Takapuna Kindergarten - 27/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Takapuna Kindergarten

How well placed is Takapuna 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

Takapuna Kindergarten, on Auckland's North Shore, is licensed for 40 children aged over two years. Since the 2013 ERO report the kindergarten has undergone significant changes. The building has been totally rebuilt, and for a period the kindergarten operated from a local sports club. The kindergarten now provides a Kindergarten Day Model where children attend hours that are similar to school hours. Takapuna Kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework to support its operation.

The kindergarten is staffed by four qualified teachers, one teaching assistant and an administrator. The kindergarten enjoys a positive reputation in the community. A core group of parents provides help and support with fundraising and events. Environmental sustainability is a strong focus of teaching practices and kindergarten processes.

The kindergarten's philosophy statement is based on the shared values of the teaching team, children and their whānau. It incorporates four key areas - community, diversity, learning and sustainability. Relationships, unity of purpose, inclusion, bicultural practice, a play-based programme, and guardianship of the environment are strongly emphasised.

The 2013 ERO report highlighted the provision of a meaningful programme, by skilled teachers. It also noted that children were well supported to build positive relationships and to explore and learn in an attractive environment which fostered sustainable living. These aspects have been sustained.

The teaching team has responded very positively to the report's recommendations. These included strengthening self-review processes, children's portfolios, and relationships with whānau to affirm children's cultural backgrounds.

The AKA restructure in 2015 has introduced new responsibilities and ways of working for both AKA and kindergarten personnel. A period of transition is continuing for staff as they develop their understanding and competence in relation to new roles and systems.

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

The Review Findings

Children are happy, engaged explorers and independent learners. They have a sense of ownership of the kindergarten environment and co-construct play areas with their teachers. Children are viewed as competent and capable by their teachers. They respond by being organisers, leaders, friends and negotiators. They are self managing and engage in long periods of complex play.

The curriculum provided for children is holistic, reflects the kindergarten's philosophy and supports children to become good citizens of the community and of the world. Children are articulate and use complex language. Teachers sensitively move in and out of children's play, encouraging wonder and critical thinking. They value the knowledge children bring and encourage them in new experiences related to their interests.

Parents and children are welcomed on arrival and many parents stay, invited by their children to play or to observe in different play areas. Parents that spoke with ERO shared their appreciation of the teaching team. They were pleased with the meaningful inclusion of literacy, mathematics, science and digital learning in the programme.

Portfolios provide good records of children's continuous learning. Programme planning incorporates children's interests and how teachers will respond, alongside learning goals that children set for themselves. Teachers are continuing to work on ways to meaningfully incorporate parents' aspirations for their child's learning into programme planning.

The AKA's 'Whakamanawa' professional development is supporting teachers to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Māori culture. They continue to seek meaningful ways to represent a te ao Māori worldview in the programme, through sustainability, kotahitanga and kaitiaki initiatives. Displays of cultural symbols and art make meaningful links to Māori and Pacific cultures.

Teachers make good use of the physical environment to support children's learning and parents' understanding of how children learn. Learning stories displayed in the environment allow children to revisit their learning.

Teachers value self review as a way of improving outcomes for children. Building capacity through shared leadership is an ongoing goal. The AKA provides timely, in-depth support for the head teacher and the team. The AKA strategic plan provides a stepping stone for the kindergarten to develop a plan that meets the needs of its local community.

AKA support and guidance is responsive to each kindergarten's individual context. New AKA positions are providing more targeted support for head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A new Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is aligned with AKA and kindergarten strategic plans. This process monitors quality, and promotes ongoing improvement in the kindergartens.

Key Next Steps

Teachers agree that, with AKA support, they should continue to:

  • develop self-review processes

  • refine programme planning and evaluation processes

  • strengthen bicultural practice so that it becomes embedded in the daily programme.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

27 May 2016

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

Takapuna, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5107

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

61

Gender composition

Girls 34, Boys 27

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Chinese

Indian

other Asian

other European

1

46

3

2

4

5

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

NA

 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

27 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

April 2013

Education Review

November 2009

Education Review

September 2006

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.