Laingholm Kindergarten - 20/09/2017

1 Evaluation of Laingholm Kindergarten

How well placed is Laingholm 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

Laingholm Kindergarten in West Auckland is licensed to provide education and care for up to 40 children from two to five years of age. Children attend kindergarten days similar to school hours.

Four qualified teachers make up the teaching team. The head teacher provides leadership for the team, which has worked together for some years. All of the teachers live within the community and know the community well.

The teaching philosophy prioritises connections, trust and nature. Respectful relationships and care for each other are highly valued in this context. Teachers aim to provide an environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all and that celebrates the bicultural nature of Aotearoa. Children are encouraged to develop a sense of guardianship of their environment and sustainable practices are promoted.

The 2014 ERO report acknowledged the kindergarten's strong commitment to bicultural practices. The well resourced learning environment and effective teaching strategies provided children with meaningful opportunities for literacy, mathematics and science learning. Children were confident and had a good sense of belonging. Self review was being used well to drive ongoing improvements. These positive practices have been maintained and extended.

Areas for ongoing development identified in ERO's 2014 report included consultation with local iwi, reflecting children's cultures in portfolios, and extending children's ongoing learning inquiries. There has been good progress in these areas.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters.

This review was part of a cluster of 11 reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The clearly stated kindergarten philosophy is clearly enacted. Whānau value the culture of respect and kindness established by the teaching team in this inclusive environment.

Teachers have a range of approaches and initiatives to ensure their bicultural practices are authentic. They have undertaken external professional development as a team, consulted genuinely with Māori, learnt about tikanga and implemented it in kindergarten programmes. A connection with a Ngāti Whātua marae has been established. Parents who spoke with ERO support teachers' bicultural approaches.

Children are skilled communicators. They capably lead their own learning, initiate conversations and share ideas with adults. Teachers interact with children in ways that are empowering, allowing children to develop a good sense of themselves as competent, capable learners. The carefully considered daily routine provides a range of opportunities for children to be leaders.

Well planned and implemented intentional teaching practices allow for shared involvement in adult and child initiated activities. There are numerous opportunities for children to engage in challenging physical activities in the spacious outdoor environment. Teachers become partners in children's play and provide meaningful opportunities for literacy learning.

Successful transition to school programme has been established with the local school. Teachers from the kindergarten and school spend quality time in each other's settings. This partnership is valued by both parties and by whānau, and results in positive outcomes for children.

Teachers' ongoing observations of children in everyday activities help them to build a picture of children's interests and strengths. All teachers contribute to children's learning pathways, bringing a range of different perspectives. Programme plans are linked to strategic plans in innovative ways.

Children's portfolios are very good records of their learning. Children's learning shows developing complexity. Teachers value parent aspirations for children's learning and include these in planning and assessment documentation. There is cohesion between the philosophy statement, the environment, strategic planning and children's learning. Te ao Māori concepts and te reo Māori are are included in portfolios in meaningful ways.

Teachers work very well together as a team. They are committed to building and supporting their professional practice. Strong connections to the local community have been established and support teachers to build deep relationships with children and their families.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision which are linked to the AKA’s strategic goals. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) also aligns with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. It enables the AKA and teachers to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure. It has begun a process of internal evaluation to establish how effectively the four pillars of its strategic plan are resulting in more positive outcomes for children, their families, and the organisation. 

Key Next Steps

The teaching team plans to continue their use of up-to-date research and internal evaluation to drive developments in the kindergarten. This will enable them to sustain and enhance their high quality practices and the programmes provided for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Laingholm 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 Laingholm Kindergarten will be in four years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

20 September 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

Laingholm, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5558

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over two years of age

Service roll

54

Gender composition

Girls 34, Boys 20

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
other

  1
50
  3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49%       50-79%       80%

Based on funding rates

80%

 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

20 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

August 2011

Education Review

August 2008

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.