Mason Avenue Kindergarten - 08/02/2018

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 in Pukekohe is licensed for 40 children from the ages of two to five. It offers six-hour sessions that are similar to the school day. The kindergarten has achieved Enviroschool silver status.

The kindergarten's philosophy values children as capable and confident learners who are able to drive their own learning experiences. The 2014 ERO report affirmed the focus that the kindergarten places on developing children's social and emotional competence within a responsive child-centred curriculum.

Teachers have made progress in relation to the priorities identified in the 2014 ERO report. Strategies have been developed to extend children's learning in science, and strengthened self review supports positive outcomes for children.

There have been a number of staff changes since 2014. There are four qualified full-time teachers and one qualified part-time teacher. A teacher aide and administrator support the teaching team.

The kindergarten is part of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association (CMKA), which provides a governance and management framework and support personnel in a range of different roles. The CMKA places value on the Treaty of Waitangi principles, policies and practices. Mason Avenue Kindergarten has well established policies to guide practice and effective management procedures.

This review was part of a cluster of six reviews in the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are confident and capable learners. They settle quickly into the programme, lead the direction of their play and have a strong sense of belonging. They have trusting relationships with adults and know how to get help and support when needed. Children are warmly welcomed by their teachers and happily choose activities and areas of play as they arrive.

A Nature Discovery programme complements and enhances the kindergarten's commitment to its philosophy and environmental sustainability. The programme allows for the older children to spend a day in the bush, experience the natural environment, be involved in conservation and take part in a number of outdoor adventure activities.

Children experience a high quality, well-established learning environment. It is thoughtfully designed to affirm and celebrate children’s interests, and extend their learning experiences. Natural resources are highly valued and are used creatively throughout the kindergarten.

Teachers' relationships with children and whānau are respectful and responsive. They value and make time for the contribution that whānau can make to children's learning. They know the children well and use teaching practices that enhance each child's sense of themselves as successful learners. Teachers respond to the interests, strengths and capabilities of all children.

Since 2014, teachers have continued to strengthen their knowledge and use of te reo Māori in the programme. Teachers are committed to building on their understanding of te ao Māori and integrating Māori perspectives across all aspects of the curriculum.

The kindergarten is well led. The experienced and capable head teacher promotes quality teaching and learning, and fosters respectful professional practice. Teachers experience collaborative and appreciative models of working. The head teacher has managed changes to the teaching team well. Appointments have been positive and well considered.

Children, parents and whānau are encouraged to take an active role in their children's learning, and are given opportunities to contribute to the programme. Teachers seek out and acknowledge parents and whānau aspirations for their children. They are increasingly taking these into account in assessment and planning processes. Teachers are well placed to continue to implement a curriculum that builds on and effectively responds to the interests and strengths of children.

The association continues to provide very good support for the kindergarten. Its systems and support personnel, ongoing review and monitoring contribute to efficient management. Long-term goals enable teachers to align their annual plan with the Association's strategic direction.

The association is responsive to changing community needs. It supports teachers to meet the needs of younger children and to provide variable and often longer hours of operation. It is expected that teachers will use evidence based, reflective practices. Teachers appreciate the professional support and guidance of association personnel. Leaders continue to adapt personnel systems to meet new legal requirements, including those of the Education Council.

The association has a strong commitment to equity, bicultural practices, partnerships with whānau and community and continuous improvement in educational outcomes for children. There is a focus on strategies to promote success for Pacific learners. Personnel and resources such as whānau workers and a Play Truck are targeted to meet the specific needs of children and communities.

Key Next Steps

Teachers have identified appropriate next steps for the kindergarten. These include furthering understandings of te ao Māori, embedding teachers' use of te reo Māori, and continuing to seek ways to include whānau aspirations and expectations in children's learning.

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 four years.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 February 2018 

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 over the age of 2 years

Service roll

68

Gender composition

Girls       35
Boys      33

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
African
Chinese
Samoan
Indian
other European

  6%
74%
  4%
  4%
  3%
  3%
  6%

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

8 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

August 2011

Education Review

July 2008

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.