St Johns Kindergarten - 15/02/2019

1 Evaluation of St Johns Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

St Johns Kindergarten is a well-established service that offers six-hour sessions and is licensed to provide for 40 children aged over two years. It is staffed by four qualified teachers and a teacher aide.

The 2015 ERO report noted teachers' positive relationships with children and families and their support for children's success. Since 2015, staff changes have resulted in a new teaching team.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). The association provides a framework of policies and operational guidelines, support personnel and programmes of professional learning and development. The AKA is establishing new roles and responsibilities at management and governance levels. Recruitment of appropriate personnel to fill identified roles is underway.

This review was part of a cluster of nine reviews in the AKA.

The Review Findings

Children enjoy friendships and play cooperatively with their peers. They respond positively to the welcoming and responsive tone in the centre. Children choose their activities, and teachers engage them in conversation as they play. Relationships and interactions between teachers and children are friendly and encouraging, and contribute to children's learning.

Learning environments are richly resourced and interesting. They have been upgraded, particularly outdoors, to provide challenging and exciting spaces for children's exploration and play. The environment is spacious and offers provocations and a variety of opportunities to encourage children to extend their play.

Teachers provide a varied curriculum that incorporates children's emerging interests and develops their learning dispositions. They work with Te Whāriki, the revised early childhood curriculum, to guide their practice. The team is using reflective practices to establish core expectations and a shared philosophy for teaching and learning at the kindergarten.

A parent committee actively supports teachers, and parents feel a sense of commitment to the kindergarten. Teachers' reciprocal relationships with families are developing into learning partnerships. This enables teachers to know children and families well. Parents value the diversity of cultures in the kindergarten. They feel well informed about their children's progress and kindergarten activities. These positive relationships help families feel a sense of belonging and wellbeing.

The kindergarten acknowledges that authentic bicultural practices need to be continually promoted to ensure Te Tiriti o Waitangi is recognised. Teachers identify the need to build stronger relationships with the local communities to which whānau affiliate. Revisiting the AKA Whakamanawa programme could support their commitment to bicultural practices.

Teachers use their observations of children's play and developing dispositions to plan learning for individual children. Teachers collate information about children's learning and kindergarten events in individual assessment folders and online.

The kindergarten is developing positive processes to support children's transition to school. Teachers have established a close relationship with a local school. They work to familiarise children and parents with the next steps in their educational journey. Teachers identify the need to continue to build closer working relationships with other schools to extend transition support for all children.

Teachers find the professional development offered by the AKA useful and informative. This support has helped them to develop a vision and to contribute to the priorities for the kindergarten.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for teachers include continuing to:

  • focus on developing a highly functioning and cohesive teaching team
  • further developing bicultural and culturally responsive practices
  • build relationships and learning partnerships with culturally diverse families.

It would be useful for AKA to:

  • monitor that all part time and relieving teachers are well informed about AKA policies and procedures
  • increase support to improve assessment practices, planning and evaluation
  • continue to support teachers to fully implement Te Whāriki 2017.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Steve Tanner
Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

15 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

Glen Innes, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5101

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Boys      28
Girls       27

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
other Asian
other ethnic groups

  6
26
  4
11
  8

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2018

Date of this report

15 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2015

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

July 2009

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.