Kingdom Kidz - 13/04/2015

1 Evaluation of Kingdom Kidz

How well placed is Kingdom Kidz 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

Kingdom Kidz is a service that provides education and care for babies and children up to school age. The centre is in a rural setting north of Whangarei. The centre owner has worked at the centre since 2007 and became centre leader in 2011. In this time teachers have worked to define their learning philosophy, using their Christian values alongside the theories and practice of Reggio Emilia, and Magda Gerber. This philosophy is now fully integrated into the curriculum and guides centre practice.

The centre sits within three acres of garden. Children are able to pick fresh fruit and interact with the farm animals in the centre's grounds. These are noteworthy features of the centre.

In 2012 ERO identified that there were many good opportunities for children’s learning. At that time, teachers identified the need to further develop strategic planning processes. They also decided to extend play opportunities in the area for children under two and to further provide professional development for teachers. These decisions have been followed through and teachers continue to be proactive and seek improvement.

The Review Findings

Children in the centre are confident and capable learners. They settle readily and make deliberate choices about where and what to play and the resources they need. Many children sustain play for prolonged periods. ERO observed children solving problems and experimenting with new ideas as challenges arose. They were totally involved in their many opportunities for play.

Children work collaboratively showing tuakana/teina support for each other. They benefit from the spacious natural environment. Children are calm and relaxed in this environment. Learning spaces invite complex play and promote children’s inquiry. The Reggio Emilia project-based approach is very evident. This is particularly noticeable in the older children’s learning programmes where they are developing and demonstrating independence and resourcefulness.

Teachers skilfully engage children as they play. Children are well supported to collaborate and investigate ideas and new thinking. Teachers use open ended questions. This helps to prompt reciprocal conversations and further extend children’s thinking. Children engage readily with adults and other children, often using quite complex oral language.

Teachers in the under two area are guided by Magda Gerber approaches. This is demonstrated in the gentle and respectful way teachers speak and respond to babies. Teachers are very deliberate in their intention to promote children's independence and autonomy. As a result they are building children’s confidence. Respectful interactions between staff and children dignify all behaviours at the centre.

Teachers respond well to children’s learning interests. Teachers’ planning and assessment is evident in children’s learning stories. The progress and development of each child is described effectively. Teachers note that by further developing children’s learning stories they would be better placed to provide greater learning opportunities for children.

The centre is continuing to develop bicultural practices. Teachers use te reo Māori and children respond to simple instructions. Centre leaders plan to strengthen the relationship with their local marae and enhance the place of te Ao Māori in the life of the centre.

Parents and whānau participate and contribute to self review and centre events. Whānau value the close communication they have with teachers. They follow with interest their children's progress and wellbeing.

Positive working relationships exist between local schools and the centre. Teachers and leaders are carrying out a timely review of their transition to school practice. Their intention is to identify ways to improve transition outcomes for children.

There is good distribution of leadership roles across the teaching teams. They implement the centre philosophy to responsively guide curriculum and teaching practice. This leadership approach ensures that children’s learning and wellbeing is at the heart of all decisions and actions within the centre.

The centre is well managed and effectively led. A new leadership approach to the teacher appraisal process later in 2015 is likely to help build teacher’s professional capacity. Considering how to develop a professional learning community of teachers would be a further step toward enhancing teaching practice.

Key Next Steps

During the course of this review, centre leaders and ERO agreed that key priorities for the centre include:

  • further developing the older children’s portfolios to ensure that they reflect individual children’s learning and progress
  • continuing to develop strategic planning so that it reflects the centre and represents all areas of centre life
  • reviewing the appraisal process, giving consideration to using the Registered Teachers Criteria and Tataiako
  • initiating a learning community to build teachers’ professional capacity
  • reviewing the centre’s philosophy.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Kingdom Kidz 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 Kingdom Kidz will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

13 April 2015

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

Glenbervie, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

10415

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll

70

Gender composition

Girls 37 Boys 33

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākeha

other European

12

57

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2015

Date of this report

13 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

March 2009

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.