Manchester Kindergarten - 04/10/2019

1 Evaluation of Manchester Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Manchester Kindergarten is located in Feilding. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 2.30pm. Full day places are available to children from two to six years. At the time of this review, there were 55 children enrolled and 15 identify as Māori.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises an holistic curriculum that focuses on supporting children to be confident and secure in their identity and understanding of sustainable practices. Interacting with others and the environment supports them to develop as successful, lifelong learners.

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 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 September 2016 ERO report identified that assessment for learning and internal evaluation required further development. Both have been strengthened.

This kindergarten is part of Feilding Kāhui Ako.

This review was part of a cluster of twelve kindergartens and one early learning service in the Ruahine Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children engage in meaningful, sustained, self-initiated learning. Teachers are skilled at noticing children's interests, recognising learning and responding with intentional teaching strategies. They deliberatively foster children's social competence and self-management skills through positive and caring relationships. Children show a strong sense of belonging.

The curriculum is highly responsive to children's interests. Children’s curiosity is evident as they explore through practical and authentic learning experiences. A feature of the kindergarten is the use of cultural and natural resources. A deliberate focus on environmental learning supports children's understanding of sustainable practices and caring for the environment. The language, culture and identity of Māori is well-promoted through te reo Māori, waiata, karakia and following appropriate tikanga protocols.

Teachers plan collaboratively to extend children's ongoing learning, acknowledging their knowledge and what they bring. Literacy, mathematics and science are effectively integrated in meaningful contexts. There is a strong focus on extending children's oral language.

Individual child portfolios, planning and evaluation practices celebrate children's learning and progress over time. These include families' contributions that promote partnerships for learning. Assessment for Māori learners reflects their language, culture and identity.

Teachers' interactions with children are calm and unhurried. Children are encouraged to try new things, learn through trial and error and to solve their own problems. They are confident and build on their learning dispositions, knowledge and skills.

An inclusive approach to assisting children with additional learning needs is evident through consultation with parents, individualised planning and liaison with external expertise. Children are supported to view themselves as successful, capable learners.

A well-planned, responsive approach supports positive transition for children and their families in to and from the kindergarten.

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.

Teachers understand and use the association internal evaluation framework effectively to identify changes for improvement focused on improving practice for positive outcomes for all children. Ongoing reflection throughout the process focuses on the impact of changes and innovations on children's learning and wellbeing.

Association leaders have a well-considered approach to progressing strategic objectives. Robust systems and processes are in place for monitoring, reporting 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, the priority is to continue to:

  • use internal evaluation to revisit changes made and determine the extent improvement has been sustained, who for and why, and what next to focus on.

At governance level, the Ruahine Kindergarten Association have identified that their priorities are 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 Manchester 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

4 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

Feilding

Ministry of Education profile number

5261

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Male 29, Female 26

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

15
36
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

4 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2016

Education Review

October 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.