Omana Kindergarten - 21/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Omana Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Omana Kindergarten provides education and care for up to 40 children, aged from two to five years. Children attend sessions similar to school hours. The community is culturally diverse, and many children and their families speak more than one language. The teaching team reflects the cultures of the children.

The head teacher is a relatively new appointment, and leads a team of three other qualified teachers. They are supported by a trainee teacher assistant and a qualified release teacher. Two of the teachers have worked in the kindergarten for a number of years.

The 2015 ERO report acknowledged children's confidence and sense of belonging in the kindergarten. Teachers provided meaningful opportunities for children to experience literacy, numeracy and environmental education, and to be leaders. These positive practices have been maintained.

Areas for review and development in the 2015 report included self review, transition to school processes, and supporting children to become more critical thinkers and problem solvers. The teaching team has responded well to these recommendations.

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 has established new roles and responsibilities at management and governance levels. Recruitment of appropriate personnel to fill identified roles continues.

The Review Findings

Children are relaxed in the kindergarten environment. The spacious, well-resourced environment provides numerous opportunities for children to explore and become engaged in play of their own choosing. They are curious, confident explorers.

Children experience positive, respectful relationships with their teachers. They chat together companionably about family life or excitedly share their discoveries. The calm pace of the programme supports children to focus on their investigations, or engage in cooperative play with friends, for sustained periods of time.

Teachers work well as a team. They share their passions and cultures, and have a diverse range of skills that contribute to children's learning. They use effective strategies to support children's learning and wellbeing. These include:

  • encouraging children's verbal language development using skilled questioning techniques

  • modelling creative language, introducing new vocabulary and ways of thinking

  • promoting children's home languages, and including these in the programme

  • clearly stating their expectations, patiently guiding children through routines, and supporting them to develop their social skills.

Te reo and tikanga Māori are spontaneously and deliberately integrated into kindergarten routines and teaching practice. Teachers purposefully use mat times as a key opportunity for all children to hear and see te reo, tikanga and te ao Māori being respected and valued. Further whole team professional learning is planned to support and deepen teachers' bicultural knowledge and practice.

Careful consideration has been given to the layout of curriculum areas. Teachers provide a wide range of experiences for children in well-defined spaces with easy access to resources. Literacy, creativity and science feature strongly in the programme.

Programme planning is currently based on the interests of the group. Teachers gather parent aspirations as part of this process. They could now focus on working more collaboratively with whānau to produce learning plans that are individual to each child. An effective system of programme evaluation needs to be developed to promote ongoing improvements.

The kindergarten is being well managed and well led during a period of rebuilding. Strategic goals align with those of the AKA and are individual to the kindergarten. The new head teacher is in the process of prioritising key goals for this team going forward. Teacher appraisal processes are thorough and meet Teaching Council requirements. A robust process guides internal evaluation that investigates relevant topics, and purposefully drives continuous improvement.

The framework of policies and procedures is undergoing review as the restructure of the AKA continues.

Key Next Steps

Kindergarten leaders agree that to continue to enhance their current good quality provision for children, they should:

  • develop and document a programme planning process for individual children in partnership with parents and whānau

  • develop a robust process of programme evaluation.

AKA continues to consider ways to:

  • ensure all part-time or relieving teachers are well informed about association policies and procedures

  • increase support to improve assessment practices, planning and evaluation

  • support teachers to fully implement Te Whāriki 2017.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Omana 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

21 March 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

Papatoetoe, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5083

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

31

Gender composition

Girls 17 Boys 14

Ethnic composition

Māori
Indian
Southeast Asian
Chinese
other ethnic groups

5
13
5
4
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2019

Date of this report

21 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2015

Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

August 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.