Remuera Kindergarten - 27/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Remuera Kindergarten

How well placed is Remuera 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

Remuera Kindergarten operates as a Kindergarten Day Model (KDM) which enables children to attend up to six hours daily, similar to school hours. It is licensed for up to 40 children over two years of age. The kindergarten is located next to the Wairua Reserve in Remuera. It serves a culturally diverse community that includes children of Māori, Pacific, Indian and Asian heritage, many with English as an additional language.

The kindergarten has a very positive ERO reporting history. Since the 2014 ERO review there have been staff changes and improvements in the learning environment. The kindergarten is staffed by a head teacher and four other registered teachers, 2 teaching assistants, a teacher aide, an administrator and a volunteer. Many of the teachers are multilingual.

Teachers continue to provide the very good quality teaching practices noted in ERO’s 2014 report. They are responsive to the changing community needs, have enriched their bicultural practices and strengthened self review. Teachers have maintained positive connections with local schools, health, education and social service agencies. They continue to be well supported by an active and committed parent committee.

Learning through play, underpinned by a strong belief in children as capable learners, is embedded in the kindergarten’s philosophy. The programme is underpinned by respect for te ao Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters.

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

The Review Findings

Teachers provide a stimulating and vibrant environment that fosters a high level of child-led learning through play. Interesting and inviting play areas support sustained play, and promote children's sense of themselves as capable learners. Displays reflect teachers' respect for te ao Māori and children’s leadership. Children explore, make discoveries, and learn about Papatūānuku in the attractive outdoor area. The environment is harmonious and welcoming for children and families.

Children have fun and demonstrate an enthusiasm for learning. They display confidence, belonging and empathy towards others. Their curiosity and independence are encouraged, as is their ability to share ideas and problem solve. They use literacy, mathematics, science and technologies as part of their play. Children are imaginative and creative and show many attributes of self-directed learners.

Teachers view all children as successful learners with individual strengths. They promote equity and successful inclusion for children with additionall needs, in a culturally responsive programme. Curriculum planning and implementation strongly reflect the principles of Te Whāriki, bicultural practices and teachers' philosophy.

Whanaungatanga features strongly in the respectful, responsive relationships between teachers, children, families and the local community. Teachers value the knowledge and strengths that children and their parents/whānau bring. Very good support for children’s transition to school continues to be an integral part of teachers' practice and an area of ongoing internal evaluation. This focus is supported by regular visits to local schools and assessment documents that show clear links between Te Whāriki and the New Zealand Curriculum framework.

Teachers’ sensitive and supportive interactions build on children’s ideas and interests in play and discussion. Sustained conversations that often include children's first languages, promote critical thinking and oral communication. Children’s creativity is nurtured. Teachers are aware of and promote children's emotional and physical wellbeing.

Meaningful and child-focused assessment and planning documentation shows how children’s group and individual interests and strengths guide the programme. Children’s ideas and parents’ aspirations are valued and evident in teachers' planning. Children's assessment portfolios, also available electronically, show teachers' responses to child-led learning. They include parents' contributions, and clearly show their children's learning progress and cultural backgrounds.

Robust internal evaluation guides teaching practice and programme developments. Teachers benefit from the head teacher's professional leadership, are highly reflective and work collaboratively. As a team they work in a culture of continuous improvement that is supported by research and professional development. These factors contribute to the clear enactment of the kindergarten's philosophy, vision and strategic plan.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision that are linked to the AKA’s strategic goals. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) also aligns with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. It enables the AKA and teachers to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure. It has begun a process of internal evaluation to establish how effectively the four pillars of its strategic plan are resulting in more positive outcomes for children, their families, and the organisation.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team has identified next steps that are relevant for their context. They are eager to explore further ways to celebrate and deepen:

  • bicultural understanding and practices

  • cultural responsiveness.

The AKA has useful processes for supporting teachers' ongoing professional development. This process could be strengthened by ensuring that teachers' individual goals are measurable, and based on the evaluation of teaching practices and impact on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Remuera 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 Remuera Kindergarten will be in four years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

27 October 2017

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

5043

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

56

Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 27

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Indian
South East Asian
other

2
23
11
4
3
13

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2017

Date of this report

27 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2014

Education Review

May 2011

Education Review

February 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 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.