St Andrews Kindergarten - 28/02/2019

1 Evaluation of St Andrews Kindergarten

How well placed is St Andrews Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

St Andrews Kindergarten is very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

St Andrews Kindergarten located in Hamilton, is licensed for 40 children. The kindergarten offers both full and part day education and care to children from two years to school age. Children come from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds and for many English is an additional language. At the time of this ERO review 53 children were enrolled, including 11 who identify as Māori.

The kindergarten is one of 29 kindergartens that operate under the Waikato Kindergarten Association (WKA), which is a charitable trust. The strategic direction of the association is guided by the overarching statement, ‘Our children are strong in heart, head and hand’. The WKA has a commitment to providing quality, inclusive services that effectively meet the diverse educational needs of all children attending. Advice, guidance and support is provided to the organisation by a kaumātua from Tainui.

All kindergartens in the WKA are involved in a ‘Cool for School’ transition programme and sustainable education, environment and health programmes such as Enviroschools and Sport Waikato Under 5 Energise. The kindergartens’ education, operational and administrative responsibilities are supported by experienced association personnel.

The kindergarten’s philosophy focuses on 'relationships that empower.' Priority is placed on the key components of:

  • uniqueness (culture, ethnicity and diversity)

  • community

  • environmental awareness

  • family/whānau

  • empowering children

  • learning and development

Since the last ERO review in 2015 staffing has generally remained stable. Significant improvements have been made to the outdoor learning environment. A new 'Te Ako' sustainable garden area was developed in consultation with children and parents. The kindergarten achieved Silver Enviroschools status and won the 'Keep New Zealand Beautiful' wall worthy competition. The kindergarten has responded extremely well to the areas identified in the previous report.

This review was part of a cluster of four kindergarten reviews in the WKA.

The Review Findings

Curriculum is highly responsive to children's individual learning and cultural needs. High-quality individualised assessment, planning and evaluation shows continuity of children's learning and progress towards meeting identified outcomes and clear next steps. Children have many valuable opportunities to manage themselves, solve problems, develop leadership skills and lead their own learning. The curriculum is enriched through activities, trips within the local community and visitors to the centre.

Culture and identities of Māori and other diverse groups are shared and celebrated through special events and respectful practices. Whakapapa is valued and whānau are encouraged to contribute their knowledge and expertise. A positive relationship with kaumātua supports respectful tikanga practices. Māori and other children develop a strong sense of belonging and their learning potential is enhanced.

Teachers use effective strategies to promote high levels of engagement. Warm, respectful and affirming relationships exist among children and teachers. Teachers capably inquire and reflect on their own practice to enhance teaching and learning. Literacy and mathematics are skilfully integrated into meaningful contexts, and there is a strong focus on extending oral language. Children are well supported to develop social skills and competencies, and tuakana-teina relationships are fostered. A key teacher approach supports effective transitions into the kindergarten for children and their families. Children with additional learning needs are well catered for through ongoing individualised planning, parent consultation and external expertise. Children benefit from an attractive and well-resourced environment that promotes valued learning outcomes.

Effective leadership is focused on high-quality, sustainable kindergarten practices. Leaders build teacher and leadership capability through shared planning, coaching, mentoring and the appraisal process. An experienced head teacher enables a positive team culture with high levels of respect, collaboration and relational trust. A strategic approach to gathering parent and whānau views and aspirations enables positive partnerships for children's learning. Parents feel welcomed, supported and their contributions valued. High-quality internal evaluation informs changes to teaching practices and improved outcomes for children.

The education services manager (ESM) works closely with the head teacher and provides well-informed professional leadership to support kindergarten operation. The WKA has recently reviewed its teacher appraisal process. Ensuring this new process is fully implemented is a priority to ESMs.

The WKA provides comprehensive systems, policies and procedures to guide kindergarten practice. Teachers have access to ongoing and targeted professional development to promote improved practice and contribute to positive outcomes for children. Effective governance by the WKA is contributing to inclusive and equitable services for children.

Key Next Steps

The key next step for leaders and teachers is to review the philosophy in consultation with parents, whānau and community to:

  • document the kindergarten’s local curriculum and enhance priorities for children’s learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of St Andrews 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 St Andrews Kindergarten will be in four years.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

28 February 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

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

5157

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

53

Gender composition

Girls 28 Boys 25

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
South African
Other

11
31
4
7

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

December 2018

Date of this report

28 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

March 2012

Education Review

August 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 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.