Pohutukawa Kindergarten - 15/06/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Pohutukawa Kindergarten provides good quality care and education for up to 30 children over the age of two years. The privately owned kindergarten provides morning sessions two days a week for two to three year olds and morning sessions three days a week for three to five year olds. There is an option to extend sessions a further two hours for four year olds.

Children enjoy warm, positive relationships with adults and each other. Centre managers and teachers work collaboratively to foster partnerships with families. This supports children’s learning and development, both at home and in the centre. The kindergarten’s philosophy places an emphasis on respect for oneself, others and the environment. These values are enacted in teacher practice and children’s play. As a result, children and parents demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.

Children are involved in a wide variety of learning experiences and have access to appropriate equipment and resources. The natural environment is well used as a source of scientific discovery and as an opportunity for children to learn about sustainable practices. The licensee and teachers acknowledge the need to increase the use of Māori language and perspectives in the environment and learning programme.

Teachers’ effective planning and assessment practices enable them to provide a programme that is responsive to children’s emerging interests and strengths. This is particularly evident in the morning sessions. A more structured and teacher directed afternoon programme is offered for four year olds. ERO recommends that teachers continue to seek ways to support children to develop more complexity in their play.

The centre is well managed. The licensee and co-owners have clear roles and responsibilities. The management team have established very good administrative, personnel and support systems to underpin centre operations. The licensee is growing leadership within an effective teaching team. A good framework for self review is in place and teachers implement self review to ensure that the centre continues to develop in positive ways.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Pohutukawa 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 atPohutukawa 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
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Since the 2009 ERO review the centre has been licensed to cater for up to 30 children, and the physical environment has been extended. Priority has also been given to strengthening planning and assessment practices and centre self review.

The kindergarten philosophy places an emphasis on respect, including respect for oneself, others and the environment. The philosophy also promotes the value of free play periods alongside structured learning where children can learn to participate both as individuals and as members of a group.

Areas of strength

Respectful relationships and sense of belonging. The centre has a settled and friendly tone. Children settle quickly on arrival. Teachers work to develop children’s and families’ sense of belonging. They are skilful at building children’s social and interpersonal skills to enable them to play co-operatively. Children and their families receive a friendly and inclusive welcome from staff. The centre has low staff turnover and, consequently, teachers know the children and their families well.

Learning environment. Children enjoy an attractive, spacious and uncluttered environment with a wide range of equipment and resources. Children have ready access to an outdoor area that offers a range of engaging activities and physical play. The natural environment is well used as a source of scientific discovery. It also provides opportunities for children to learn about sustainable practices.

Programme planning. Teachers have developed effective systems for programme planning. Programmes for the morning sessions originate from children’s interests and strengths, and planning is displayed for families and children to revisit. Regular programme evaluations by teachers result in a programme that provides wide choice for children and is responsive to their immediate interests. There is strong alignment between the centre philosophy and the programme in action.

Self review. Regular self-review processes lead to ongoing improvements to the services the centre provides. Self review is well documented and opportunities are provided for parent involvement in the process. Families are responsive to these opportunities and parent contribution is valued by the licensee and teachers.

Areas for development and review

Developing complexity of play. Teachers could give further thought to how they can support children to develop more complexity in their play. Opportunities teachers could consider are:

  • developing the child’s “voice” in programme planning
  • setting up learning experiences that promote complexity
  • providing more opportunities for the child to take the lead in the afternoon sections of the four year old programme
  • greater use of open-ended questions to extend children’s thinking.

Te reo and tikanga Māori. The licensee and teachers acknowledge the need to increase the use of Māori language and perspectives in the environment and learning programme. Managers have identified this as a priority in the centre’s annual plan. Relevant professional development is planned. ERO agrees this training should be beneficial in growing the confidence of staff to incorporate more Māori language and to integrate bicultural perspectives into their teaching practice.

3. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

  • administration
  • health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • 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
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4. Recommendation

ERO recommends that teachers continue to seek ways to support children to develop more complexity in their play.

5. Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre again in three years.

 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

 

About the Centre

Type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Roll number

56

Gender composition

Girls 36 Boys 20

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 47,

Māori 1,

Cook Island Māori 1,

Samoan 1,

other ethnicities 6

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

15 June 2012

Previous ERO report

Education Review, May 2009

15 June 2012

To the Parents and Community of Pohutukawa Kindergarten

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

Pohutukawa Kindergarten provides good quality care and education for up to 30 children over the age of two years. The privately owned kindergarten provides morning sessions two days a week for two to three year olds and morning sessions three days a week for three to five year olds. There is an option to extend sessions a further two hours for four year olds.

Children enjoy warm, positive relationships with adults and each other. Centre managers and teachers work collaboratively to foster partnerships with families. This supports children’s learning and development, both at home and in the centre. The kindergarten’s philosophy places an emphasis on respect for oneself, others and the environment. These values are enacted in teacher practice and children’s play. As a result, children and parents demonstrate a strong sense of belonging.

Children are involved in a wide variety of learning experiences and have access to appropriate equipment and resources. The natural environment is well used as a source of scientific discovery and as an opportunity for children to learn about sustainable practices. The licensee and teachers acknowledge the need to increase the use of Māori language and perspectives in the environment and learning programme.

Teachers’ effective planning and assessment practices enable them to provide a programme that is responsive to children’s emerging interests and strengths. This is particularly evident in the morning sessions. A more structured and teacher directed afternoon programme is offered for four year olds. ERO recommends that teachers continue to seek ways to support children to develop more complexity in their play.

The centre is well managed. The licensee and co-owners have clear roles and responsibilities. The management team have established very good administrative, personnel and support systems to underpin centre operations. The licensee is growing leadership within an effective teaching team. A good framework for self review is in place and teachers implement self review to ensure that the centre continues to develop in positive ways.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre 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.

 

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

 

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.
  • 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.