Mt Albert Kindergarten - 28/02/2014

1 Evaluation of Mt Albert Kindergarten

How well placed is Mt Albert 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

Mt Albert Kindergarten offers education and care for a maximum of 40 children over the age of two years. The kindergarten day model offers a 6 hour day with 40 children attending during the morning session and 20 children during the afternoon session. The kindergarten philosophy emphasises children learning through play, and children and their families experiencing a strong sense of belonging in the kindergarten.

The teaching team of four qualified teachers is supported by a parent committee, an administrator and a teacher aide.

The kindergarten serves a culturally diverse community and enrolments include children of Māori, Indian and Asian heritage.

Teachers have responded positively to previous ERO suggestions to develop a more robust cycle of self review to increase bicultural practices.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). The Association provides policy, procedural and operating guidelines. It also provides teachers with regular, topical professional development and on-going support from professional services managers (PSM).

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

The Review Findings

Mt Albert Kindergarten has a welcoming, positive tone where children are affirmed and supported in their play. Children are articulate and confidently engage in conversations with each other and with adults. Parents report that they feel welcomed and are comfortable with contributing to the kindergarten’s programme.

Children settle quickly and confidently into the kindergarten programme. A rich, meaningful and stimulating environment is evident. The centre provides a wide variety of age-appropriate and inviting resources in discrete areas of play. Children freely choose from the many activities and resources that support their current interests. Teachers provide good opportunities to encourage children to develop their leadership qualities.

The kindergarten’s inclusive learning programme reflects its stated philosophy. The programme is strongly influenced by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Parent participation in the learning programme is valued and encouraged. The learning environment contributes to positive experiences for children. It stimulates and motivates their creative, cooperative and independent play. Literacy, numeracy and science concepts are emphasised within the context of children's play. Children have many opportunities to experiment with a number of information and communication tools.

Teachers are committed to raising children’s awareness of the bi-cultural heritage of New Zealand and incorporating te reo Māori throughout the day. Staff reflect the diverse community of the centre. Many languages are used by both teachers and children in the programme, including the Pacific languages of the kindergarten’s community.

The kindergarten has useful policies and practices in place to support children to make a successful transition to school. Parent feedback is positive.

Teachers have good access to a variety of appropriate professional learning and development opportunities that align to the kindergarten’s strategic direction. The head teacher has participated in the Auckland Kindergarten Association’s leadership symposium. The PSM is assisting the team to increase the usefulness of their self-review processes.

A volunteer group of parents supports the running of the kindergarten. They receive regular, useful reports from the head teacher. The committee uses this information to contribute to the future direction of the kindergarten.

The Auckland Kindergarten Association continues to provide strong governance for kindergartens. The recent establishment of nine focus groups provides a forum for head teachers to extend their leadership skills and contribute to the ongoing development of the Association. Strengthening self review in kindergartens remains a focus for PSMs with workshops planned to involve whole teaching teams. AKA leaders agree to explore the current appraisal process to make links between teacher reflections and positive outcomes for children more transparent.

Key Next Steps

In order to build on current good practice the teachers, PSM and ERO agree that the next steps for the teaching team are to:

  • continue to strengthen the usefulness of, and documentation for, self review to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • plan teaching programmes that develop children's identified learning dispositions and make teachers' response to this development over time evident in children's portfolios
  • increase the extent to which children's language, culture and identity are reflected in their portfolios.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Mt Albert 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 Mt Albert Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

28 February 2014

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

Mt Albert, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5098

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

49

Gender composition

Girls 26 Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Indian

Chinese

Samoan

Tongan

4

28

9

5

2

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

October 2013

Date of this report

28 February 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

October 2010

 

Education Review

September 2007

 

Education Review

July 2004

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.