Silverdale Kindergarten - 17/08/2018

1 Evaluation of Silverdale Kindergarten

How well placed is Silverdale 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

Silverdale Kindergarten is one of 15 services including 13 kindergartens and two early learning centres that operate under the umbrella of the Northern Auckland Free Kindergarten Association (NAKA). The kindergarten is supported by a parent volunteer group that organises family events and fundraising.

Situated on the grounds of Silverdale Primary School, the kindergarten caters for up to 40 children each day for six hours. Children are grouped according to age. Older children attend three days a week and younger children attend on the remaining two days. The ERO review was carried out over the days of the older children's programme.

The 2014 ERO report noted high quality practices and kindergarten leaders' plans to strengthen the use of digital technologies and increase their understanding of children's diverse cultures. Leaders also planned to improve aspects of self-review documentation. Since the last review, the teaching team has changed significantly.

In addition, at the association level, there has been significant change. An acting general manager has been appointed and there is a new governing board. In the coming months they will work together to review and update all relevant documentation and operating frameworks for the Association.

This review was part of ERO's review of a group of three kindergartens in the Northern Auckland Free Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children and their families are warmly welcomed into an environment that is inviting and visually appealing. A wide range of interesting resources and equipment are available to extend children's play. Children settle quickly, making clear choices about where they will play. Teachers work closely with them, respecting and encouraging conversations about their thinking and ideas.

The Kindergarten displays a Code of Care that prioritises children taking care of themselves, each other and the environment. Children's understanding of this code is evident in the way that they direct and make decisions about their play and interact with each other.

Children are highly engaged in their play. They talk animatedly together, sharing ideas and prompting their own extension of their play. They are confident and capable learners who explore creatively with enthusiasm and skill. Teachers deliberately focus on promoting literacy and mathematics learning as part of play to ensure that children are well placed to transition successfully to school.

Children and teachers are engaged in the Enviroschools programme focused on sustainable conservation practices and protection of the environment. The children plant and care for a garden and have established a 'bug hotel' to provide shelter for creatures in the surrounding area. The Outdoor Explorers programme helps to give children opportunities to discover nature and extend their physical courage in natural and enjoyable ways.

Teachers have worked together to improve communication with parents and with the community. Those parents who spoke with ERO during the review expressed pleasure in having their children in the kindergarten. They noted that they felt well informed about events and their children's progress over time. The use of an online portal helps parents to quickly and readily get information about their child's day.

Teachers support children's families with diverse needs to settle into the kindergarten. Specific programmes are in place to encourage children to develop at their own pace. Children participate well in these programmes. The Association contributes financially by providing teacher aides when other agencies have been unable to provide this service.

Assessment and planning processes are in place. As well as the online portal, teachers keep portfolios for each child. It is timely for teachers to redevelop their strategies for ensuring that assessment records of children's learning include reference to progress and continuity of learning, as well as each child's language and culture. They should also evaluate programme planning and teaching in relation to outcomes for children.

Association leaders continue to provide ongoing assistance to kindergartens. There is good provision for teachers' continued professional development, and management support. Each kindergarten is supported with administration and property management. The board recognises the need to re-establish open and transparent communication with teachers, parents and the community in planned developments.

Key Next Steps

Teachers identified appropriate key next steps and are supported by their Professional Practice Manager to:

  • redevelop and implement professional practices, including developing a teaching philosophy and building teamwork

  • redevelop the assessment, planning and evaluation cycle to clearly identify children's interests and progress, and teaching strategies to extend learning

  • extend the integration of te reo and tikanga Māori in practice along with the recognition of children and families' diverse cultures

  • establish thorough and detailed internal evaluation to determine and gauge the effectiveness of changes in promoting positive outcomes for children.

The governing board has identified next steps and priorities for future developments. These include:

  • re-establishing strategic planning, operational frameworks, evaluation processes and policy redevelopment to reflect current legislative requirements.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Silverdale 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 Silverdale Kindergarten will be in three years.

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

17 August 2018

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

Silverdale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20110

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged 2 years and over

Service roll

80

Gender composition

Boys 44 Girls 36

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Chinese
other

63
7
10

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2018

Date of this report

17 August 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

November 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.