Rose Ring Kindergarten - 24/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Rose Ring Kindergarten

How well placed is Rose Ring 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

Rose Ring Kindergarten is located in the rural suburb of Welcome Bay, Tauranga. It is situated on a spacious and well-presented site alongside Tauranga Waldorf School. It is licensed for 70 children over the age of two and provides an all-day programme from 8.45 am until 3pm from Monday to Friday.

The Waldorf School (Bay of Plenty) Trust is the governing body, holds the licence and provides support and direction for the kindergarten. Strategic planning focuses the kindergarten on building strong and constructive partnerships with parents, colleagues, and children. The Trust is supportive and responsive to the head teacher and staff.

The management team consists of the head teacher, assistant head teacher, administrator and operations manager from the trust. A high percentage of teaching staff are well qualified with many holding additional Waldorf/Steiner ECE qualifications.

The kindergarten offers a play-based programme that facilitates self-initiated learning. It aims to nurture the social, physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development of each child. The Rudolf Steiner programme promotes the view that children learn through imitation and creative play. Activities are designed to provide active participation and quality interactions with others and the environment.

Since the 2013 ERO review there has been an increase in the roll and resulted in the kindergarten reviewing and developing the environments and resources to cater for increasing numbers. Development has included new buildings and property upgrades, such as a new kitchen, interior painting and soundproofing. The outdoor play space has been enhanced by water play equipment and plantings for nature and sensory experiences.

Significant progress has been made in addressing areas identified in the 2013 ERO report as needing further development, these relate to transition processes, resources and bicultural experiences.

The Review Findings

Children feel welcome, included and have high levels of trusting relationships with teachers and one another. Children are first and foremost valued, celebrated and affirmed for who they are, and what they bring to their learning. They demonstrate a strong sense of belonging and a willingness to share their ideas and interests. The natural and challenging environment is well prepared to provide a rich variety of learning experiences. Children play and explore in both indoor and outdoor environments, using their imagination and creativity in pursuing their interests. Oral language, literacy, mathematics, science and nature are naturally integrated into the programme.

A strong feature of the programme is the way the natural and real life world is the focus of learning. Through this focus children are offered opportunities to develop foundational skills and attitudes to ensure both wellbeing and learning. Children develop positive work habits and values of care and respect for both the environment and other people. Many aspects of the kindergarten environment support this focus with children growing, harvesting and preparing their own food, and understanding healthy eating, and using natural resources from the sea, bush and land. The environment and kindergarten programme allows children to work with and understand seasonal rhythms and routines. Children have a stable and secure basis from which they can grow and develop to their potential.

All children and their families are welcomed into the kindergarten. Strong, responsive and respectful relationships are formed with each family. The kindergarten ensures parents are well informed about the philosophy of Waldorf education. Teachers provide workshops and liaise with parents to encourage their active involvement. Children are treated as unique learners. Teachers are culturally responsive and support the culture and identity of each child. Te reo and tikanga Māori practices are well integrated into the programme in authentic contexts, such as the tuakana/teina approach where older children support and take responsibility for their younger peers. All parents spoken to by ERO were pleased with the way the individuality and identity of their children are celebrated and fostered.

Children learn through play and are well supported to follow their interests, solve problems and take responsible risks by teachers who know them well. Teachers spend time with children supporting their engagement in self-initiated and sustained play. They notice, recognise and respond appropriately to extend learning opportunities. Open-ended questions are used to prompt children's thinking. Children are developing independence and taking increasing responsibility for their own learning and well being.

Programme planning is based on the individual or group learning that occurs through play. This learning is reinforced and deepened through repetitions in carefully designed daily, weekly, termly and seasonal rhythms. Story telling and Circle Time are important elements in this planning with much learning and memory development enabled through music, art and movement. Children's interests, learning and progress are recorded in attractive individual portfolio books, which allow parents to share in the learning process.

Children benefit from highly effective transition procedures. Most children move on to the Tauranga Waldorf School at 6 years of age. There has been an ongoing review of transition with input from parents and a working partnership developed between the kindergarten teacher and new entrant teacher at school. This has allowed knowledge of children to be shared and relationships to be built before children enter school. Buddy systems are in place and children from the kindergarten and school share activities such as the bush visit programme.

The knowledgeable and experienced head teacher provides strong and collaborative leadership to the teaching team. She is well supported by other members of the management team and empowers teachers to use their strengths and interests to take on leadership roles. The team shares a commitment to the principles of a Waldorf education including shared beliefs and values about children's learning and well-being, and care and respect for the environment.

Teachers have been involved in effective professional development and learning that has promoted enthusiasm and increased their confidence and engagement in learning and teaching. Management and teachers are reflective practitioners and internal evaluation is leading to continual improvements in programmes. Currently teachers are working on further developing teaching as inquiry practices.

Key Next Steps

Management has identified and ERO agrees that the key next step is to continue to:

  • enhance teaching as inquiry practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

24 May 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

Welcome Bay, Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

40071

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

70 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

67

Gender composition

Girls 37 Boys 30

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other European

Latin American

Chinese

Other

13

47

3

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

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

24 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

March 2013

Education Review

March 2010

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.