Learning at the Point Comm. Kindergarten - 10/03/2014

1 Evaluation of Learning at the Point Comm. Kindergarten

How well placed is Learning at the Point Comm. 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

Learning at the Point Community Kindergarten is a well established service in Point Chevalier that caters for up to 19 children over two years old. A licence change in 2013 extended the operating hours so that some children can now attend sessions that match school hours. The centre is governed by a committee led by parents which works collaboratively with the centre manager and staff to maintain a management and policy framework. They are guided by the centre philosophy that promotes the values of respect, kindness and fairness.

The centre provides flexible attendance arrangements to meet the needs of individual families. Parents are able to enrol their child in a mix of full and half day sessions, although afternoon sessions cater more specifically for the older children. Most of the teaching team are registered teachers. They work collaboratively and have developed very good relationships with their community.

In 2010 ERO identified several positive features of the service. Respectful relationships and childinitiated play fostered a strong sense of belonging for children. Teachers were using children's interests well to support learning and the committee was providing effective governance for the centre. At that time teachers were working to strengthen their understanding of self review in order to enhance the curriculum for children and improve teaching practices. They have made good progress in achieving these aims.

The Review Findings

Learning at the Point Community Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Children are happy and confident in the centre. They have positive relationships with teachers and many have firm friendships with their peers. Children are articulate and participate well in conversations. They make choices about their play and engage in activities that interest them. Older children often work collaboratively and enjoy exploring topics over time. Children show a sense of wellbeing and belonging in this environment.

Teachers support children's learning well. They work alongside small groups fostering conversation and using open questions to encourage children to investigate resources. Teachers strongly support early literacy learning with an increasing emphasis on integrating literacy in the context of play rather than using worksheet tasks or learning sounds in isolation. Teachers incorporate te reo Māori and waiata in the programme and are working to improve the evidence of biculturalism and tikanga Māori in children's assessment portfolios. These practices indicate that teachers are committed to promoting positive outcomes for children.

Teachers work collaboratively to provide programmes that reflect children's interests. They identify resources and activities to support ongoing projects and purposefully integrate numeracy and science learning. Teachers continue to refine their planning and assessment processes. They recognise that a change in their approach to managing children's portfolios would enable them strengthen assessment. Teachers have developed a relationship with the school that most children transition into. They also provide good information for parents about transitioning and prepare children emotionally for this next step. Teachers have identified the need to increase their focus on transition to school as more children now remain in the centre until they are five.

Parents are enthusiastic about the centre. They express appreciation for the care and support their children receive to develop socially and emotionally. Parents are well informed about the programme and their child’s individual learning. They have good opportunities to contribute to decision making and participate well in centre events. They report teachers respond positively to suggestions and encourage families to share skills and knowledge with children in the programme.

The committee governs the centre well. Committee members have well defined roles and take their responsibilities seriously. They receive good monthly reports from the head teacher and are responsive to requests for resources and professional development. The committee actively contributes to centre decision making, but relies on teachers to lead centre reviews and make recommendations for change. Members use their strategic and annual plans well to guide the centre’s direction. They agree that developing a strategic plan that rolls over each year could enhance the continuity in management planning.

Key Next Steps

The head teacher, committee members and ERO agree that key next steps for the centre should include:

  • further developing planning, assessment and evaluation to strengthen the focus on children's individual learning
  • reviewing the extent to which teachers’ commitment to family cultures are visible in the programme and the centre philosophy
  • revising and improving the staff appraisal process.

In addition, the committee should also consider rationalising the large number of policies currently in place to guide centre practices. More succinct documentation would encourage teachers and committee members to become more familiar with policy undertakings.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Learning at the Point Comm. 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 Learning at the Point Comm. Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services Northern Region

10 March 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

Pt Chevalier, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20264

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

19 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

56

Gender composition

Boys 30 Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Middle Eastern

other

2

46

3

2

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:6

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2013

Date of this report

10 March 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2011

 

Education Review

November 2007

 

Education Review

September 2004

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.