New Lynn Kindergarten - 19/11/2015

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

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

Background

New Lynn Kindergarten is located in Auckland’s west. It provides education and care for up to 40 children over two years of age in a multicultural community. The kindergarten operates as a Kindergarten Day Model which enables children to attend sessions similar to school hours. It is staffed by a head teacher, three other registered teachers, an administrator and a teaching assistant/teacher aide. Since the 2012 ERO review there have been many changes to the teaching team and a new head teacher was appointed in 2013. One teacher and the administrator have been at the kindergarten for more than 10 years.

Teachers have responded positively to the recommendations of the ERO 2012 review. They have improved strategic planning and self review and enhanced programme planning. They have also engaged in professional learning and development to strengthen teaching practices.

The kindergarten’s philosophy prioritises relationships though strong respectful partnerships with parents, whānau and community. Teachers view children as competent, confident learners with strengths and skills to share. Whanaungatanga, ako and manaakitanga are foundations of the philosophy. A commitment to environmental sustainability through the Enviro-schools programme, supporting child led learning and implementing Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, underpin the programmes provided for children.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association, which provides considered leadership, a management framework, support personnel and a programme of professional development for teachers.

In 2015, after extensive review, consultation and development, the Association launched a new 10-year strategic plan with four key strategic objectives. The Association’s approach to rolling out a substantial change in its organisational structure has been carefully considered.

New Association roles have been established to provide more targeted support for kindergartens. Professional development supports kindergarten head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is being implemented to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement in kindergartens.

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

The Review Findings

Children learn in a well-resourced, thoughtfully presented environment that reflects teachers’ commitment to children learning through play, biculturalism and environmental sustainability. They engage in sustained play, make decisions, and are enthusiastic learners. The wide variety of learning areas invites children to investigate, explore and be physically active. Children’s natural creativity and curiosity are affirmed, as is their ability to lead and join in group activities and imaginative play. Teachers support children to use literacy, mathematics, technologies, and science as part of their play. Children play and learn at a relaxed pace in a welcoming, harmonious environment.

There is a strong sense of whanaungatanga in the kindergarten. Mutually respectful relationships with children, parents, whānau and the local community are a strength. The multicultural backgrounds of the children are valued and celebrated. These are reflected in the programme, documentation, displays and the respect and encouragement for parent and whānau involvement in the programme. Teachers nurture children’s self-esteem, cultural identity and positive attitudes to learning. Children are confident, inclusive and caring towards adults and other children.

Teachers plan and implement a rich, responsive programme underpinned by teachers’ philosophy and parent aspirations. Planning reflects children’s interests and culture as well as current theories and research. Bicultural practices and use of te reo Māori are woven through the programme. Children’s assessment portfolios are highly valued records of learning and development. The use of e-portfolios is increasing opportunities for parents and whānau to know about and contribute to their children’s learning.

Teachers’ sensitive and supportive teaching practices affirm and build on children’s strengths. They extend children’s understanding of the world around them in meaningful ways and include home languages in greetings, songs and conversations. Teachers actively encourage children to take charge of their own learning, set goals and be leaders. They look for ways to nurture each child’s mana and self-esteem. Children’s transition to school is well supported through good processes and regular contact with local schools.

Teachers benefit from and are appreciative of the strong professional leadership of the head teacher. They have good opportunities to share strengths and skills, and to grow their leadership capabilities. The teaching team has managed staff changes well, works collaboratively and has a strong focus on improving outcomes for all children.

Association systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. Self review in this kindergarten is well developed, guides decision making, and informs ongoing improvement. The Association has a strong commitment to biculturalism and in embracing diversity. Resources and personnel have been targeted to ensure that the specific needs of children and their families are met.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team and the Association Education Specialist have identified appropriate areas for ongoing development, including:

  • strengthening self review by evaluating the effectiveness of teaching practices and the programme in fostering positive outcomes for children
  • enhancing partnerships with parents and whānau that are about learning.

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.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 November 2015

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, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

51

Gender composition

Boys 34

Girls 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

South East Asia

Indian

Chinese

Samoan

other Asian

other

3

6

10

10

7

6

6

3

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

September 2015

Date of this report

19 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2012

 

Education Review

June 2009

 

Education Review

June 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.