Roskill South Kindergarten - 23/10/2019

1 Evaluation of Roskill South Kindergarten

How well placed is Roskill South Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Roskill South Kindergarten is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Roskill South Kindergarten is licensed for up to 40 children over two years of age. It offers six-hour days and serves a culturally diverse central west Auckland community. Many children have English as an additional language.

The kindergarten is staffed by a head teacher and three other registered teachers, a teaching assistant, a teacher aide and an administrator. They are supported by three people in Learning Support roles and the parent/whānau support group.

The kindergarten's philosophy fosters a culture of kindness. Teachers provide an environment that is welcoming, caring and inclusive, and fun for every child and their whānau. Play and playfulness are a valued way of learning. Also embedded in the philosophy is a focus on empowering children to make their own decisions, set their own goals and follow their own interests.

The curriculum is underpinned by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and bicultural practices. An important feature of this service is the 'bush kindergarten'. This outdoor programme provides opportunities for children to take on challenges, explore and learn in the adjacent local reserve.

Roskill South Kindergarten has a history of positive ERO reports. Teachers have sustained and enhanced the high-quality teaching practices noted in ERO’s 2015 report. Partnerships with whānau and community, and supporting successful transitions to school, continue to be particular strengths.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides leadership, a framework of policies and operational guidelines, support personnel and programmes of professional learning and development. Strategic planning supports the kindergartens’ development and future focus. A new AKA structure has been established and new personnel appointed. Many of these roles have recently been established.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Teachers’ shared philosophy is evident in the provision of a rich, responsive, child-led programme. Children learn in an exciting and inviting, well-resourced learning environment that supports their sustained engagement in play and learning. They are able to explore, make discoveries and experience appropriate challenges in the naturally landscaped outdoor area. The environment is harmonious, calm and welcoming for children and families.

Teachers' respectful interactions, high expectations and sustained conversations contribute to children being confident, capable and eager learners. Children show care and concern for others. They understand and are accepting of diversity and differences in ages, ethnicities and abilities.

Children's oral language development is well supported by teachers, as is their growing independence. They experience literacy, mathematics, and technology in meaningful play activities. Science is valued and made visible. Documentation shows that teachers promote scientific language and thinking. They affirm children's prior knowledge and working theories, and foster their creativity, curiosity and problem-solving abilities.

Teachers are inclusive and culturally responsive. They celebrate cultural diversity and families' knowledge and strengths. Displays reflect teachers' respect for te ao Māori and children’s backgrounds. Children’s ideas and parents’ aspirations are valued and used to inform curriculum decisions.

Teachers have worked collaboratively with whānau Māori to acknowledge the place of Māori as tangata whenua and to nurture Māori children’s sense of identity. They have worked hard to give emphasis to bicultural practices in a multicultural setting. Teachers include te reo and tikanga Māori in curriculum documents, interactions, routines and play.

Teachers have embedded a culture of children's involvement in planning. Children’s authentic leadership is reflected in their portfolios and programme documents. Assessment and planning records show how teachers notice, recognise and respond to children's interests, strengths and dispositions.

Teachers work collegially and benefit from the head teacher's strong professional leadership. They are encouraged to be leaders. Teachers are reflective and innovative, and value research and professional development. Kindergarten documents provide evidence of high-quality teaching practices.

Internal evaluation is well developed and focused on improving educational outcomes for all children. There is a shared vision and clear direction for the future. Teachers constantly consider further ways to promote positive outcomes for children. They have a strong sense of social justice and equity.

The AKA continues to provide support for kindergartens to strengthen bicultural practices. In many instances this has made a significant difference to confidence and capability. Specialist support impacts positively on teachers’ confidence and inclusion of children with additional learning needs. Specific programmes that help teachers to support children’s developing social competencies can now be extended across all kindergartens. The strategic direction being established by new AKA leaders is providing a positive framework for kindergartens’ annual planning.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team is eager to explore further ways to engage in inquiry and research, collaboratively with children and whānau, to promote positive outcomes for children.

It would be useful for AKA managers to:

  • clarify new roles and engage teaching teams in the implementation of the new structure across the AKA

  • increase the rigour of monitoring and quality assurance, and strengthen Internal evaluation at all levels of the AKA

  • identify and implement strategies for achieving greater consistency of the practices that are strengths in some kindergartens, across the AKA.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Roskill South 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.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

23 October 2019

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

Mt Roskill, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5097

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

60

Gender composition

Boys 38 Girls 22

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Chinese
Samoan
Sri Lankan
Indian
other ethnic groups

5
13
11
5
4
4
18

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2019

Date of this report

23 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

November 2011

Education Review

December 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.