Sturges Road Kindergarten - 19/06/2018

1 Evaluation of Sturges Road Kindergarten

How well placed is Sturges Road 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

Sturges Road Kindergarten is a well-established service located next to Western Heights Primary School in West Auckland. It is licensed for 40 children over the age of two years. Since the 2015 ERO review the community has become more culturally diverse.

Two of the teachers, including the head teacher, are new to this kindergarten. All teachers are qualified and registered. The head teacher oversees the daily programme and the operation of the kindergarten. Two support staff assist teachers with the programme and administration.

The kindergarten's philosophy is based on fostering trusting, respectful relationships and valuing the learning community. The curriculum is guided by Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, and children’s learning and play interests. The partnership principle of Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership is a key part of the philosophy.

The positive features identified in the 2015 ERO report have been maintained, including children's strong sense of belonging and self-directed play. Teachers continue to provide sound programmes for supporting children's transition to school. They have made good progress in responding to ERO's recommendations about programme planning and implementation, and about providing better support for children with diverse needs.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). The AKA has a range of specialist personnel who assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters. There continues to be a period of change for staff as they adapt to changes in AKA’s operational practices, leadership and management.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children learn in an attractively presented, well resourced environment. They have access to a wide range of quality equipment that supports their play and learning. Children have a strong sense of belonging. They confidently move to different learning areas to explore resources and make choices about their play. Children are independent, imaginative and creative. They enjoy the variety of the 'bush kindy' programme that extends their learning beyond the centre.

Teachers have positive, sensitive and responsive relationships with children and their whānau. They provide a programme that values and celebrates children's home cultures. Teachers capture children's learning and attributes well in learning portfolios. They are strategic in their intentions to increase parents' contribution to and participation in their children's learning. Parents appreciate the open communication they have with teachers about their children. This communication has been strengthened further with the introduction of an online tool that enables teachers to share children's kindergarten experiences as they occur, with whānau.

The curriculum is inclusive and responsive to children's cultural identities and languages. A strong focus on and commitment to bicultural practices and te ao Māori is evident in the environment. Māori children and their whānau can experience aspects of their cultural heritage in the programme. The teaching team's reflections, consultation and review have helped them to adapt aspects of the programme to strengthen the bicultural curriculum and better reflect their philosophy.

Teachers and children have a strong focus on eco-sustainable practices. The large outdoor environment promotes physical challenges for children and the inside has well defined areas of play. Teachers plan deliberately for the effective use of space. Natural science, technology, mathematics and literacy are strongly evident and are carefully woven into the learning programme.

The AKA has useful processes for supporting teachers' ongoing professional development and supporting teachers' interests. AKA has specific processes for ensuring that children with additional needs receive appropriate learning support. They have good systems in place to support children and whānau with health and wellbeing needs.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive kindergarten plan and a shared vision that are linked to AKA strategic goals. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) also aligns with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure and to improve consistency and coherence across internal evaluation, quality assurance and improvement systems, and strategic planning.

Key Next Steps

Teachers agree that useful next steps to enhance programmes for children should include continuing to:

  • strengthen planning and assessment processes to ensure they are increasingly responsive to children's identified interests and needs

  • build on teachers' shared understandings of the newly revised Te Whāriki

  • strengthen the use of evaluative questions, to help teachers deepen their reflections and other internal evaluation processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Julie Foley

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

19 June 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

Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5104

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

49

Gender composition

Boys 25 Girls 24

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Chinese
Indian
Samoan
other

5
13
12
7
4
8

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2018

Date of this report

19 June 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

March 2015

Education Review

October 2011

Education Review

December 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.