Onekawa Kindergarten - 02/06/2009

1 About the Centre

Location

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

5282

Type

Kindergarten

Number licensed for

40 children (morning), 20 children (afternoon) over 2

Roll number

60

Gender composition

Girls 39,  Boys 21

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 48 

Māori 8  

Asian 3

Other ethnic groups 1

Review team on site 

March 2009

Date of this report 

2 June 2009

Previous ERO reports

Education Review                  March 2006
Accountability Review           October 2001
Assurance Audit                     January 1997
Review                                    July 1991

2 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Onekawa Kindergarten is one of fifteen reviewed under the umbrella organisation of the Napier Kindergarten Association (the association).  The association provides clear policies and procedures for centre management and teaching practice.  The kindergarten offers education and care for five morning and three afternoon sessions, for up to sixty children over two years of age.  The kindergarten has recently diversified its hours of operation in consultation with the community.  This report should be read in conjunction with the association report.

Teachers’ commitment to developing wider community partnerships is reflected in the centre philosophy.  Staff recognise that positive relationships with parents and whānau assist them to support children in their learning.  Relationships with families are warm and affirming.  Teachers have a clear vision for the centre.  They successfully engage parents in their children’s learning through one-to-one conversations, newsletters, planning boards and profiles.  Parents share valuable information with teachers about their children.  Teachers and children have meaningful conversations about family life and the wider world.

High quality, systematic self review forms the basis for teachers’ decisions about children’s education and care at the kindergarten.  Robust self review leads to ongoing improvements to teaching practice and children’s learning outcomes.  Children engage in meaningful learning experiences directly related to their interests.

Teachers successfully use a variety of assessment methods to evaluate children’s learning.  Teachers observe, discuss and, based on emergent interest, plan for individual and groups of children.  Opportunities for children to plan for their learning through a project approach are available.  Children work individually with teachers to set their goals and understand their learning outcomes.  Whānau are involved in initial and subsequent stages, and contribute their voice to learning stories.  Teachers support children as they develop their ideas over extended periods of time.  Profiles document children’s different interests and skill development.  Children and their families value these records of learning and development.

The head teacher provides inclusive, collaborative, professional leadership.  Teachers work effectively as a team to provide programmes for children.  Staff are responsive to professional learning and demonstrate a commitment to improving the environment and providing enhanced learning outcomes for children.  Teachers work collegially for the benefit of children and their parents.

Future Action 

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children.  Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

3 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Onekawa Kindergarten was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO.  ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff.  This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atOnekawa Kindergarten.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education.  For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

The March 2006 ERO report identified the need for teachers to further extend and provide for children’s opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.  Centre staff sought external guidance and support to develop further knowledge in this area.  Teachers are confident that their planned professional development will continue to build their ability to further use te reo me ngā tikanga Māori in the programme.

Areas of good performance

  • Self review
    High quality self review underpins decisions teachers make about children’s education and care.  Teachers evaluate the effectiveness of what they do to improve outcomes for children.  Staff respond to shifts in emphasis generated by children in large group learning.  They regularly review curriculum areas, policies and procedures, children’s areas of interest and parent/whānau communication and involvement.  Teachers have successfully reviewed their practice in promoting te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.  They have increased the use of te reo Māori, waiata, culturally significant artefacts, and books and puzzles.  Children and their families experience enhanced learning opportunities through improved provision for teaching and learning.
  • Literacy, numeracy and science
    Teachers provide opportunities for children to incorporate numeracy and science language in their learning.  Books, writing materials, science equipment and the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) provide a sound base for children to develop their knowledge of literacy, numeracy and science concepts in meaningful ways.  Children prepared and maintained a garden and worm farm as part of their environment studies.  Through individual exploration and group sessions children enhance their literacy, numeracy and science skills in the context of play.
  • Use of ICT
    Teachers support children to make effective use of ICT.  This use includes support for children’s investigations and slide shows to share learning with their parents.  Children initiate their own use of ICT.  They are familiar with using laptops, an electronic microscope, a digital camera and a data projector to revisit their work.  Children use ICT to extend the exploration of their interests.
  • Self-directed learning
    Children lead their learning.  Adults follow and support children in their chosen areas of interest.  The project approach allows children to set their goals and understand what they will be learning.  Children can work on their projects for an extended period of time, one to one with a teacher.  Teachers give feedback to children constantly, helping them to understand their learning outcomes.  Children develop as confident, creative, self-motivated learners.
  • Children’s profiles
    Teachers effectively assess through observations and regular discussion, and record children’s learning in profiles.  The information contained in these profiles is meaningful and relevant, with direct links to Te Whāriki.  Profiles clearly reflect the different interests and skills of individual children over time.  Additional data in the form of annotated photographs, and child and parent voice, contribute valuable information and provides a clear record of children’s learning and development.  Children revisit prior learning through profiles and enjoy sharing their progress with parents and whānau.
  • Children’s self assessment
    Children effectively evaluate their individual and group learning in summary comments related to learning stories and art work.  Teachers work hard to record oral assessments so that children learn how to reflect on their own learning.  Group interests are reflected in learning books that include examples of children’s reflection of their own learning.  Through participation in assessment children develop as competent communicators.
  • Caring interactions
    Teachers interact with children in caring, respectful and affirming ways.  They listen and respond to children’s conversations and accept their contributions.  The high adult-to-child ratio provides many opportunities for children to experience extended conversations with teachers.  Children interact easily with teachers and peers and approach adults confidently.  Teachers model strategies to assist children to problem solve, and negotiate differences when they arise.  Children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.
  • Parent partnerships
    Teachers value the input of children and their families through focusing on their inclusion in the life of the kindergarten.  Teachers get to know of parental aspirations for their children on enrolment.  Staff continue to keep parents informed about the learning programme, using displays, newsletters and individual discussion.  Recent changes in centre operations reflect parent and whānau preferences, and are the result of planned consultation with the community.  An active committee supports the kindergarten in resourcing and planning for further developments.  Families and staff have a close working relationship that benefits children.
  • Learning environment
    The enjoyment teachers demonstrate in working with children at the centre contributes to a positive environment conducive to learning.  The atmosphere is calm and purposeful.  The environment is well organised and high quality resources are thoughtfully prepared to prompt children’s curiosity as they explore their interests.  Displays reflect children’s learning and interests, and staff provide visual information that children can use in their learning.  Spacious play areas offer a variety of centres of interest, and places where children can work independently or in groups.  The flow between the indoor and outdoor areas allows children to enjoy uninterrupted play.
  • Team work
    The head teacher provides inclusive and affirming leadership of the centre.  She is consultative, and with her team has a clear vision for the direction of the centre.  Teachers work effectively together, drawing on their strengths and professional knowledge.  They respond positively to professional learning and focus on providing the best possible learning environment for children to achieve to their potential.  A teacher aide provides practical support during sessions.  Staff model constructive relationships for parents and children.

