work and play.

Teachers provide a wide range of activities and experiences within the centre environment that give children the opportunity for exploration and free choice. The centre is well resourced and children have access to culturally-relevant puzzles and books. 

Children are well supported in their learning. Teachers value children's views and preferences and encourage them to investigate solutions to problems. Interactions also strongly support other literacy learning. Children have many opportunities to engage in literacy related activities across curriculum areas.

Positive relationships between teachers and parents are being strengthened by regular discussion about children's learning. The information teachers gather forms part of the teachers' planning for groups of children and individuals.

The diverse cultures of families and children are valued and celebrated. The new head teacher is continuing the centre's focus on integrating Māori perspectives in programmes and building children's familiarity with te reo and tikanga Māori. Links with local iwi are being established to support this focus.

Assessment and planning is work in progress and varies from developing to very good. The head teacher is working to achieve consistent quality of practice. Teachers need to ensure learning intentions for children are clear, and that strategies they intend to use to support children's learning are evaluated and documented in learning stories. Teachers recently identified the service’s key learning priorities for children’s learning and have begun to plan how to ensure these are achieved. A next step for the centre is to implement a system that enables teachers to share with one another what they have planned as learning priorities for each child.

Teachers follow a useful process of internal evaluation, both planned and spontaneous. These reviews have led to positive outcomes for children. The head teacher has a good understanding of evaluation processes and practices. ERO recommends that the centre further extend the schedule of reviews to include key aspects of learning and teaching such as, the quality of interactions, bicultural practice, and the use of the environment. The manager plans to review the internal-evaluation system to ensure policy reviews are manageable and include evaluation against practice.

The governing body, manager and senior teacher work collaboratively to provide effective support to the service and ensure systems are cohesive and well aligned. There are practices in place to support ongoing improvements and manage health and safety. A useful strategic plan clearly states the association's philosophy, vision and values. The relevant strategic goals are closely monitored through a useful annual plan. The head teacher reports to the board regularly against annual goals. A robust appraisal system is embedding well.

Key next steps for the service have been identified by the manager, senior teacher and head teacher and ERO agrees. These are stated above and include continuing to develop and implement:

  • the assessment and planning system

  • bicultural practice and the integration of Māori perspectives

  • the recently identified centre-wide learning priorities for children

  • internal-evaluation practice. 

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of John Street 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.

During the review ERO identified the need for the association to update the kindergarten's appraisal and appointments policies to meet new requirements. This was being attended to while ERO was on site.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of John Street Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

6 June 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

Waimate

Ministry of Education profile number

5542

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children aged over 2

Service roll

31

Gender composition

Boys: 21

Girls: 10

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Filipino

Nepalese

Indian-Fijian

Māori-African American

2

24

2

1

1

1

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 2017

Date of this report

6 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

October 2010

Education Review

July 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.