Otahuhu Kindergarten - 27/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Otahuhu Kindergarten

How well placed is Otahuhu 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

Otahuhu Kindergarten operates as a Kindergarten Day Model (KDM) which enables children to attend up to seven hours each day, similar to school hours. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 40 children over two years of age. It is located in a culturally diverse area with many children having English as an additional language.

Since the 2014 ERO review the kindergarten has undergone significant changes to the teaching team and the outside learning environment. It is staffed by a head teacher and three other registered teachers, a teaching assistant, a teacher aide and an administrator. At the time of this review there were two long-term relievers.

Teachers continue to provide the good quality teaching practices noted in ERO’s 2014 report and maintain their focus on environmentally sustainable practices. They have engaged in the Whakamanawa programme to strengthen bicultural practices. Teachers are a part of the Otahuhu Library Outreach programme and have ongoing connections with local health, education and social service agencies.

Respectful relationships and a focus on children's language, culture and identity are integral to the kindergarten’s kaupapa/philosophy. Respect for Māori as tangata whenua and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, underpin the programme provided for children.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters.

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

The Review Findings

Children have a strong sense of cultural identity and belonging. They share and respect each other's languages and cultures. Teachers engage children in sustained conversations, often using their home languages.

Children learn in a vibrant and welcoming environment that proudly reflects children's diverse cultures. Resources, displays and equipment value children’s languages, cultural backgrounds and identity. Teachers organise the environment in ways that respond to children's interests and support their sustained engagement in play. Children have good opportunities to explore and learn about the natural world, and are physically active in the spacious outdoor area. They have fun, make choices and learn though purposeful play.

Curriculum planning and implementation are highly responsive to children's cultures, strengths and ideas. The curriculum is based on Te Whāriki and promotes Māori language and culture. The programme is inclusive of all children. Pacific children and families are well supported and their languages and cultures are valued. Children enthusiastically engage in Pacific celebrations, art, music and dance.

Programme documentation shows how children’s interests, strengths and parent aspirations guide the programme. Portfolios are good records of their children's engagement in the programmes and include children’s and family comments. Online e-portfolios provides another way for whānau to contribute to their children's learning. Teachers recognise they could strengthen planning for individual children, and make the progress of learning over time more visible in learning stories.

Teachers know children well, and build on their interests in relevant learning experiences. They support children to learn about literacy, mathematics, science and technology concepts in meaningful ways. They encourage problem solving, investigation and creativity. Children are becoming self-managing learners.

Te ao Māori is valued and promoted in the kindergarten, and Māori children’s cultural identity affirmed. Teachers work collaboratively with whānau and the community to deepen their understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori. Teachers use words and phrases in te reo Māori in routines and conversations, as well as in waiata and dance. The Association's Whakamanawa programme is having a positive impact on teachers' bicultural practices.

Teachers have respectful and reciprocal relationships with children and their families, and connections with the local community. There is a strong sense of community and shared purpose in the kindergarten. Teachers foster whānau involvement and encourage them to share their knowledge and skills. Children are well supported as they transition to school.

Teachers foster equity and inclusion in culturally responsive and successful ways. They are good advocates for children, and focus on promoting children’s physical and emotional wellbeing. The head teacher's professional leadership encourages all staff to have leadership roles. The positive team culture is based on strategies to encourage teachers' professional growth.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision that are linked to the AKA’s strategic goals. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) also aligns with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. It enables the AKA and teachers to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure. It has begun a process of internal evaluation to establish how effectively the four pillars of its strategic plan are resulting in more positive outcomes for children, their families, and the organisation.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team has identified some useful next steps. These include:

  • ensuring records more clearly reflect the depth of children’s thinking and continuity of learning

  • deepening teachers' shared understandings about, and increasing the rigour of, internal evaluation

  • enriching partnerships with parents/whānau and relationships with community groups including schools

  • continuing to build on the Enviroschools programme.

The AKA has useful processes for supporting teachers' ongoing professional development. This process could be strengthened by ensuring that teachers' individual goals are measurable and based on the evaluation of teaching practices and impact on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

27 October 2017

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

Otahuhu, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5086

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

59

Gender composition

Boys 30 Girls 29

Ethnic composition

Māori
Tongan
Indian
Samoan
South East Asian
Cook Islands Māori
Fijian

10
19
12
9
5
2
2

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

27 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

April 2011

Education Review

April 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.