Maraetai Beachlands Kindergarten - 27/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Maraetai Beachlands Kindergarten

How well placed is Maraetai Beachlands 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

Maraetai Beachlands Kindergarten in east Auckland, is licensed for up to 40 children aged over two years. Since the 2013 ERO review, the kindergarten has transitioned to a Kindergarten Day Model, providing the option for children to attend either a four or six hour session, two to five days per week. This change has resulted in two new teachers being added to the team. Maraetai Beachlands Kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework to support its operation.

The team has four qualified teachers and a teacher aide, who also assists with administrative duties. This team provides care and education for children from increasingly diverse cultural backgrounds in a fast growing coastal community. The kindergarten has a good reputation in the community.

The kindergarten philosophy is strongly underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers focus on supporting children to become confident, independent learners. They are committed to ongoing teacher development and the inclusion of children from all cultures. Te reo and tikanga Māori are valued aspects of the programme and teaching practices.

The 2013 ERO report noted how positively the teaching team worked together, incorporating many strategies to enhance children's learning in an environment that encouraged children's curiosity and exploration. These positive aspects have been sustained and enhanced. The team has responded very positively to the report's areas for development. These areas included adding more complexity to children's learning, and promoting children's diverse cultural identities.

The AKA restructure in 2015 has introduced new responsibilities and ways of working for both AKA and kindergarten personnel. A period of transition is continuing for staff as they develop their understanding and competence in relation to new roles and systems.

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

The Review Findings

The kindergarten's teaching philosophy is evident in action. Teachers have engaged in a year-long course called He Papa Tikanga. They now have a better understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori, and this has helped them to support Māori children and their whānau.

Children confidently choose resources and places to play. The environment is well resourced and children settle into sustained periods of meaningful play with friends, or on their own. Children readily initiate and engage in conversations with their friends, or with adults. They have a strong sense of belonging in, and ownership of, the kindergarten environment.

Teachers listen well to children. They respect the knowledge that children bring with them into the kindergarten setting. Teachers are skilled at fostering complexity in children's thinking and creativity. As a result, children are becoming skilled storytellers and artists.

Children's cultural backgrounds and knowledge are valued and very well supported by the teaching team. Their home languages are respected and included in teachers' interactions with children. This respectful practice allows teachers to develop an understanding of each child as a unique learner.

Children benefit from caring, reassuring teachers who understand their life contexts. This knowledge is supporting children's successful transition to school. There are strong partnerships between parents and teachers. Whānau are consulted about kindergarten aspects, and an active parent committee supports the teaching team with fundraising and organising events. Parents who spoke with ERO expressed appreciation of the teaching team and how they are supporting their children to learn.

A wide range of purposeful experiences is provided for children. Teachers' aim in setting the environment is to enable children to participate actively in self-selected activities. They move in and out of children's play, skilfully supporting children to develop social skills and ways of working collaboratively.

Teachers plan a programme that incorporates children's interests, cultural celebrations and what is happening in the wider community. Children's questions and comments are included in programme planning in meaningful ways. Teachers' ongoing reflection on the programme allows them to be very responsive to the learning needs of individual children.

The team continues to work with the AKA in achieving their strategic vision, setting their own strategic goals and business plan. Teachers understand the significance and purpose of self review in providing positive outcomes for children, and they continue to strengthen their review processes. Distributed leadership is developing across the team as shared understandings are contributing to a strong team culture.

AKA support and guidance is responsive to each kindergarten's individual context. New AKA positions are providing more targeted support for head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A new Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is aligned with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. This process monitors quality, and promotes ongoing improvement in the kindergartens.

Key Next Steps

To enhance their current good quality provision for children, teachers plan to further strengthen bicultural practices, and to make parents' aspirations for their child's learning more evident in planning and assessment documentation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Maraetai Beachlands 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 Maraetai Beachlands Kindergarten will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

27 May 2016

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

Maraetai, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5635

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

70

Gender composition

Boys 38, Girls 32

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

European

other

6

59

2

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

NA

 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

27 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

November 2009

Education Review

September 2006

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.