New Lynn Kindergarten - 14/02/2019

1 Evaluation of New Lynn Kindergarten

How well placed is New Lynn Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

New Lynn Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

New Lynn Kindergarten is a well-established kindergarten, licensed for 40 children over two years of age. It operates daily from 8.45am to 2.45pm. The roll is culturally diverse, and includes groups of Māori, Asian, Indian and Chinese children.

The kindergarten's philosophy reflects the values of its community and a commitment to 'Enviroschool' practices. Teachers encourage children to develop a sense of gratitude for the resources that come from Papatūānuku and Ranginui, and also for taonga gifted by the community. The teaching team includes a head teacher, three other registered teachers, a teacher aide and an administrator.

ERO's 2015 report noted positive aspects including thoughtfully presented environments, opportunities for children to be creative, and a strong sense of whanaungatanga. These areas of good practice continue. Improvements were suggested in internal evaluation and learning partnerships with whānau. Some progress has been made in these areas.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). The association provides a framework of policies and operational guidelines, support personnel and programmes of professional learning and development. The AKA is establishing new roles and responsibilities at management and governance levels. Recruitment of appropriate personnel to fill identified roles is underway.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the AKA.

The Review Findings

Children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging, and settle easily into the kindergarten. They have built mutually trusting relationships with each other and with teachers. Children explore freely and creatively, both inside and outdoors. They play collaboratively together and form friendships.

Responsive teaching practice is a strength and is evidence of the philosophy in practice. Teachers intentionally engage with children in reciprocal relationships, often reversing their roles from being teachers to learners. Children feel that their contributions are valued. They develop a sense of themselves as competent learners.  

The environment is resource rich and reflects the interests of children, teachers and the community. Attractive and relevant wall displays make children's current learning visible. These displays provide opportunities for children and whānau to revisit their learning.

Teachers know children and families well, and respond appropriately to their languages and cultures. Their commitment to bicultural practice is evident. Te reo Māori me ōna tikanga are embedded in the programme. Teachers are inclusive in celebrating all cultures and using children's home languages. They establish individualised approaches to support children from diverse backgrounds and those with additional learning or language needs.

Assessments are regular and record children's participation in the programme. Some portfolios show continuity of learning and teachers' responses to parent aspirations. Planning is collaborative and teachers plan for extending children's interests. Evaluation could be strengthened by recording the effectiveness of teaching practices in relation to children's outcomes.

Parents appreciate teachers' feedback about their children's learning and development, and the support they receive to transition into the kindergarten and on to school. They are pleased with the online facility which allows them to share their children's learning with extended whānau. The kindergarten has built good partnership relationships with the local schools. As a result children's transitions from the kindergarten to school are well supported.

A good framework is used for internal evaluation. The process is collaborative and teachers have opportunities to add individual reflections. The head teacher and team plan to continue reviewing the kindergarten's philosophy, to ensure it remains current and reflects their community's values and thinking.

Teachers find the professional development offered by the AKA useful and informative. This support has helped them to develop a vision and to contribute to the priorities for the kindergarten.

The organisational culture at the kindergarten supports effective day-to-day operations. To continue to create improvements leaders and teachers could more formally record their ongoing evaluative professional discussions.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for teachers include strengthening:

  • the use of learning outcomes from Te Whāriki, to record children's learning and progress over time
  • records of evaluative discussions about the effectiveness of teaching practices and their impact on children's learning outcomes.

It would be useful for AKA to:

  • monitor that all part-time or relieving teachers are well informed about AKA policies and procedures
  • increase support to improve assessment practices, planning and evaluation
  • continue to support teachers to fully implement Te Whāriki 2017.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of New Lynn 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 New Lynn Kindergarten will be in three years.

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services Northern
Northern Region

14 February 2019 

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

New Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45751

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

54

Gender composition

Girls       29
Boys      25

Ethnic composition

Māori
Asian
Indian
Chinese
other ethnic groups

  8
14
12
10
10

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

14 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2015

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

June 2009

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.