Laingholm Kindergarten - 26/11/2014

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 near Titirangi, West Auckland, provides education and care for up to 40 children from two to five years of age. The kindergarten operates a kindergarten day model of six and a half hours. Most children are New Zealand European/Pākehā and a small number are Māori. The kindergarten has a strong commitment to bicultural practices.

Laingholm Kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA) and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. A professional services manager (PSM) provides management and curriculum support for teachers.

The kindergarten’s philosophy is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Integral to the philosophy is the attention given to developing connections between children, families and teachers to help children develop as capable and confident learners.

The 2011 ERO report identified some areas for improvement, including identifying children’s learning, sharing this information with parents, and seeking their ideas. Teachers have responded well to these suggestions. The good quality practices noted in the 2011 ERO report have been maintained and extended.

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

The Review Findings

Children explore the centre confidently and enjoy a sense of belonging. Children of mixed ages attend sessions together. They interact well with each other and their teachers. Children’s social and emotional competence is well promoted.

The semi-structured programme meets the needs of families and supports children’s readiness for school. A feature of the programme is the strong focus on environmental education. The learning environment is well resourced. The spacious outdoor area provides children with very good opportunities for exploration and physical play. Children have good opportunities to learn early concepts about literacy, mathematics and science in meaningful ways.

The AKA has high expectations that teachers will provide a bicultural programme. Ministry of Education strategies for Māori education, including Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017, influence centre documentation and practices. Teachers prioritise Maori language, culture and values. Te reo Māori is regularly used as part of the programme. Tuakana-teina relationships are well promoted to foster positive relationships between children of different age groups.

Teachers know children well. They work collaboratively to respond to children’s interests and strengths. Teachers are strengthening their use of inquiry strategies to provide further opportunities for children to guide the programme.

Cultures are well celebrated in the centre. Some children speak English as an additional language. The newsletter is translated into German to support these families. Parents are an integral part of the kindergarten and contribute well to the programme.

Self review is well documented and is focused on improving outcomes for children. Teachers are reflective and seek parent input about changes. Teachers respond well to review findings and use this information to guide improvement. Good transition processes are in place and teachers explore effective strategies and build relationships with local schools.

The Auckland Kindergarten Association continues to provide strong governance for kindergartens. Positive strategies include effective professional learning and development that is responsive to strengthening teachers’ skills, knowledge and practice. Distributed leadership among kindergarten teaching teams is also promoted and the sharing of knowledge and expertise within the Association is encouraged. Association leaders are currently reviewing the performance appraisal process and continue to explore appropriate ways to support teachers and ensure high quality outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The teachers, the PSM and ERO agree that the key next steps for the kindergarten should include:

  • helping children to extend their own learning
  • strengthening learning approaches that support children's inquiry
  • reflecting children’s cultures in their portfolios
  • consulting local whānau and iwi about the programme.

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 three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

26 November 2014

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, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

53

Gender composition

Boys 32

Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

German

British

4

45

1

3

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

September 2014

Date of this report

26 November 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2011

 

Education Review

August 2008

 

Education Review

October 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.