Red Hill Kindergarten - 16/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Red Hill Kindergarten

How well placed is Red Hill 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

Red Hill Kindergarten is a well established service that is licensed for children between the ages of two and five years. The kindergarten offers all-day sessions where siblings and other children play together in mixed-age groups. It operates within the policies and management framework of the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association. An education manager (EM) visits the kindergarten and provides leadership and curriculum support for teachers.

Half of children on the roll are Māori. A small number of children come from Pacific and Asian backgrounds. Many children are at the kindergarten for just a short time. Parents and teachers work well together to identify children's needs and develop a shared understanding of what is valued in the kindergarten.

The 2013 ERO report noted that the kindergarten was well governed and managed. Teachers had fostered a sense of belonging for children and their whānau. Children engaged well in a programme that was often guided by their interests. These aspects of in the programme continue to be evident.

This review was part of a cluster of five kindergarten reviews in the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are friendly, confident and curious. They have a strong sense of belonging, engage well in the programme and have fun in their learning. Children are articulate and respectful of each other and of visitors. Tuakana/teina relationships are evident in the way they care for each other. They play cooperatively and sustain their play for long periods. Te reo Māori is a familiar language to children.

Teachers are continuing to build relationships with the local community. Their communications with parents are reciprocal and informative, and parent involvement is welcomed. Teachers could now more consistently document how they respond to parents' aspirations for their children and how they include parents in planning for children's learning.

Teachers have established trusting relationships with families and a 'listening culture', and value both children's and parents' input. They have a strong focus on Māori and Pacific cultures and value the concept of ako. They are developing relationships with the local marae. Relationships based on whanaungatanga and manaakitanga provide meaningful foundations for respectful interactions and for learning.

Teachers view children as competent learners and experts in their areas of interest. They are skilful and in tune with children. They know when to intervene and when to stand back and encourage children's own exploration and independent learning. Children's language development, and their emotional and physical wellbeing, are well supported.

Teachers have worked consistently to provide an environment that stimulates sustained play and promotes enquiry based learning. They have an ongoing focus on natural science and natural learning environments. Teachers have a focus on sustainability through gardening and recycling.

With an influx of two year olds, provision for these younger children has been prioritised and addressed very well. Teachers now recognise that the programme needs to refocus on providing for the learning needs of older as well as younger children.

Planning is based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers notice children's interests and learning dispositions and take them into account when planning for children's learning. Digital, online systems have recently been introduced to help teachers with planning for and recording children's learning.

The kindergarten has a positive team culture. Teachers are provided with many opportunities for professional development including leadership training. The head teacher promotes an inclusive and collaborative team approach, and teachers share leadership roles.

The Association continues to provide very good support for the kindergarten. The systems and personnel in place to support kindergarten operations, and ongoing review and monitoring, contribute to efficient management practices. Association leaders establish overarching long-term goals so that teachers can align their annual plan with the Association's strategic direction. They are responsive to changing community needs and variable hours of operation provide flexibility for families. Leaders continue to adapt personnel systems, including teacher appraisal, in response to changing requirements.

The Association focuses on continuous improvement in kindergarten operations and educational outcomes for children. They have high expectations for teachers to use evidence based, reflective practices. The Association has a strong commitment to bicultural practices, working in partnership with Māori whānau and each kindergarten's community. Leaders embrace cultural diversity and are currently focusing on strategies to promote success for Pacific learners.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and the education manager agree that the next key steps for kindergarten development could include:

  • continuing to use teacher reflections to guide improvements in practice

  • focusing internal evaluation more consistently on outcomes for children

  • continue to develop culturally responsive teaching practices

  • consider ways to provide a wider range of opportunities for children to take leadership roles in the programme.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Red Hill 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 Red Hill Kindergarten will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

16 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

Papakura Central, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

45489

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

30

Gender composition

Girls 16 Boys 14

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Cook Island Māori

Samoan

Niue

South East Asian

14

8

4

2

1

1

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

October 2016

Date of this report

16 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

January 2013

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.