Portland Kindergarten - 18/04/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Portland Kindergarten near Whangarei operates as part of the Northland Kindergarten Association. The Association provides support with administrative and management frameworks. The kindergarten operates within the new kindergarten day model.

Children receive good quality education, in an attractive rural environment. They establish friendships and play in mixed age groups. Children interact confidently with teachers and peers. They have frequent opportunities to develop literacy, numeracy and science skills in the context of play. A sense of wellbeing and belonging is promoted by the teaching team.

Teachers are responsive to individual children, providing opportunities for children to participate in organising the play environment. Children have easy access to both indoor and outdoor areas. The kindergarten is well resourced and play spaces provide children with a variety of learning experiences. Tikanga Māori is evident in the centre environment and teachers use te reo Māori spontaneously throughout the daily programme.

Warm relationships have been established with families/whānau. Parents are welcomed into the kindergarten and have good access to information about daily and weekly activities.

The newly appointed teaching team are developing and implementing new strategies for programme management, self review and long-term planning. Association managers provide very good professional support for teachers. ERO, the Association representative and teachers agree that they should develop an action plan to address the recommendations and areas for development and review identified in this report.

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 Portland 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 atPortland 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

ERO’s 2009 review of Portland Kindergarten indicated that children participated in good quality programmes and enjoyed good quality relationships with teachers and peers. Children benefited from a well resourced and attractive environment. To further improve practice ERO recommended that teachers develop planning systems to help them extend children’s learning.

Since the 2009 ERO review, a new teaching team has been appointed. They have reviewed the centre philosophy and are focused on building team relationships with support from the Kindergarten Association.

Areas of strength

  • Programme in action.

Children know the centre routines well and enthusiastically participate in individual and group activities. Routines provide children with opportunities to engage in child-led play for long periods. Children are skilled at managing their own behaviour and negotiating with peers.

Teachers are responsive to individual children’s strengths and interests. They confidently use te reo Māori to support children’s bicultural understandings. Portfolios show children’s participation in the learning programme.

  • Learning environment.

There are good systems in place to provide children with a safe environment. Opportunities for investigation and exploration are a feature of the programme. Literacy and numeracy resources are available to children in many areas of play. The outdoor area is highly attractive and provides children with extensive space for physical play.

  • Partnerships with families/whānau.

Families experience an environment where they feel a sense of belonging. All teachers welcome and greet families when they arrive. Parents appreciate the regular conversations they have with teachers about their child’s experiences in the programme.

Areas for development and review

  • Self review.

Teachers have identified self review as an area for development. They could reflect on the impact of teaching practices on children’s learning. Teachers should use self review as a strategy to improve all aspects of teaching practice and kindergarten operations.

  • Planning, assessment and evaluation.

Teachers have recently implemented a new planning approach based on children’s interests. They could build upon this by:

  • making the programme more visible to parents and including parents in programme development
  • documenting children’s next learning goals to show children’s progress over of time.

Long-term and annual plans. Teachers could use long-term and annual plans to determine the impact of planning on learning outcomes for children.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Portland Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreManagement Assurance 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
  • 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.

In order to improve current practices teachers should ensure that:

  • fire and earthquake drills are undertaken regularly and recorded
  • permission slips for excursions include parent approval and parent ratios are clearly stated
  • police vetting of unqualified staff is maintained.

4 Recommendations

ERO, the Association representative and teachers agree that teachers should:

  • develop self-review processes to evaluate the impact of teaching practices on children’s learning
  • further develop programme management systems to show children’s progress over time
  • use long term and annual goals to guide ongoing team development.

The Association representative and teachers have agreed to develop an action plan to address the recommendations and areas for development and review identified in this report.

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 Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Roll number

40

Gender composition

Girls 23

Boys 17

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 26,

Māori 8,

Japanese 2

Australian 1,

British 1,

Canadian 1,

Samoan 1

Review team on site

February 2012

Date of this report

18 April 2012

Previous three ERO reports

 

Education Review, February 2009

Education Review, March 2006

Education Review, December 2002

18 April 2012

To the Parents and Community of Portland Kindergarten

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

Portland Kindergarten near Whangarei operates as part of the Northland Kindergarten Association. The Association provides support with administrative and management frameworks. The kindergarten operates within the new kindergarten day model.

Children receive good quality education, in an attractive rural environment. They establish friendships and play in mixed age groups. Children interact confidently with teachers and peers. They have frequent opportunities to develop literacy, numeracy and science skills in the context of play. A sense of wellbeing and belonging is promoted by the teaching team.

Teachers are responsive to individual children, providing opportunities for children to participate in organising the play environment. Children have easy access to both indoor and outdoor areas. The kindergarten is well resourced and play spaces provide children with a variety of learning experiences. Tikanga Māori is evident in the centre environment and teachers use te reo Māori spontaneously throughout the daily programme.

Warm relationships have been established with families/whānau. Parents are welcomed into the kindergarten and have good access to information about daily and weekly activities.

The newly appointed teaching team are developing and implementing new strategies for programme management, self review and long-term planning. Association managers provide very good professional support for teachers. ERO, the Association representative and teachers agree that they should develop an action plan to address the recommendations and areas for development and review identified in this report.

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.