Poppies Kindergarten - 06/03/2019

1 Evaluation of Poppies Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Poppies Kindergarten has been owned and managed by the same licensee since it opened 30 years ago. It is licensed for 40 children over two years of age and provides daily sessions between 8:30am and 3pm.

Programmes are provided in two age groups for the first part of the day. The layout of the environment allows children of mixed ages to play together and share resources for much of the session. Many children have older siblings currently attending or who have attended the service in the past, and some have parents who also attended this service.

The kindergarten's philosophy statement expresses the licensee's beliefs about early childhood education and reflects the strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. It includes a focus on the acquisition and development of skills, knowledge, attitudes and dispositions in a safe, secure environment where children are affirmed as individuals and feel a sense of belonging. The kindergarten aims to have a balance of child-initiated and teacher directed activities. Children spend the first part of each day indoors and the kindergarten continues to offer a more formal teacher-led transition to school programme for four-year-olds.

ERO's 2015 report acknowledged teachers' positive focus on supporting children's learning through play. This feature remains a priority. Some recommendations from the 2015 report have been actioned, including a documented long-term plan. Since ERO's 2015 review, a new head teacher and teaching team have been appointed.

The Review Findings

Children and their families are made very welcome in the kindergarten. Teachers have good strategies for helping new children settle into the programme and adjust to kindergarten routines. They are kind and respectful, and enthusiastically encourage children's participation in learning activities and group sessions. Teachers know the children and their families well and are aware of the home languages and cultural practices of families who are new to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Children are capable and confident. They engage eagerly in the many activities available. Areas of play are well resourced and equipment is easy for children to access. Children play cooperatively and are supported to develop friendships. They have opportunities for creative and imaginative play, including music and dance.

Teachers document children's learning and progress through their individual assessment portfolios. They are considering introducing digital learning records to encourage further parent involvement and feedback.

Teachers plan the programme collaboratively around focus themes and in response to children's interests and parent aspirations. Their planning is now more visible in displays that encourage parent comment and feedback. Teachers have focused their internal evaluation on enriching the programme, and reviewing the transition to school programme.

The head teacher and licensee agree that reviewing and updating the kindergarten's philosophy could help to build staff cohesion in relation to the implementation of Te Whāriki 2017, the revised early childhood curriculum. A plan for evaluating kindergarten goals for improving bicultural practices would contribute to this focus.

The head teacher is implementing the Poppies teacher appraisal system, based on Teaching Council requirements. The licensee should now clarify the head teacher's role in evaluating programmes for children, and ensure that this leadership role is supported through whole kindergarten professional learning and development.

Key Next Steps

Next steps for kindergarten licensee and teachers include investigating ways of strengthening:

  • the extent to which children lead and make decisions about their learning, including more flexible access to outdoor spaces and resources

  • support for children to develop more complex play that sustains their interests, encourages problem solving and extends their learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Poppies 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.

To improve current practices the service provider should systematically update the wording of policies and procedures, especially in regard to changes in legislation, such as the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Poppies Kindergarten will be in three years.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

6 March 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

Remuera, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20135

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

58

Gender composition

Girls 34 Boys 24

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
other ethnic groups

3
43
11
1

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

6 March 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

January 2008

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 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.