Area for improvement

  • Ongoing review
    To maintain and extend good practice, staff should, through ongoing review, continue to determine the extent to which children use ICT and assessment to support their learning. 

4 Areas of National Interest

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports.  This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Māori Children

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which this service carries out a process to identify and respond to the aspirations and expectations of the parents and whānau of Māori children and focuses on the potential of Māori children to develop as competent and capable learners. 

Areas of good performance

  • Consultation with whānau
    Centre staff have effective processes for identifying and responding to the aspirations and expectations of parents and whānau of Māori children.  Parent and whānau hopes and expectations for the care and education of their children are discussed on enrolment.  Teachers take every opportunity to ensure learning experiences respond to the aspirations of parents of Māori children.
  • Culturally valuing
    The centre’s environment strongly reflects te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, with taonga, learning stories and other resources that affirm the culture and language of Māori children and their families.  A feature of the centre is the importance placed on respecting and enhancing the culture and language of Māori children and their whānau.  Teachers value and enjoy learning about Māori children’s whakapapa and experiences they bring to learning. 
  • Assessment of learning
    Teachers successfully use Māori children’s cultural context as the basis for assessments of their learning.  Children’s profiles contain learning stories that incorporate their whānau activities and celebrations.  The profiles provide important links with home and whānau, and demonstrate the value teachers place on Māori children’s culture in learning.
  • Parent involvement
    Teachers actively work with parents of Māori children to enhance learning partnerships.  Parents’ knowledge of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori is valued as part of the learning programme.  Teachers see parents and whānau of Māori children as an important and integral resource.  Children benefit from responsive and reciprocal relationships evident between home and kindergarten.

5 Management Assurance on Compliance Areas

Overview

Before the review, the licensee and staff of Onekawa Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreManagement Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist.  In these documents they have attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

ERO’s investigations did not identify any areas of concern.

6 Recommendations

ERO and the centre management agreed that:

6.1 teachers, through their existing robust review processes and knowledge of children’s interests, continue to refine and enhance centre practices in partnership with parents and whānau.

7 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children.  Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

Graham Randell

Area Manager

for Chief Review Officer

2 June 2009 

To the Parents and Community of Onekawa Kindergarten

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Onekawa Kindergarten.

Onekawa Kindergarten is one of fifteen reviewed under the umbrella organisation of the Napier Kindergarten Association (the association).  The association provides clear policies and procedures for centre management and teaching practice.  The kindergarten offers education and care for five morning and three afternoon sessions, for up to sixty children over two years of age.  The kindergarten has recently diversified its hours of operation in consultation with the community.  This report should be read in conjunction with the association report.

Teachers’ commitment to developing wider community partnerships is reflected in the centre philosophy.  Staff recognise that positive relationships with parents and whānau assist them to support children in their learning.  Relationships with families are warm and affirming.  Teachers have a clear vision for the centre.  They successfully engage parents in their children’s learning through one-to-one conversations, newsletters, planning boards and profiles.  Parents share valuable information with teachers about their children.  Teachers and children have meaningful conversations about family life and the wider world.

High quality, systematic self review forms the basis for teachers’ decisions about children’s education and care at the kindergarten.  Robust self review leads to ongoing improvements to teaching practice and children’s learning outcomes.  Children engage in meaningful learning experiences directly related to their interests.

Teachers successfully use a variety of assessment methods to evaluate children’s learning.  Teachers observe, discuss and, based on emergent interest, plan for individual and groups of children.  Opportunities for children to plan for their learning through a project approach are available.  Children work individually with teachers to set their goals and understand their learning outcomes.  Whānau are involved in initial and subsequent stages, and contribute their voice to learning stories.  Teachers support children as they develop their ideas over extended periods of time.  Profiles document children’s different interests and skill development.  Children and their families value these records of learning and development.

The head teacher provides inclusive, collaborative, professional leadership.  Teachers work effectively as a team to provide programmes for children.  Staff are responsive to professional learning and demonstrate a commitment to improving the environment and providing enhanced learning outcomes for children.  Teachers work collegially for the benefit of children and their parents.

Future Action 

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interests of the children.  Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again as part of the regular review cycle.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take.  You should talk to the management or licensee if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Graham Randell
Area Manager

for Chief Review Officer

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews.  The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review.  ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • Areas of National Interest – information about how Government policies are working in early childhood centres.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues.  The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement.  A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue.  There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.