Khandallah Kindergarten - 19/06/2015

1. Evaluation of Khandallah Kindergarten

How well placed is Khandallah 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

Khandallah Kindergarten is a long-established early childhood centre located close to Khandallah village. The service provides flexible sessions for children aged over two and experiences a high turnover of children and families. Most children attending are over three. Strong community support and involvement is a feature of this kindergarten.

Khandallah Kindergarten is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. The transition to the new association is expected to be a three-year process.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

In 2012, the association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning.

The December 2011 ERO report for Khandallah Kindergarten identified that self review, te ao Māori, assessment, planning and evaluation required further development. Aspects recognised as strengths have been sustained. Areas where the Wellington Kindergarten Association needed to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified at the time. Improvement continues to be needed in some of these areas that the association has plans to address. They feature as key next steps in this report. The alignment of individual kindergartens' annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been addressed.

All teachers at Khandallah Kindergarten are qualified and four have full registration. Two teachers are involved in a programme of advice and guidance to gain full registration. In January 2015, kindergarten hours were increased in response to community needs and an additional teacher was employed.

This review was part of a cluster of 16 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

At Khandallah Kindergarten the philosophy is underpinned by shared values and beliefs that support a welcoming environment and ‘promotes respectful and reciprocal relationships’. Parent involvement in programmes for children is significant and valued. Regular consultation with parents encourages their contribution to decision-making processes.

Children experience a child-initiated, play-based curriculum for the majority of time and are busy, purposeful, active learners. Teachers foster and encourage emerging interests, and support child-led inquiries and investigations. Children’s risk-taking within a safe environment is well supported. They make choices from the wide range of rich learning experiences. Teachers should consider how to always use deliberate teaching strategies to extend and challenge children’s thinking and learning.

Children are developing skills that support them as capable, confident, lifelong learners. Early literacy and numeracy experiences are included meaningfully throughout the programmes. Children's learning and development are celebrated and shared between teachers and parents.

Teachers focus on developing sound relationships between homes and the kindergarten. Children with special needs are welcomed and supported by close partnerships with parents. Teachers know each child and their personalities well. The recently introduced daily ‘koiwi’ session provides staff with an opportunity to discuss individual children’s plans and goals. Teachers should now refine and develop further documentation to better record how they recognise and respond to individual learning.

Children have a variety of opportunities to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. Teachers are enthusiastic about exploring further ways of enhancing culturally-responsive practices for Māori learners. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction.

Transitions to school are managed with care. Strong connections are formed with two local schools. Teachers and parents increasingly share information so that children’s confidence and capability at preschool transfer to the new entrant classrooms.

The experienced head teacher confidently leads staff. They have ample opportunities for leadership to support their professional growth. Teachers use evidence-based self-review processes and practices, to reflect on the quality of teaching and learning. Annual goals and plans are firmly based on promoting positive outcomes for children.

The senior teacher provides termly written reports that outline agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. The association has recently implemented new reports that should more deliberately focus on outcomes for children, teacher and leader performance. ERO's evaluation affirms this development.

The 2012 ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal processes. These continue to require development. A recently revised appraisal model, yet to be implemented, includes: more focused goals that build teacher and leader capability; more regular and targeted feedback and feed forward about teaching practice; and clearer links with the Registered Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree that key next steps for Khandallah Kindergarten are to continue to strengthen:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation of individual children’s learning
  • self review and teacher inquiry by deepening the analysis of evidence gathered.

The senior management team of He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua should continue to further improve processes for growing and developing the practice of teachers, head teachers and senior teachers. This should include:

  • improvements to the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

19 June 2015

2. Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Khandallah, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

5356

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

80

Gender composition

Girls 45,

Boys 35

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Asian

Indian

Other ethnic groups

6

58

1

7

2

6

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

May 2015

Date of this report

19 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

December 2011

 

Education Review

March 2008

 

Education Review

September 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.