KiNZ Mission Heights - 07/10/2019

1 Evaluation of KiNZ Mission Heights

How well placed is KiNZ Mission Heights to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

KiNZ Mission Heights is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

KiNZ Mission Heights operates in a culturally diverse community in East Auckland. The centre is licensed for 50 children over the age of two years. The majority of children attending are Chinese, and there is a large group of Indian children. There are small numbers from diverse cultures including Māori, NZ European/Pākehā, Asian and Pacific nations.

The centre manager is responsible for the day-to-day centre operations. The lead teacher is responsible for curriculum implementation. The long-serving teachers are fully qualified and are supported by a teaching assistant and a learning support teacher.

The centre's philosophy references te reo and tikanga Māori as a guide in recognising Māori as tangata whenua. The document also highlights Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and Enviroschools approaches, as frameworks for teachers' practice and children's learning.

The 2015 ERO report identified quality provision for children and their families, including relationships with parents, attractive environments and children's engagement in the programme. Teachers' ethnic diversity helped children to settle in the centre. These aspects are still highly evident in practice. The report also acknowledged teachers' aim to use te reo Māori as part of regular conversations with children, and to continue to build effective practices.

The centre is a subsidiary of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA) which provides leadership, a framework of policies and operational guidelines, support personnel and programmes of professional learning and development. Strategic planning supports the service's development and future focus. A new AKA structure has been established and new personnel appointed. Many of these roles have recently been established.

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

The Review Findings

Teachers continue to nurture responsive relationships with children and their families. Children settle quickly, finding activities and experiences from the wide and interesting range available. Parents are confident and comfortable to stay briefly to talk with staff. Teachers' inclusive relationships with all children and their families reflects their understanding of cultural acceptance.

Children lead their own learning. They make decisions about where they will play and make good use of an outdoor environment that encourages safe risk-taking and exploration. Opportunities for achievable challenges in their play enable children to build self-esteem and enjoy successes. Children show high levels of concentration and self-motivation in their play.

The calm learning environment created for children encourages collaborative and creative play. Displays tell the story of children's learning journeys. Children are well supported to explore early literacy, mathematics and science concepts as part of their play. Respectful, meaningful conversations with teachers prompt thinking. Teachers close attention supports children's confidence and generates appropriate social competence. Children engage each other in conversations, sometimes in their home languages.

Parents' aspirations for their children are carefully woven into the programme. Children's interests, as well as the wider local curriculum, form a basis for teachers' planning. Teachers are working together to embed shared assessment, planning and evaluation processes with a beginning focus on 'teaching as inquiry'.

A strong focus on the values and aspirations of Enviroschools is evident. Documentation demonstrates the ways in which teachers and children explore the world through a te ao Māori lens. Sustainability and care for the environment are priorities, and children engage in finding out about science and nature concepts. Open-ended and natural materials contribute to a sense of protecting the environment.

Children experience a curriculum that celebrates tikanga and te reo Māori. Teachers incorporate kupu Māori naturally into conversations. Children sing waiata and make use of resources with Māori themes. Friendly tuakana/teina relationships are evident with older children supporting and modelling play for younger children. Many signs and displays are written in te reo Māori as a prompt for children and teachers.

Teachers manage children's transitions into the centre and on to school well. Younger children benefit from the attention of a key teacher in their early days in the centre. The centre is adjacent to the school that the majority of children will attend. Classroom visits help children to settle well at school.

The AKA continues to provide support for services to strengthen bicultural practices. In many instances this has made a significant difference to confidence and capability. Specialist support impacts positively on teachers’ confidence and inclusion of children with additional learning needs. Specific programmes that help teachers to support children’s developing social competencies can now be extended across all services. The strategic direction being established by new AKA leaders is providing a positive framework for services' annual planning.

Key Next Steps

To strengthen practice teachers will continue to:

  • consider ways of embedding new learning across the team at a pace that allows deep teacher understanding and ownership

  • develop 'teaching as inquiry' through internal evaluation, research and discussion

  • align annual plans and appraisal processes to the service's strategic plan.

It would be useful for AKA managers to:

  • clarify new roles and engage teaching teams in the implementation of the new structure across the AKA

  • increase the rigour of monitoring and quality assurance, and strengthen internal evaluation at all levels of the AKA

  • identify and implement strategies for achieving greater consistency of the practices that are strengths in some services, across the AKA.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of KiNZ Mission Heights 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

7 October 2019

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

Mission Heights, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45455

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

77

Gender composition

Girls 39 Boys 38

Ethnic composition

Māori
Chinese
Indian
other Asian
other ethnic groups

2
42
19
4
10

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

7 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2016

Education Review

October 2012

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.