Mason Avenue Kindergarten - 05/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Mason Avenue Kindergarten

How well placed is Mason Avenue 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

Mason Avenue Kindergarten is licensed for 40 children from the ages of two to five. Children interact well with each other and reflect the diverse cultures within the local community. The kindergarten is well resourced and has a large and attractive outdoor area.

Teachers value children and provide them with a positive and challenging learning environment. Teachers also recognise the importance of children learning through play and of promoting New Zealand's bicultural heritage in the programme.

The kindergarten is part of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA) and operates within the CMKA policies and management framework. A CMKA manager provides effective guidance and support to develop teachers’ professional practice.

All teachers are qualified and together are becoing an effective teaching team. Teachers are committed to professional learning particularly in te reo Māori and in promoting environmental practices.

ERO’s 2011 report acknowledged children as confident learners with strong social relationships. The report also noted the strong sense of inclusion and the involvement of families. These positive aspects continue within the kindergarten.

The Review Findings

Mason Avenue Kindergarten’s philosophy of learning through play is very evident. The programme provided for children is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The well-resourced and stimulating learning environment invites exploration and appeals to children’s natural curiosity.

Teachers use strategies that promote a responsive, child-centred curriculum. The programme provides good opportunities to develop children’s strengths and interests. Literacy and numeracy learning is integrated well within the programme. A strong environmental focus is actively promoted.

Developing children’s social and emotional competence is an important focus for teachers. Children benefit from positive and respectful relationships with teachers and with each other. They confidently play together and choose how to be involved in the programme. They enjoy challenge and independence in their learning. Children with special needs are well supported in their participation and learning.

Children celebrate the richness of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage with te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme and the learning environment. These bicultural aspects help Māori children to see their language and culture as valued parts of the kindergarten’s programme.

Parents are welcomed in the kindergarten and actively contribute to the programme. They are provided with strategies to support children’s learning at home.

The kindergarten is well managed and led. Teachers and the CMKA are supportive of and responsive to children’s learning and wellbeing. Strategic planning goals are clear and appropriate, focusing on teaching and learning, family involvement and self review. The kindergarten has established self- review processes to promote ongoing improvement.

Children benefit from teachers’ commitment to professional development aimed at improving children's learning outcomes. Teachers are guided by the kindergarten’s teaching and learning expectations and by a recently reviewed teaching appraisal process.

Key Next Steps

ERO affirms the kindergarten’s identified priorities to continue:

  • strengthening children’s individual dispositions for learning through teachers’ planning, assessment and evaluation
  • developing effective teaching strategies to extend children’s learning, particularly in science
  • promoting children’s understanding and use of te reo and tikanga Māori
  • enhancing self-review processes by including key indicators of effective practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mason Avenue 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 Mason Avenue Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

5 February 2015

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

Pukekohe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5124

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

75

Gender composition

Girls 38

Boys 37

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

other

Samoan

12

49

13

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

 

Over 2

NA

 

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

5 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2011

 

Education Review

July 2008

 

Education Review

June 2005

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.