Papamoa Free Kindergarten - 23/09/2011

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Papamoa Kindergarten operates under the umbrella of the Tauranga Kindergarten Association. It is located in the coastal suburb of Papamoa near Mt Maunganui. The kindergarten is licensed to provide sessional education and care for 40 children over two years of age.

Children learn in a safe, affirming atmosphere where there are high levels of respect and genuine interest in their growth and development. The kindergarten philosophy recognises ‘each child learning in remarkably unique ways’ and is underpinned by strong beliefs in sustainability, diversity, biculturalism, community and nature education.

Teachers are responsive to children’s wide range of interests and abilities. Children have fun in a safe learning environment that enables them to initiate play, try new experiences, use their creativity and imagination, and develop their sense of responsibility.

Extensive links with the local and wider community are a strength of the kindergarten. Staff develop effective partnerships with parents that support the learning and social development of children.

Staff are reflective practitioners who have a clear focus on continually improving the quality of education they provide for children. The head teacher provides highly effective professional guidance for teachers who are encouraged to assume leadership in areas of expertise, and continually grow and develop their teaching practice.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Papamoa 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 atPapamoa 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

Papamoa Kindergarten operates under the umbrella of the Tauranga Kindergarten Association, benefiting from the use of its professional resources including the support of an experienced Senior Teacher. The kindergarten’s philosophy recognises ‘each child learning in remarkably unique ways’ and is underpinned by strong beliefs in sustainability, diversity, biculturalism, community and nature education.

Staff keep up to date with relevant developments and trends in early childhood education and are engaged in ongoing ‘Education for Sustainability’ research projects with Waikato University. The kindergarten recently achieved the Green Gold Enviroschools Award. The association encourages staff to share their ideas and successes with other kindergartens locally and have presented at an international conference.

Areas of strength

Relationships: Positive, affirming and caring relationships amongst adults and children are a feature of the centre. Children develop social and cooperative skills such as negotiation and turn-taking through their play and interactions. They support and include each other in their play.

Programme and interactions: The programme consistently reflects the centre’s belief in empowering children to learn in a caring, inclusive environment where they can have fun. Strengths of the programme include:

  • literacy and mathematical concepts naturally integrated through children’s play;
  • teacher’s committed to bicultural practices through the integration of te reo and tikanga Māori;
  • responsiveness to children’s observed and expressed interests;
  • the provision of experiences and activities catering for a wide range of abilities;
  • learning in meaningful, authentic contexts, linking the local environment, community and family events;
  • profile books that are readily accessible, attractively presented and show learning in a rich range of programme experiences;
  • teachers using open-ended questioning, modelling appropriate interactions and reinforcement through praise and recognition; and
  • a range of interesting and stimulating excursions and trips to areas in the local environment.

Children are benefiting from effective teaching that encourages thinking and active participation.

Environment: Children learn in a richly resourced and stimulating environment that encourages their participation, exploration and investigation. Teachers are responsive to children’s wide range of interests and abilities. Children have fun in a safe learning environment that enables them to initiate play, try new experiences, use their creativity and imagination, and develop their sense of responsibility.

Community: Extensive links with the local and wider community are a strength of the kindergarten. These include:

  • close ties with the local primary school which include reciprocal visits, regular contact with new entrant teachers, shared activities and a buddy programme;
  • effective partnerships with parents that support the learning and social development of children;
  • the use of local contexts, settings and stories to frame opportunities and learning experiences for children; and
  • additional support for children and families for whom English is a second language.

Professional practice: Staff are reflective practitioners who have a clear focus on continually improving the quality of education they provide for children. Individual and group assessments, scheduled planning meetings, and continuous discussion contribute to effective, formal and informal self review. The head teacher provides highly effective professional guidance for teachers who are encouraged to take a leadership role in areas of expertise, and to continually grow and develop their teaching practice.

Teachers have identified and ERO agrees that the focus on enhancing professional practice, through research and self review, is an ongoing priority for the kindergarten.

3 National Evaluation Topic

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.

Inclusion of children with moderate to severe special needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions ensure the continuing wellbeing, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs;
  • children with moderate to severe special needs supported to be confident and capable learners; and
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs.

Background

At the time of this review the kindergarten had one child enrolled with moderate to high learning needs.

Areas of strength

An effective transition programme contributes to the child’s full inclusion in the kindergarten and subsequently on to the neighbouring school. Staff have extensive discussions with parents / whānau before the child enrols. Specialist and advisory services are accessed and involved in the preparation of appropriate learning programmes.. Additional staffing support is sourced through appropriate external agencies and the Tauranga Kindergarten Association.

Individual programmes are designed to the needs, interests and abilities of the child. These are responsive to emerging interests and developments. All teachers have input into, and responsibility for, the learning of the child.

4 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Papamoa Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

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

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that 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.

5 Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years. 

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region 

About the Centre

Type

Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Roll number

64

Gender composition

Boys 36 Girls 28

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 36

New Zealand Māori 14

Indian 9

Cook Island Māori 2

Other 3

Review team on site

August 2011

Date of this report

23 September 2011

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review September 2008

Education Review January 2006

Education Review December 2002

23 September 2011

To the Parents and Community of Papamoa Kindergarten

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

Papamoa Kindergarten operates under the umbrella of the Tauranga Kindergarten Association. It is located in the coastal suburb of Papamoa near Mt Maunganui. The kindergarten is licensed to provide sessional education and care for 40 children over two years of age.

Children learn in a safe, affirming atmosphere where there are high levels of respect and genuine interest in their growth and development. The kindergarten philosophy recognises ‘each child learning in remarkably unique ways’ and is underpinned by strong beliefs in sustainability, diversity, biculturalism, community and nature education.

Teachers are responsive to children’s wide range of interests and abilities. Children have fun in a safe learning environment that enables them to initiate play, try new experiences, use their creativity and imagination, and develop their sense of responsibility.

Extensive links with the local and wider community are a strength of the kindergarten. Staff develop effective partnerships with parents that support the learning and social development of children.

Staff are reflective practitioners who have a clear focus on continually improving the quality of education they provide for children. The head teacher provides highly effective professional guidance for teachers who are encouraged to assume leadership in areas of expertise, and continually grow and develop their teaching practice.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

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 contact person 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. 

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region 

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.
  • National Evaluation Topics – This strand contributes to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.
  • 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.