One Tree Hill Community Kindergarten - 28/05/2018

1 Evaluation of One Tree Hill Community Kindergarten

How well placed is One Tree Hill Community 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

One Tree Hill Community Kindergarten provides full-day or sessional early childhood education and care for up to 40 children from the age of two to five years. It is a not-for-profit service that operates in a shared community hall and playgrounds. The majority of children attending are from the local community and diverse cultural backgrounds. Many have had family members previously in the centre.

The 2014 ERO report identified good practices that have been maintained. Teachers continue to work collaboratively to provide an environment where children develop a love of learning and exploration. Their philosophy includes fostering children's resilience and the disposition to be self-directed learners. Since 2014, the teaching team has further developed bicultural practices, made some refurbishments to the building and improved children's access to the outside.

The kindergarten is staffed by two full-time and three part-time teachers, all of whom are experienced and qualified. The management committee maintains high adult-to-child ratios that support stability and consistency of care. Teachers continue to engage in external professional development to enhance their practices and enrich programmes for children.

The Review Findings

Children learn in a carefully organised, nurturing environment that is richly resourced and reflects children's ideas and interests. They have many opportunities to include literacy, mathematics and science as part of their play and discussions. Children are confident communicators, who play cooperatively for long periods, are imaginative and investigative. The spacious outside area provides good opportunities for active play, exploration and making discoveries. Children have fun, experience challenge and success, and are eager to learn.

Warm and respectful relationships are evident between children, parents and staff. Parents are warmly welcomed into the centre and are encouraged to stay. Children settle quickly and show trust and comfort with staff. They enjoy each other’s company, displaying kindness and concern for their peers. Children enthusiastically join in group activities and confidently choose from the very good range of equipment. They demonstrate a strong sense of belonging and self-management in the centre.

Teachers plan and implement a play-based programme that reflects Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the kindergarten's philosophy. Teachers promote children's understanding about caring for the environment and are increasingly including te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme. Teaching practices are informed by current learning theories and research. Planning and assessment are responsive to children’s interests and learning dispositions. Assessment portfolios show children's individual learning progress and enable them to revisit past experiences. Parents/whānau have access to online records of learning that provide them with an additional opportunity to contribute their ideas and aspirations.

Teachers collaborate well, communicating with each other and responding quickly to children. They have high expectations and view all children as competent, unique learners. They skilfully make good use of open-ended questioning that encourages children’s problem solving and investigation. Children’s language skills are extended through sustained conversations with adults and other children. Teachers are inclusive of children with varying skills and needs, and maintain the dignity of the child at all times.

Parent involvement is welcomed. Frequent communication ensures that parents are well informed about their children’s progress. Teachers have strong links with community groups, outside agencies and other education services. Supporting children to smoothly transition to school is a much valued feature of the service. Parents are highly appreciative of the education and care their children receive and are very supportive of the teachers.

Teachers work collaboratively in an organisational culture of trust and respect. They have good opportunities for professional development and shared leadership. Internal evaluation is well established and is focused on improving outcomes for all children.

Effective management practices, sound professional leadership and partnership with parents/whānau, continue to be evident in centre practices and procedures. There are good systems in place to keep the management committee informed and ensure accountability. Service operations and strategic planning are well aligned with a clear vision and philosophy.

Key Next Steps

The centre leaders agree that next steps could include:

  • strengthening teachers' culturally responsive practices

  • continuing to deepen teachers' knowledge of te ao Māori, including through their focus on environmental sustainability

  • further developing aspects of teacher appraisal

  • developing a more evaluative process of internal evaluation that involves deeper analysis of the effectiveness and impact of teacher practices on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of One Tree Hill Community 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 One Tree Hill Community Kindergarten will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

28 May 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

One Tree Hill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20125

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

62

Gender composition

Boys 34 Girls 28

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Samoan
other European
other

5
37
3
2
3
12

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:9

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2018

Date of this report

28 May 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2014

Education Review

June 2011

Education Review

June 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.