Linton Kindergarten - 21/01/2020

1 Evaluation of Linton Kindergarten

How well placed is Linton Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Linton Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Linton Kindergarten is located in Linton Military Camp, Palmerston North. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 2.30pm. At the time of this review, there were 32 children enrolled and 16 identify as Māori.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises that children will grow as competent, confident learners and communicators nurtured through ako, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga.

The kindergarten is administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day running of the association is the role of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who is responsible to the board. An operations manager supports the service’s compliance and policy development. Two senior teachers provide educational leadership across the teaching teams.

The June 2016 ERO report identified that teachers should continue to strengthen understanding and use of internal evaluation. The association has strengthened its approach and developed a useful framework for teachers to follow.

Linton Kindergarten is part of Te Oro Karaka Rua Kāhui Ako and a member of the Enviroschools programme. The kindergarten is currently involved in a research project with an external provider.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews and one early learning service review in the Ruahine Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten philosophy is well reflected in practice. Children experience a culturally responsive curriculum informed by their interests. They are supported to grow as competent, confident learners and communicators. Teachers work positively to focus on children's growing competence. Children's social and emotional skills are supported effectively by teachers, parents and whānau.

Teachers value the knowledge that parents and whānau bring to their children's learning. They work in partnership to identify learning goals and share strategies that support consistency between home and the kindergarten.

Clear progression of learning outcomes for children is evident through assessment, planning and evaluation. Portfolios show how teachers respond to and extend children's interests. Children's culture, languages and identities are valued. Assessment practices pay attention to learner's strengths, interests and dispositions.

Teacher practice incorporates the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi - partnership, participation and protection. The curriculum includes Māori concepts that are integral to the service. Parents and whānau collaborate with teachers to strengthen practices and protocols. Māori children have a growing sense of who they are as Māori.

Those with additional learning needs are well supported to achieve success. Teachers work closely alongside parents and whānau and external agencies to identify and progress children's learning goals. Teachers collaborate and develop their individual skills to promote ongoing, effective, inclusive practices.

Children's sense of belonging is nurtured through effective transitions in to and within the kindergarten and when moving to school. Successful transitions are supported by genuine partnerships between families, kindergarten teachers and school. Reciprocal relationships between the kindergarten and school benefit children.

The teaching team is reflective and share their learning from professional development. They include their new learning into everyday teaching to benefit children. Teachers undertake regular evaluation to inform their practice. They should continue to clearly identify how their practice impacts on outcomes for children.

Senior teachers work collaboratively to build teacher and leadership capability. There is a strong commitment to growing staff knowledge and skills through ongoing professional learning, research opportunities and the sharing of good practice.

Association leaders have a well-considered approach to progressing strategic objectives. Robust systems and processes are in place for reporting, monitoring and evaluating the quality of operations. Information is used to inform decision making and to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

At kindergarten level teachers should continue to use effective internal evaluation to know what contributes to improved outcomes for children.

At the governance level, the Ruahine Kindergarten Association has identified a priority is to continue to strengthen and build their knowledge and understanding of tikanga Māori and seek engagement with local iwi, with kaumatua support.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Linton 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services (Central)

Central Region - Te Tai Pūtahi Nui

21 January 2020

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

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

5259

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children aged over 2

Service roll

32

Gender composition

Female 18, Male 14

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

16
12
4

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

November 2019

Date of this report

21 January 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2016

Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

June 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

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.