Pt England Kindergarten - 14/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Pt England Kindergarten

How well placed is Pt England 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

Pt England Kindergarten is a multicultural kindergarten in central east Auckland, adjacent to a primary school. It is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework and support personnel to assist kindergarten. The 2015 restructure of AKA leadership roles has been reviewed and has resulted in further re-allocation of roles. There continues to be a period of transition for all AKA staff as they adapt to new systems and responsibilities.

The kindergarten operates as a Kindergarten Day Model (KDM) that enables children to attend sessions similar to school hours. It is staffed by a head teacher, four other registered teachers, and an administrator/teacher aide. The kindergarten provides education and care for up to 40 children over two years to school age. Most of the children have Māori or Pacific Island heritage.

Respect, 'the environment as the third teacher' and learning through play are key aspects of the kindergarten philosophy that is founded on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and the concepts of te ao Māori.

ERO’s 2013 report recognised that children were settled and well supported by teachers. Children’s sense of wellbeing and belonging continues to be promoted. In 2013 teachers agreed they could strengthen self review and planning, assessment and evaluation approaches, and promote an inquiry approach for teaching. Since the 2013 review there have been some staff changes. The Head Teacher has managed these changes well. Teachers have continued to make improvements to the environment and making learning visible in documentation.

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

The Review Findings

Teachers provide an inviting environment that is welcoming and inclusive to children and adults. The multicultural backgrounds of the families and the emphasis on environmental sustainability and healthy eating, are strongly evident throughout the centre.

Children’s work, their voice and how their learning is recognised are prominently, displayed, including photos of children and their whānau. Attractively presented play areas encourage children to explore, initiate and sustain play. The well equipped, landscaped outdoor area fosters very good opportunities for natural science, physical challenge and imaginative play. Children have fun and know their play is valued as meaningful learning.

The kindergarten's philosophy, teaching practices and the natural environment acknowledge New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and affirm Māori children’s cultural identity. Teachers use te reo Māori words and phrases in routines and conversations, as well as in waiata and dance. They are keen to strengthen their bicultural practices and further embed te ao Māori in the programme.

Children are confident and eager learners. They show respect for others and the environment and engage in sustained cooperative play. They are encouraged to share ideas, problem solve and develop their own working theories. Children play and learn in a positive and supportive environment. Their physical, emotional and social development is nurtured.

Warm and responsive relationships underpin the positive interactions between teachers and children. Teachers know children and their families well and invite parents to share their aspirations. Transition to school is very well supported and teachers continually review and research ways to enhance this process.

Parents are well informed and encouraged to contribute to their children’s learning. The introduction of online assessment portfolios is strengthening opportunities for parent partnership. Parents who spoke to ERO expressed their appreciation of the education and care provided for children at the kindergarten.

Curriculum planning and implementation reflects the kindergarten's play based-learning philosophy and is responsive to children’s ideas and emerging interests. Teachers build on children’s understanding of the world around them in meaningful ways. They skilfully support children's learning through play. Literacy, numeracy, and science are carefully integrated into the programme as is creativity through art, music and drama.

AKA systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. The Association's shared vision and comprehensive strategic plan guide kindergarten developments. New AKA roles were established to provide more targeted support for head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A new Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is aligned with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans, monitors quality and promotes ongoing improvement in kindergartens. AKA support and guidance is responsive to each kindergarten's individual context.

Teachers are improvement focused and work together collegially and supportively. The experienced Head Teacher encourages teacher capabilities through sharing strengths and the distributed leadership approach. Teachers share and enact the kindergarten philosophy. The teaching team appreciates the support and guidance from AKA personnel. They are aware that their internal evaluation could be strengthened to be more robust and evaluative. 

Key Next Steps

The teaching team and AKA educational specialist agree that key next steps for the kindergarten should include continuing to:

  • develop a more robust and evaluative self-review process that includes teachers inquiring more deeply into their practice
  • review and refine assessment, planning and evaluation practices to show more consistently how children’s individual interests and cultural strengths are progressed over time
  • consider ways to extend teachers' responsiveness to children's home languages and cultural identity.

The AKA is continuing to review and refine its policies and procedures, including those for teacher appraisal and the endorsement of teachers’ practising certificates.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Pt England 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 Pt England Kindergarten will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

14 December 2016 

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

Pt England, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5093

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

42

Gender composition

Girls 22 Boys 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Tongan

Samoan

Niue

Cook Island Māori

Burmese

other

11

3

11

7

3

3

2

2

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

September 2016

Date of this report

14 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

May 2010

Education Review

December 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.