Kauri Park Kindergarten - 15/03/2017

1 Evaluation of Kauri Park Kindergarten

How well placed is Kauri Park 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

Kauri Park Kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework and support personnel to assist the kindergarten. It is licensed to provide education and care for up to 40 children aged over two years. Most children attend sessions that match school hours and some attend either morning or afternoon sessions.

The head teacher leads a team of three other qualified teachers who have worked at the kindergarten for varying lengths of time. A teacher aide and an administrator make up the staff team.

The kindergarten's philosophy is strongly underpinned by the recognition of Māori as tangata whenua and the dual cultural heritage of Aotearoa. Emphasis is placed on developing a learning community that is respectful of all people and the environment.

The 2014 ERO report highlighted the fact that children were confident and settled in the kindergarten and engaged for long periods in learning opportunities that encouraged exploration and problem solving. Sustainability featured strongly in the programme. Effective relationships with whānau and community had been developed. These aspects of good practice have been maintained.

The 2014 ERO report noted that key next steps were to strengthen parents' and children's contributions to self review, and to evaluate the impact of changes brought about by self review. There has been some progress in these areas.

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

The Review Findings

The richly resourced kindergarten environment provides a wide range of opportunities for children to engage in play. Some children spend long periods of time focused on their chosen activity, well supported by teachers. Physical challenges provide good opportunities for children to develop agility, spatial orientation and balance.

Relationships between teachers and children are responsive and respectful. Teachers work well with individuals and small groups of children, following the child's lead and joining their play. They are active listeners and use children's comments and ideas in programme planning.

Teachers' relationships with whānau are well established and parents' contributions to the programme are valued. The welcoming atmosphere supports parents to linger and children to develop a sense of wellbeing and belonging in the kindergarten environment. There is good support for children to retain and use their home languages.

Te ao Māori concepts are displayed and woven through kindergarten operations. There is a strong commitment from the teaching team to strengthen their knowledge and use of te reo and tikanga Māori in teaching practices.

The curriculum focus on learning dispositions supports children to develop the necessary skills and attitudes to become confident, competent learners. It is also encouraging them to develop friendships and social competence. Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, is highly visible in programme documentation.

Teachers have built a strong connection with the local school and regularly visit with children, supporting their transitions to school. Maths and literacy learning experiences are valued and included in conversations and play in relevant and meaningful ways.

Teachers document internal evaluation, which includes teacher reflection and input from children and whānau. The different topics chosen for review are providing opportunities for teachers to take on leadership roles. Alignment of teachers' appraisal goals would bring more cohesion across the team and help develop shared understandings of the teachers' role in supporting and bringing complexity to children's learning.

AKA systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision, linked to the AKA strategic goals. The Association continues to review and refine its policies and procedures, including those for teacher appraisal and the endorsement of teachers’ practising certificates.

New AKA roles have been established to provide more targeted support for head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is aligned with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans, 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

The teaching team agrees that to enhance their current good quality provision for children, they should:

  • continue to strengthen internal evaluation by using evaluative review questions and making more effective use of research and observation in the sense-making process

  • develop cohesion in the recording of programme planning, learning assessments and programme evaluations to establish clear alignment of these processes

  • clarify systems of recording and working towards kindergarten goals

  • reflect on teaching practice and the use of quality questioning techniques to engage children in more complex learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kauri Park 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 Kauri Park Kindergarten will be in three 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

Birkdale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5060

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Boys 35 Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

South and South East Asian

Chinese

other

7

39

4

2

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

15 March 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

June 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.