Parnell Kindergarten - 19/11/2015

1 Evaluation of Parnell Kindergarten

How well placed is Parnell 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

Parnell Kindergarten is a central city service adjacent to a reserve. Since the 2012 ERO review, they have changed from a sessional service to a Kindergarten Day Model (KDM). This now enables children to attend sessions similar to school hours. Teachers and the community are highly supportive of this model.

The kindergarten provides education and care for up to 40 children over two years to school age. It is staffed by a head teacher, two other registered teachers, an administrator and a teaching assistant/teacher aide.

The kindergarten has a history of very positive ERO reports and, other than a new head teacher being appointed in 2015, the teaching team has remained the same since the 2012 ERO review. Teachers continue to provide the high quality practices noted in the 2012 ERO report. They have engaged in professional learning and development to strengthen their planning. They have also furthered their understanding of bicultural practices.

Respect for child-led learning, inclusion and cultural diversity are embedded in the kindergarten’s philosophy. Providing an aesthetically pleasing natural environment that fosters child initiated learning, and enactment of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, underpin the programmes provided for children.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association, which provides considered leadership, a management framework, support personnel and a programme of professional development for teachers.

In 2015, after extensive review, consultation and development, the Auckland Kindergarten Association launched a new 10-year strategic plan with four strategic objectives. The Association’s approach to rolling out a substantial change in its organisational structure has been carefully considered.

New Association roles have been established to provide more targeted support for kindergarten operations, curriculum and development. Professional development supports kindergarten head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is being implemented to monitor quality in kindergartens and contribute to self review and ongoing improvement.

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

The Review Findings

Children learn in an attractive and stimulating learning environment that promotes exploration, investigation, creativity and respect for all. The kindergarten is welcoming and well resourced play areas invite and support children’s engagement in play. Wall displays and equipment reflect teachers’ respect for te ao Māori and children’s family backgrounds. Teachers foster children’s understanding of environmental sustainability. This is reflected in the way children care for and are physically active in the naturally landscaped outdoor area.

Children are self managing, enthusiastic learners who engage in sustained play. They have fun and their natural curiosity is encouraged, as is their ability to plan, negotiate and problem solve. They are confident communicators, some in more than one language, and they experience success as learners. Children are creative, imaginative and use literacy, science and mathematics as part of their play. The use of digital technologies (ICT) as tools to support learning is highly evident in children’s play, programme documents and teacher practice.

Teachers provide challenging learning experiences that foster children’s development as competent and confident learners. Their respectful and skilful interactions extend children’s ideas, language and interests in play and discussion. Teachers are inclusive and foster a strong sense of belonging in all children. They affirm and build on the strengths children’s bring.

Teacher’s shared belief in child-led learning through play is evident in their practice and centre documents. They plan to make ‘the ordinary into extraordinary’ and implement a high quality programme curriculum, based on Te Whāriki. The curriculum is responsive to children’s interests and strengths as well as parent aspirations. Teachers prioritise Māori language, culture and values while acknowledging the diverse cultures in the kindergarten.

Children are encouraged to set their own goals, discuss the process and evaluate the outcomes of learning activities. Children’s assessment records are highly valued, include their input and are often added to by families. The introduction of e-portfolios has increased opportunities for parents and whānau to contribute to these records. Partnerships with parents, connections to the community and good support for transition to school contribute positively to outcomes for children.

Teachers are reflective, innovative, work collaboratively, and benefit from the head teacher’s strong professional leadership. The head teacher is supportive of teachers, is aware of their strengths, and encourages their leadership abilities. There is a culture of continuous improvement that is supported by research and professional development.

Association systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. Self review in this kindergarten is highly developed, well embedded and focused on continuous improvements in educational outcomes for all children. The Association has a strong commitment to biculturalism and in embracing diversity. Resources and personnel have been targeted to ensure that the specific needs of children and their families are met.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team and the Association Education Specialist have identified appropriate points for ongoing development. These include teachers:

  • continuing to deepen evaluative self review to sustain their continuous improvement
  • continuing to enhance the sense of community through culturally responsive practices, in partnership with parents and whānau.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Parnell 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 Parnell Kindergarten will be in four years. 

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Parnell, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5090

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

45

Gender composition

Boys 26

Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Japanese

Indian

other

2

23

8

3

2

7

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

August 2015

Date of this report

19 November 2015

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

November 2010

 

Education Review

September 2009

 

Education Review

September 2006

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.