Stratford Central Kindergarten - 14/05/2015

1 Evaluation of Stratford Central Kindergarten

How well placed is Stratford Central 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

Stratford Central Kindergarten is situated in Stratford, Taranaki. It is one of 24 kindergartens administered by the newly established Kindergarten Taranaki, formerly North and South Taranaki Kindergarten Associations. The governing board is responsible for setting overall strategic direction for the organisation. A chief executive has been appointed. Four professional leaders are employed to support learning and development of teachers. The present management structure is under review.

The kindergarten is licensed for 50 children and has a roll of 40. Mixed-age sessions operate from 8.30am to 2.30pm. All teachers are qualified and registered. Since the August 2012 ERO report, there have been significant changes to the teaching team. Collaboration is a feature of the kindergarten. Sustained progress has been made in relation to areas for improvement identified in the previous ERO report. This has been well supported by focused professional learning and development.

The kindergarten’s philosophy focuses on relationships, the physical environment and teachers encouraging and supporting children. This is evident in inclusive and respectful practices that nurture relationships with children and their families.

This review was part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews in Kindergarten Taranaki.

The Review Findings

Teachers provide a child-initiated curriculum that is responsive to children’s interests, strengths and experiences. Children learn in spacious, well-organised and inclusive environments. They have ready access to a wide range of resources and equipment that supports their independence, exploration and investigation.

Interactions among children and teachers are warm and positive. Teachers' discussions and questioning of children supports learning, sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Children play and learn cooperatively. Their independence and sense of responsibility is enhanced through well-established centre routines and expectations. Literacy and mathematics concepts are promoted through real contexts integrated through the programme.

Children’s learning and progress are well-documented through learning stories. Assessment focuses on what they can do and identifies next learning. Recognition of children’s development builds on previous learning experiences. The centre continues to investigate how to more effectively include whānau voice in assessment.

Partnerships with parents and whānau are a continuing focus for the centre. The recent implementation of a 'key teacher' approach supports transition into the centre. It is also helping to strengthen relationships and further promote a sense of belonging for children and their families.

The head teacher is working collaboratively with teachers to develop a team focused on positive learning outcomes for children. Teachers are supported to inquire into their practice. Comprehensive professional development has supported teachers’ ongoing learning and knowledge. The team works positively to continue to develop good quality teaching practices and improve centre operations.

Clear self-review processes have been developed that effectively guide improvements to practice, enhance learning opportunities for children and improve changes to the environment. A comprehensive action plan has guided strategic development. Review of this plan has noted ongoing progress in relation to expected outcomes.

Key Next Steps

  • Strengthen self review by including a stronger evaluative focus on how well changes impact on children’s learning and wellbeing.

  • Teachers should continue to investigate how to include te ao Māori perspective in the curriculum and daily programmes and to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori.

Kindergarten Taranaki Key Next Steps

Kindergarten Taranaki is a new entity established in March 2014. Collaboratively developed strategies and values have been established to guide future direction. An internal review of capacity and capability of non-teaching roles has been completed.  Further development of processes and practices is required.

ERO, the chief executive and professional leaders agree that priorities for improvement are:

  • developing the annual plan
  • strengthening systems and processes for performance management
  • consistent implementation of appraisal
  • reviewing and clarifying professional leaders’ role in building teachers’ capability.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Stratford Central 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 Stratford Central Kindergarten will be in three years.index-html-m2a7690f7.gif

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

14 May 2015

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

Stratford

Ministry of Education profile number

5235

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, aged over 2

Service roll

40

Gender composition

Boys 25

Girls 15

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

2

35

3

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

March 2015

Date of this report

14 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2012

 

Education Review

August 2008

 

Education Review

October 2003

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.