Stratford Central Kindergarten - 15/11/2018

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 licensed to provide all day education and care for up to 50 children, aged over two years. Of the 57 children enrolled, 10 identify as Māori.

The kindergarten's philosophy emphasises the importance of relationships, inviting physical environments and teachers encouraging and supporting children.

A parent committee supports the kindergarten with fundraising, finances and community events. The kindergarten is a new participant in the Enviroschools programme and is a member of the Central Taranaki Kāhui Ako. All teachers are fully qualified.

Since the May 215 ERO report, there have been significant changes in staffing including a newly appointed head teacher.

Stratford Central Kindergarten is one of 24 kindergartens governed and managed by Kindergarten Taranaki-Te Putahi Kura Pūhou o Taranaki (the organisation). Day-to-day management of the organisation is the responsibility of the chief executive. A governing board sets the overall strategic direction. A professional manager and two professional leaders provide regular support and a range of learning and development opportunities for teachers. An operations manager supports kindergartens' policy and leadership development and compliance.

In 2017, the board developed a strategic plan with the intention for individual kindergartens to align their strategic plans to the organisation's goals and measures. A Quality Evaluation Tool was introduced in late 2017. The purpose of this document is for teachers to self-assess teaching and learning practices to inform internal evaluation and improve outcomes for children.

The previous ERO report identified that increasing children's role in assessing their own learning and strengthening the bicultural curriculum were key next steps. Some progress has been made.

ERO also identified areas for the organisation to strengthen. These included:

  • developing the annual plan

  • strengthening systems and processes for performance management

  • consistent implementation of appraisal

  • reviewing and clarifying the role of the professional leaders in building teachers’ capability.

Progress in these areas is evident.

This review was part of a cluster of three in the Kindergarten Taranaki-Te Putahi Kura Pūhou o Taranaki.

The Review Findings

A warm welcoming environment promotes a sense of manaakitanga and belonging. A clearly documented philosophy is shared with all involved in the service and is highly evident in practice. An ongoing focus on developing a local curriculum aligned to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, is emerging. Leaders have identified that a next step is to review the philosophy to consolidate practice. ERO's evaluation affirms this focus.

Children enthusiastically engage with a wide range of open-ended resources that are thoughtfully presented by teachers across a range of curriculum areas. The outdoor environment provides opportunities for physical challenges and exploration. Children contribute to the daily routines as they learn alongside each other. Tuakana teina relationships are evident.

A key teacher approach effectively supports the development of reciprocal relationships with children and whānau as they transition into the service. This carefully considered approach is flexible and responsive to the preferences and needs of younger children. Reciprocal relationships with local schools are established and useful information of children's learning is shared.

Children with diverse learning needs are well supported to engage in the kindergarten curriculum. Teachers access external agencies as needed.

A useful planning and assessment procedure has been developed to guide practice. Children's interests are identified and appropriately responded to. Consistent links between experiences at home and at the kindergarten foster reciprocal learning centred partnerships with whānau. Leaders and teachers continue to strengthen the assessment process to consistently demonstrate how:

  • children's culture language and identity and whānau aspirations are responded to within the documentation

  • ongoing planning informs assessment and evaluation of learning.

Teachers are increasingly responsive to the culture, language and identity of Māori children. This is supported by the organisation's environmental focus, consideration of local bicultural values, teacher development goals and professional learning opportunities. A number of new initiatives and systems have been developed by the organisation that should further develop these aspects of practice.

A recently appointed head teacher is developing a strong team culture. A collaborative team approach provides opportunities for others to take on leadership roles. Teachers demonstrate a strong commitment to improving outcomes for children.

The organisation generally provides useful governance and management support for this kindergarten. This includes:

  • purposeful support from the professional leaders to build teacher capability

  • effective and targeted teacher and leadership development through an appraisal process and a

  • range of professional learning opportunities.

Organisation leaders are purposefully building teachers’ understanding of internal evaluation through ongoing mentoring. Teachers should continue to clearly measure the impact of practices on children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO, the professional leader and teachers agree the following key next steps for Stratford Central Kindergarten are to:

  • review the philosophy

  • continue to strengthen planning for learning to inform teaching and learning

  • further develop understanding and use of internal evaluation for improved outcomes.

ERO and Kindergarten Taranaki agree that the organisation should further develop:

  • quality assurance processes and guidelines linked to compliance with regulations and association expectations

  • a policy framework to support kindergartens.

Managers and leaders should consolidate newly introduced plans and processes and evaluate the effectiveness of practices and operation across all levels of the organisation.

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.

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

15 November 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

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

57

Gender composition

Boys 34, Girls 23

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

10
42
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

September 2018

Date of this report

15 November 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2015

Education Review

August 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.