Settlement Road Kindergarten - 16/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Settlement Road Kindergarten

How well placed is Settlement Road 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

Settlement Road Kindergarten serves a multicultural community in Papakura, with predominately Māori and Pacific families. It is licensed for children over two years old, and opens for full days as well as shorter sessions and school term breaks, to meet the requirements of the community. The culturally diverse staff team includes four registered teachers, an administrator and a teacher aide.

The kindergarten 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.

Since the 2013 ERO review there have been staff changes, a new head teacher has been appointed and there has been an increase in operating hours. The Association has introduced initiatives to encourage families to participate in the kindergarten and there is an increase in the number of two year old children attending the centre. A licensed playgroup, established in 2015, operates from the kindergarten two mornings a week.

In 2013 ERO reported that teachers provided good quality education in a spacious and interesting environment. Teachers continue to encourage children to be self-managing and develop friendships. Since 2013 teachers have engaged in professional learning and development to enhance their teaching practices and have continued to strengthen their documentation of children’s learning.

The importance of relationships, child-led learning, exploration and creativity are aspects of the kindergarten philosophy. The curriculum is founded on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, and includes an emphasis on bicultural practice.

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

The Review Findings

Teachers provide a vibrant, very well resourced environment that is welcoming, inclusive and inviting to children and adults. Te reo and tikanga Māori are valued and promoted in the kindergarten. Resources, displays and equipment support children’s languages, cultural backgrounds and identities. Children’s work is prominently displayed, as are their stories and whānau contributions. Thoughtfully presented play areas inspire children to explore, initiate and sustain their play. The naturally landscaped outdoor area offers natural science, physical challenge and imaginative play. Children have a strong sense of belonging and ownership in the kindergarten.

Teachers affirm and value children’s prior knowledge and strengths. They encourage children to share ideas and build on what they already know. Teachers extend children’s understanding of the world around them in meaningful ways. They nurture children’s curiosity, creativity and problem solving through play. Children’s knowledge of oral language, literacy, mathematics and science is extended through skilful teaching in authentic situations.

Respectful, trusting and responsive relationships between adults and children contribute to the strong sense of community in the kindergarten. Teachers know children and their whānau well and provide many ways for them to share their aspirations. Transition to school is well supported and teachers are looking for ways to enhance this process. Parents are encouraged to contribute to the programme and take an active role in their children’s learning. Parents who spoke to ERO expressed their appreciation of the education and emotional support provided for children at the kindergarten.

Children are confident and capable learners. They have fun and engage in self-directed play. Their social competence is evident in their support and concern for others, positive interactions and an eagerness to learn. Children happily share their ideas and use their home languages with some of their teachers and peers. Their cultural values and individual strengths are affirmed. Children have good opportunities to be leaders and creative thinkers.

Curriculum planning and implementation are highly responsive to children’s ideas and cultures. The programme is based on Te Whāriki and promotes Māori language and culture. Comprehensive programme documentation shows how children’s interests and strengths, and parent aspirations guide the programme. Children’s portfolios are very good records of learning and include children’s and family contributions. The use of online e-portfolios provides whānau with another way to be part of their children's learning and to contribute to the programme.

Teachers maintain a calm nurturing atmosphere in which all children have space and time to explore, play and learn at their own pace. Teachers understand and provide well for the characteristics and interests of two year olds in the kindergarten. These younger children are well supported to access all areas of play and activities. Older children are caring and supportive of younger peers. Children are accepting and eager to explore and interact with peers and siblings of different ages and abilities.

Teachers are reflective, improvement focused and work together collegially and supportively. They share strengths, have leadership opportunities and are enthusiastic about professional development. The head teacher provides good professional leadership with a shared vision and clear direction for the future.

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

The teachers and the education manager agree that key next steps for the kindergarten could include continuing to:

  • strengthen and use internal evaluation to focus on the effectiveness of kindergarten processes and practices

  • enhance culturally responsive teaching practices

  • refine assessment practices through more visible continuity of learning in portfolios and including assessment from a Māori perspective.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Settlement Road 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 Settlement Road 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, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5132

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

43

Gender composition

Boys 25 Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Cook Island Māori

Indian

other

27

7

2

2

5

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

June 2013

Education Review

February 2010

Education Review

February 2007

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.