Parkland Kindergarten - 02/10/2019

1 Evaluation of Parkland Kindergarten

How well placed is Parkland Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Parkland Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Parkland Kindergarten is in Palmerston North. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8.45am until 2.45pm. Full day places are available to children from two to six years. At the time of this review, there were 53 children enrolled and 11 identify as Māori.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises aroha and love of learning at the centre, and guides teaching and learning supported through; 'manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, kaitiakitanga and kotahitanga'.

The kindergarten is administered by the Ruahine Kindergarten Association (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day running of the association is the role of the chief executive officer who is responsible to the board. An operations manager supports the service’s compliance and policy development. Two senior teachers provide educational leadership across the teaching teams.

The February 2016 ERO report identified that understanding of internal evaluation, gathering parent aspirations and the bicultural curriculum needed development. The understanding and use of internal evaluation is an ongoing development focus.

This kindergarten is part of the Palmerston North East Kāhui Ako.

This review was part of a cluster of twelve kindergartens and one early learning service in the Ruahine Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children follow their interests and lead their own learning through a responsive curriculum. Their problem solving, risk-taking and challenge are well promoted. They are encouraged to investigate, make discoveries and take responsibility for their own learning. Children's oral language development is successfully fostered. A feature of the kindergarten is the expansive natural environment and use of cultural and natural resources that promote sustainable practice and learning.

A well-considered framework for planning, aligned to Te Whāriki, is used to create meaningful experiences that promote individual children's learning. Children's leadership of the programme is valued and celebrated. Literacy and numeracy are purposefully embedded throughout the programme and the environment. Children are empowered to make decisions and choices about their wellbeing.

Assessment identifies children's learning and wellbeing progress. Teachers should continue to strengthen evaluation of children's learning, to show which strategies are making the most difference to learning and why.

Children and their families enjoy caring and trusting relationships with teachers. Staff establish a warm, welcoming atmosphere and positive kindergarten culture. They work and play alongside children and use a range of approaches to add to and extend learning as opportunities emerge. Children are provided with feedback that acknowledges their efforts and success. Ako is well promoted.

Māori and other children experience a strong sense of belonging in an inclusive family-based environment. The language, culture and identity of Māori and other children is well promoted through te reo Māori, waiata and karakia. Bicultural learning opportunities acknowledge the unique place of Māori in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The use of New Zealand sign language as well as children’s home languages are meaningfully incorporated into daily interactions. Families from diverse cultures are encouraged to share their own languages, customs and special events. Teachers acknowledge and celebrate cultural diversity.

Children with additional needs experience an inclusive environment where they are valued for what they and their whānau bring to their learning.

Teachers use the association developed framework to effectively review practice to inform changes for improvement and curriculum priorities. Strengthening understanding and use of evaluation should further assist the team to determine the impact of their teaching on children's learning.

Senior teachers work collaboratively to build teacher and leadership capability. There is a strong commitment to growing staff knowledge and skills through ongoing professional learning, research opportunities and the sharing of good practice.

Association leaders have a well-considered approach to progressing strategic objectives. Robust systems and processes are in place for monitoring, reporting and evaluating the quality of operations. Information is used to inform decision making and to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

At kindergarten level, priority is to continue to strengthen:

  • understanding use of internal evaluation to further assist the team to determine the impact of the curriculum and their teaching practice on children's learning.

At governance level, the Ruahine Kindergarten Association have identified that their priorities are to continue to:

  • strengthen and build their knowledge and understanding of tikanga Māori and seek engagement with local iwi, with kaumatua support.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Parkland 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

2 October 2019

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

Palmerston North

Ministry of Education profile number

5263

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, aged over 2

Service roll

53

Gender composition

Male 32, Female 21

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

11
24
18

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

2 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2016

Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

June 2009

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.