Summerland Kindergarten - 12/05/2017

1 Evaluation of Summerland Kindergarten

How well placed is Summerland 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

Summerland Kindergarten is in the grounds of Summerland Primary School in Henderson, West Auckland. Since 2014, it has offered six-hour 'kindergarten day model' sessions. The kindergarten caters for a culturally diverse community.

Most of the children enrolled are Indian or Pākehā. There are small numbers of Māori, Chinese and Pacific children as well as other ethnicities. Increasing numbers of children speak languages other than English. Most children attend the neighbouring Summerland School when they move on from kindergarten.

The head teacher has worked in the kindergarten for many years. She provides leadership for the teaching team, two of whom are new since the 2014 ERO report. All are experienced and well qualified teachers. The teacher aide is qualified to work with children with special learning needs.

The kindergarten has strengthened the positive practices outlined in ERO's 2014 report and have responded effectively to the next steps suggested at that time.

The kindergarten's philosophy promotes bicultural and culturally responsive practices. It highlights the importance of whānau partnerships and teaching practices that respect children as capable, competent learners.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework and support personnel, in a range of different roles.

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

The Review Findings

Children play and learn in a calm and settled learning environment. They are warmly welcomed by their teachers, and happily choose activities and areas of play as they arrive. Parents are welcome to stay and play with their children and to support other children in their learning.

Teachers' warm and positive interactions promote children's wellbeing and belonging in the centre. In turn, children are kind to and supportive of each other. Tuakana/teina relationships are significant in this kindergarten, with older children providing support and care for their younger peers.

Teachers are experienced and skilled educators. They make the best use of the spacious and well resourced indoor and outdoor environments where children have freedom to explore and their curiosity is fostered. Teachers follow children's routines, interests and preferences, promoting an unhurried and peaceful flow to the day. Group times provide children with opportunities to come together, share their pēpehā and welcome new children and visitors. Morning karakia as part of this time promotes tikanga Māori and is part of the commitment that teachers have to bicultural practice.

Teachers have strong and trusting relationships with children and their families. They are responsive to families' needs, cultures, backgrounds and interests and incorporate these in the learning programme. Celebrations of children's cultures and languages are a prominent part of teachers' planning. One teacher speaks several Indian languages and all teachers promote te reo Māori and tikanga in different ways throughout the learning day.

Children experience a curriculum that is based on their emerging interests, alongside some group themes. They have good opportunities for learning in mathematics, science and literacy. Portfolios provide very good information about how well children progress and learn over time, including a strong focus on their dispositions. Teachers share information about children's learning online, and this is enhancing the connection that parents have with their children's educational experiences.

Teachers are highly reflective practitioners. They make very good use of internal evaluation to inquire into and improve their practice. Teachers embrace opportunities for professional learning and share their professional goals and reflections. As a result of this useful approach, teachers deepen their thinking about early childhood educational theory and practice.

The kindergarten is well led. The head teacher focuses on teachers' strengths and provides opportunities for shared leadership. As a result the teaching team works collaboratively to improve outcomes for children. Teachers' appraisals align well with the kindergarten's strategic plan and goals.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision, linked to the AKA’s strategic goals. A quality improvement process (QIP) also aligns with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. It enables the AKA and teachers to monitor quality and promote ongoing improvement. The AKA continues to review its management and leadership structure. It has begun a process of internal evaluation to establish how effectively the four pillars of its strategic plan are resulting in more positive outcomes for children, their families, and the organisation.

Key Next Steps

Teachers have identified appropriate next steps for the kindergarten. These include continuing to use approaches and strategies that enhance children's oral language.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Steffan Brough
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

12 May 2017 

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

10314

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

57

Gender composition

Boys      30
Girls       27

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Chinese
Samoan
Tuvaluan
other

  5
12
19
  4
  3
  2
12

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

February 2017

Date of this report

12 May 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

May 2014

Education Review

November 2010

Education Review

September 2007

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.