Papakura West Kindergarten - 04/05/2015

1 Evaluation of Papakura West Kindergarten

How well placed is Papakura West 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

Papakura West Kindergarten is a well-established service that provides education and care for children over two years old. It operates the kindergarten day model (KDM) which enables children to attend sessions that match school hours. The kindergarten is part of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. A professional practice manager (PPM) visits and provides leadership and curriculum support for teachers.

There have been several changes in the teaching team since 2013. The head teacher is new to the position but has a long term relationship with the kindergarten and families. The teachers, who are all fully registered, work collaboratively to operate the centre. They have participated in a range of individual professional development opportunities and will soon begin an extended leadership course together.

In 2011 ERO identified several positive features of the service that supported children as capable learners who initiated and sustained their own play. ERO recommended that teachers increase te reo and tikanga Māori in the programme and that they further develop children's use of information and communication technologies (ICT). Teachers were also developing the quality of their self-review processes. The new team has made good progress in all of these areas.

The Review Findings

Children are happy, engaged learners who show a sense of belonging in the kindergarten. They play and cooperate well in small groups and enthusiastically participate in whole-group games. Children enjoy positive and trusting relationships with teachers and respond well to adult prompts and guidance. They are becoming confident with using ICT tools for research and publishing and the more competent children often tutor their peers.

Children benefit from the spacious outdoor area that provides many physical challenges and caters especially well for the needs of boys. Teachers recognise that they could now review aspects of the indoor environment and the ways in which they present some resources to further provoke children’s interest.

Teachers support learning well. They engage children effectively with open questions and their conversations are respectful and relevant. Teachers encourage children to be independent learners who take risks and engage in problem solving. They value the cultural diversity of families. An ongoing focus on children's pepeha has fostered children’s languages and cultures and successfully involved families in sharing cultural values. The head teacher’s strong commitment to meaningful biculturalism results in practices that support the success of Māori, as well as all children.

Teachers base the programme on children's strengths and interests. They use topical interests for children to explore early skills and knowledge in literacy, mathematics and science. They also integrate valuable learning such as healthy eating, sustainable practices and bicultural understanding. Teachers discuss the programme informally each day and evaluate the success of topics. They have been working with the PPM to further develop strategies for managing the programme and improving children's assessment portfolios.

Parents and whānau are becoming increasingly involved in the kindergarten. Teachers actively foster partnerships with parents through regular informal discussions, digital communication, newsletters and surveys. A kindergarten blog that translates into many languages is being widely used by families to share children's learning with family members both locally and overseas. These communication strategies have encouraged parents to provide more feedback for teachers. Parents who were interviewed appreciate the ways teachers respond to their children’s interests.

The kindergarten is well managed. The systems in place for centre operations, ongoing scheduled review and Association support contribute to efficient management of the service. Teachers are developing effective self-review processes that include meaningful consultation with families and children. Although the head teacher is new to the role, she leads the team well and recognises the priorities for sustaining and enhancing the quality of the service. A review of the kindergarten’s annual plan is scheduled to ensure it aligns well with key next steps and teachers’ goals.

Key Next Steps

The teachers and the PPM agree that key next steps for the kindergarten’s development include:

  • ongoing development of planning, assessment and evaluation to more visibly document strategies for teaching and learning
  • improving the quality of children's assessment portfolios by strengthening the continuity between learning stories and by more explicitly documenting the teacher’s role in extending children’s learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

4 May 2015

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

Papakura, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5126

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

46

Gender composition

Boys 23

Girls 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

others

11

19

11

5

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

March 2015

Date of this report

4 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2011

 

Education Review

June 2008

 

Education Review

June 2005

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.