Manurewa West Kindergarten - 11/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Manurewa West Kindergarten

How well placed is Manurewa West 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

Manurewa West Kindergarten continues to provide good care and education for children over two years of age. The kindergarten and the fully qualified teaching team are well supported by the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA), particularly through the regular visits of a Professional Practices Manager (PPM).

Teachers continue to offer all day sessions as this arrangement suits local families. Most children start at the kindergarten when they are three years old. They generally attend two or three sessions a week, although some older children attend more frequently as they prepare for their transition to school.

The kindergarten is well attended. The majority of children are Māori and Pacific, mainly of Cook Island, Samoan and Tongan heritage. Persistent efforts by the staff to engage parents, whānau and community have raised the profile and popularity of the kindergarten.

Parents are very supportive of the kindergarten. They express their appreciation of the services it provides. They are warmly welcomed and encouraged to become involved in their children’s learning. Families are well known to the five staff, who have worked together as a team, with the same head teacher, over a number of years.

ERO’s 2012 review noted the warm and positive relationships between children and teachers, and the well-resourced opportunities for learning. Teachers have maintained these good practices. They have also made significant improvements since 2012, including an extensive redevelopment of the outdoor learning environment, and a well-managed transition to school programme.

The Review Findings

Children are enthusiastic, confident and friendly. They engage positively in the learning programme and seek the support of teachers to help them. The centre philosophy is clearly based on the national early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki , and the activities are largely child initiated. Teachers ensure that children have periods of uninterrupted time to select their own areas of play.

Children use equipment independently to support their play. The centre is well resourced, and the newly developed outdoor areas have extended opportunities for physical play and exploration. New resources include the use of i-pads and video. The recent introduction of digital learning and communicating with parents through social media is being thoughtfully managed.

Children’s cultural identities are well known to teachers. Their home languages and family backgrounds are valued by the staff, who are developing culturally responsive practice. The new appraisal system introduced by CMKA this year is well designed. It is likely to strengthen teacher’s professional practice through deeper inquiry and personal reflection.

The teaching team has worked together collaboratively since the centre opened in 2006. They set new goals each year and take part in whole staff professional development, most recently in raising the focus on te ao Māori. Teachers use group and mat times to share their learning about te reo and tikanga Māori with children.

Pacific parents express a sense of belonging and are comfortable to stay and participate in their child’s learning. They enjoy the increasing emphasis on home languages and the resources that reflect diverse Pacific cultures. Teachers are including songs in Samoan and Tongan, and enjoying a greater feedback from parents through Facebook.

Teachers are building a positive relationship with the nearby primary school. Children turning five visit the school weekly to become familiar with the school’s setting and classrooms. Teachers from the school visit the kindergarten to find out more about children’s readiness for learning. This partnership is strengthening the confidence of families to engage with children’s learning.

The CMKA has a well developed strategic planning model that provides guidelines for how the kindergarten teachers set goals, prioritise professional learning and conduct ongoing self review. Teachers select relevant areas for evaluating their practice and are now documenting how their practices are improving outcomes for children.

Teachers are also well supported by the PPM who visits regularly and keeps the head teacher up to date with CMKA policies, changes in legislation and professional learning opportunities. The current leadership focus will help teachers to use children’s individual strengths and interests in their planning. Teachers are also considering new ways of documenting children’s learning and sharing their progress with parents.

Key Next Steps

ERO and teachers agree that next steps in kindergarten development could include:

  • recognising and responding to children’s individual learning dispositions and using this information to strengthen planning and assessment practices
  • investigating and promoting complex and challenging play that involves literacy and mathematical contexts, and digital learning strategies
  • continuing to use self review to evaluate progress of recent initiatives designed to improve outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Manurewa West 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 Manurewa West Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

11 June 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Manurewa, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

25032

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over two years of age

Service roll

47

Gender composition

Boys 28

Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Cook Island

Samoan

Tongan

Middle Eastern

South East Asian

Indian

Niue

14

1

11

8

7

2

2

1

1

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

May 2015

Date of this report

11 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2012

 

Education Review

July 2007

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.