Kidsfirst Kindergartens Templeton - 28/06/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Templeton operates between 8.30 am and 2.30 pm on weekdays. It is licensed for 45 children over the age of two years. All teachers at the kindergarten are fully registered and early childhood trained. An additional teacher was employed in 2011 to lower the ratio of children to teachers. The kindergarten changed from sessional to full day licence in Term 4 2011.

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Templeton is one of 62 kindergartens administered by the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association Incorporated, trading as Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

The association that governs this kindergarten is well organised and managed. It provides useful policies and procedures and a comprehensive framework for monitoring health and safety. The association incorporates a management layer in the form of education service managers and a manager of kindergarten operations who works in partnership with teachers providing ongoing educational leadership and professional development.

This review occurred at a time when the association and its kindergartens were responding to issues associated with the Canterbury earthquakes. They have been proactive in addressing these challenges.

The kindergarten has maintained the many areas of strength identified in the June 2008 ERO report and continues to build on these for the benefit of children and their families.

Caring and respectful relationships among teachers, children and parents contribute strongly to children’s sense of belonging and well-being.

Other strengths identified in this review include:

  • the attractive and well-designed environment that stimulates and encourages children to engage in exploratory play
  • the rich and varied experiences provided for children that successfully integrate different areas of the curriculum to extend their learning
  • the way teachers use assessment to identify children’s learning habits, skills, knowledge and attitudes and share these with children and families
  • the strong partnerships formed with parents and the local school to support children’s learning.

The kindergarten is well led. Teamwork and shared decision-making are effectively fostered. The head teacher and teachers, with ongoing support from the education service manager (ESM) and association, are focused on continuing to improve the programme and teaching practices to benefit children. Teachers have identified that their next steps are to improve aspects of assessment and self review.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the kindergarten again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Templeton was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the kindergarten to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the kindergarten (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children at Kidsfirst Kindergartens Templeton.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children
  • the learning environment
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

The kindergarten’s philosophy and vision are founded on the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. Teachers aim to help children become confident and competent learners and communicators. Children are to be given opportunities to make their own choices about their involvement in interesting and challenging play activities. They are encouraged to be independent, explore and make their own discoveries in a safe and supportive learning environment.

Areas of strength

Relationships

Enthusiastic, supportive and caring teachers provide children with a secure place to play and learn. Good relationships between and among children foster and support cooperative play. Children confidently make requests and have their needs met promptly. Teachers regularly involve themselves in children’s play, often at children’s invitation. These positive relationships contribute strongly to children’s sense of belonging and well-being.

Learning environment/resources

The well-designed, spacious indoor area and playground include a wide range of inviting resources and activities to stimulate children and encourage their participation in play. Attractive displays and records of individual and group experiences help to value and celebrate children’s learning. Ongoing improvements to the environment have been successfully achieved as a result of self review.

Partnerships in learning

Strong ties between the kindergarten and parents have been developed and maintained over time. Supportive relationships were particularly evident during the Canterbury earthquakes. Parents often stay during sessions to discuss their children’s learning with teachers and join in activities. Parents are well supported by teachers and in turn give good support to the kindergarten to benefit their children.

Teachers have formed a strong relationship with the neighbouring school. The kindergarten joins in some school activities. Junior students make periodic visits to the kindergarten. Children’s transition to school is well supported by these close relationships and shared experiences.

Range of learning experiences

Teachers provide children with many rich and varied learning experiences. Features of the programme include:

  • the extent to which children have opportunities to follow their interests and engage in exploratory play
  • the successful integration of different curriculum areas such as music, literacy, the arts, environmental education and aspects of technology
  • the opportunities children have to extend their learning through visitors to the kindergarten
  • the range of activities that involve children, parents and the wider community.

ERO observed children making their own choices, and engaging in and sustaining their play ideas for lengthy periods of time.

Identifying children’s learning

Teachers have developed some useful assessment practices. For instance:

  • individual learning stories and group stories of interest help teachers to notice, recognise and celebrate children’s strengths, interests and abilities
  • assessments identify the different habits, skills, knowledge and attitudes children are displaying
  • profiles often include children’s responses to their involvement in play and show their progress over time
  • some in-depth parent contributions to children’s profiles are providing a broader view of children’s learning.
Leadership and teamwork

The head teacher and teachers work in ways that actively promote the kindergarten’s philosophy and vision. Reflective practice and the targeted professional development, planned and conducted by the association, supports teachers in making ongoing improvements to the programmes and practices. Management practices foster teamwork and shared decision making.

Areas for development and review

Extending aspects of assessment practices

Teachers have identified they could make better use of children’s assessment information to enhance teaching and learning by:

  • continuing to work on more specifically identifying children’s next learning steps and the teaching strategies they will use to achieve these goals
  • further involving children in assessing their own learning and making choices about their own possible next steps
  • building on the work they have already done to make greater use of this information when planning programmes for individuals and groups of children.
Enhancing self review

The head teacher and teachers, with the support of the ESM, have established a useful range of self-review practices. Some reviews are more comprehensive than others. The next step for the head teacher and teachers is to clarify what counts as best practice and ensure that these characteristics are incorporated into all reviews.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Templeton completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse)
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures)
  • staff qualifications and organisation
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Future Action

ERO is likely to review the kindergarten again in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

About the Centre

Type

All Day, Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over two years of age

Roll number

45

Gender composition

Girls 18

Boys 27

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 39

Māori 6

Review team on site

April 2012

Date of this report

28 June 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review June 2008

Education Review October 2005

Accountability Review February 2001

To the Parents and Community of Kidsfirst Kindergartens Templeton

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Kidsfirst Kindergartens Templeton.

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Templeton operates between 8.30 am and 2.30 pm on weekdays. It is licensed for 45 children over the age of two years. All teachers at the kindergarten are fully registered and early childhood trained. An additional teacher was employed in 2011 to lower the ratio of children to teachers. The kindergarten changed from sessional to full day licence in Term 4 2011.

Kidsfirst Kindergartens Templeton is one of 62 kindergartens administered by the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association Incorporated, trading as Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

The association that governs this kindergarten is well organised and managed. It provides useful policies and procedures and a comprehensive framework for monitoring health and safety. The association incorporates a management layer in the form of education service managers and a manager of kindergarten operations who works in partnership with teachers providing ongoing educational leadership and professional development.

This review occurred at a time when the association and its kindergartens were responding to issues associated with the Canterbury earthquakes. They have been proactive in addressing these challenges.

The kindergarten has maintained the many areas of strength identified in the June 2008 ERO report and continues to build on these for the benefit of children and their families.

Caring and respectful relationships among teachers, children and parents contribute strongly to children’s sense of belonging and well-being.

Other strengths identified in this review include:

  • the attractive and well-designed environment that stimulates and encourages children to engage in exploratory play
  • the rich and varied experiences provided for children that successfully integrate different areas of the curriculum to extend their learning
  • the way teachers use assessment to identify children’s learning habits, skills, knowledge and attitudes and share these with children and families
  • the strong partnerships formed with parents and the local school to support children’s learning.

The kindergarten is well led. Teamwork and shared decision-making are effectively fostered. The head teacher and teachers, with ongoing support from the education service manager (ESM) and association, are focused on continuing to improve the programme and teaching practices to benefit children. Teachers have identified that their next steps are to improve aspects of assessment and self review.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the kindergarten again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the kindergarten or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services

Southern Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a kindergarten, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this kindergarten has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this kindergarten.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.