Richmond Kindergarten - 21/05/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Richmond Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Richmond Kindergarten provides education and care for up to 43 children, five mornings per week. An extended six hour day is offered three days per week and whānau placements are also available to families. The teaching team has implemented a perceptual motor programme that places a strong emphasis on supporting children’s development of skills to assist their success in all aspects of the curriculum. The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in eight early childhood education services within the Nelson Kindergarten Association.

Review Findings

The kindergarten’s vision emphasises the development of children’s physical and sensory motor skills as a foundation for lifelong learning. This approach is well enacted and promoted throughout the programme. There is a balance between child-initiated and teacher-led learning with opportunities for children to take on leadership roles. Feedback to children acknowledges their effort and success.

Children engage in sustained play. They engage respectfully with one another and are supportive of their peers in play and learning. Cooperative and collaborative play is evident. Teachers ably support children’s developing social and emotional competence and use a wide range of effective teaching strategies to support and extend children’s learning.

The curriculum is clearly linked to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Literacy and mathematical experiences are effectively integrated throughout the programme. The curriculum is further extended through visitors to the kindergarten and excursions into the local community. Teachers are committed to further developing their confidence and competence to effectively use te reo me ngā tikānga Māori throughout the curriculum. Strategies have been put in place to support this development.

Learning spaces are well presented and interesting. They encourage children’s investigation, creativity and physical development. Robust systems and processes are in place to support children and families as they transition into the school environment. Equity funding is used appropriately to promote positive outcomes for children.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported. Teachers articulate a belief in inclusive education and where appropriate, liaise with external agencies. Routines are consistently implemented throughout the day, giving children a sense of security in being able to predict what will happen next. The atmosphere is busy and purposeful and the tone is conducive to learning.

Planning is responsive to children’s interests. It should be strengthened through regular evaluation to consider if the direction continues to be relevant to children. Children’s profiles are well presented. This information highlights children’s participation in the programme and their developing relationships. Teachers actively promote parent contributions.

Teachers engage in ongoing research. They are highly reflective practitioners and are committed to keeping up-to-date with professional learning and development. They work collaboratively and share their individual knowledge and skills to promote positive outcomes for children. Teachers regularly consult with families and are improvement focused.

Teachers are supported in their understanding of self review by the association. There is strong alignment between the guiding documents of the association and kindergarten and the resulting review. Spontaneous and regular review has been well used to improve outcomes for children. The teachers and association are highly consultative, regularly requesting and receiving feedback from their parent community. The association has effectively led robust review and evaluation using a collaborative approach.

The association provides high levels of guidance and support for teachers for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning. These include:

  • clear guiding documents
  • expectations for programme delivery and kindergarten operations, including health and safety practices
  • access to a wide range of professional learning and development opportunities.

The association has recently updated its appraisal procedures to provide clear guidance to staff. Leaders are engaging in ongoing professional learning in this area to support its successful implementation.

The Senior Education Adviser (SEA) regularly visits the kindergarten and provides strong support and leadership to the teaching team. Through SEA guidance and identified next steps teachers are supported to enact the association’s vision of providing“consistently exceptional early childhood education”.

Key next steps

ERO and kindergarten leaders agree that the key next steps are to:

  • show through the assessment documentation how depth and complexity has been added to children’s learning to more effectively highlight progress overtime
  • continue to build the evaluative capacity of teachers to systematically enquire into and judge the effectiveness of their kindergarten operations. This should assist future decision-making and identify priorities to further enhance children’s learning and wellbeing.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Richmond 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.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

21 May 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Nelson

Ministry of Education profile number

5405

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

43 children over the age of two yearsnumber

Service roll

46

Gender composition

Male 25, Female 21

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Other ethnic groups

42

1

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2013

Date of this report

21 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2010

October 2006

February 2004

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • 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 self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service 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 the service.