Tamatea Kindergarten - 18/11/2019

1 Evaluation of Tamatea Kindergarten

How well placed is Tamatea Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Tamatea Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Tamatea Kindergarten is located in suburban Napier. The service provides education and care for up to 46 children aged over two years. The current roll is 40, including 11 Māori children. Children and families reflect a diverse range of cultures.

The teaching team is well established. The relieving head teacher has been part of the teaching team for seven years. Thoughtfully considered, ongoing development to grounds reflects the kindergarten's involvement in the Enviroschools initiative. Tamatea Kindergarten is part of a newly established Kāhui Ako.

The reviewed philosophy emphasises, 'thriving in an explorative learning culture while maintaining positive relationships'.

Tamatea Kindergarten is one of 16 kindergartens operating under the governance and management of the Napier Kindergarten Association (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day operation of the association is the role of the general manager. Two education managers provide teaching and learning support for teachers. The board employs a Pou Whakarewa Mātauranga (Professional Practice Advisor Māori) to work alongside all association personnel to continue to strengthen cultural responsiveness.

Many areas identified as strengths in the December 2015 ERO report continue. Progress in further embedding and extending the scope of internal evaluation is evident. Teachers continue to strengthen teaching and learning.

This review was part of a cluster of 16 kindergarten reviews in the Napier Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The service's philosophy that reflects "an explorative learning culture, while engaging and maintaining positive relationships" is clearly evident in practice. Teachers and whānau recently revisited the kindergarten's philosophy and are focusing on ensuring teaching practice and the environment reflect the principles of Te Whāriki.

Children learn in a setting that supports meaningful and enjoyable exploration. They mostly engage in free, uninterrupted play and investigation that encourages independence and extends learning. Children’s emerging interests in literacy and numeracy are evident within the context of play, both indoors and outside.

A well-considered approach to documenting assessment for learning identifies children's progress over time. This increasingly includes different perspectives and ways to add complexity to children's learning. Profiles record children's participation in the life of the centre. Children revisit learning stories and build on their experiences. Parents are encouraged to contribute to children's learning, progress and achievements. Teachers continue to build their knowledge and understanding of assessment, planning and evaluation practices as reflected in Te Whāriki.

The environment reflects the dual heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand in a variety of ways. The outdoor area, with well-integrated natural materials, has been designed collaboratively. It shows a strong bicultural commitment, is aesthetically appealing and supports sustainable practices. Children engage with the living world in authentic and meaningful ways.

A newly introduced weekly playgroup helps children to seamlessly move into the kindergarten session. Transition to school focuses on children feeling well supported and confident in a new situation. Kindergarten teachers support families with information and discussion. Positive relationships have been developed with the two local schools.

Leadership is collaborative and the head teacher values the skills and knowledge of the teaching team. Teachers are reflective, and improvement focused. They continue to develop internal evaluation as a tool to critically reflect on practice. Continuing to strengthen internal evaluation practices should further support teachers to know how well their actions improve learning outcomes for children. Education managers should continue to grow their own knowledge and practice of effective internal evaluation to better support this process.

The governing board is future-focused and has developed a clear strategic direction to meet the diverse needs of the community. Board members value diversity of viewpoints and gather community and staff voice to inform decision-making. Regular reporting by the education managers is useful in identifying how strategic teaching and learning goals are being addressed.

The board places importance on developing teachers' capabilities. Targeted and deliberate building of cultural responsiveness supports Māori children and their whānau to experience success. An association-wide appraisal process is in place to support teacher practice in promoting positive learning outcomes for children. Further strengthening of the appraisal process, including targeted observations, should support teachers to determine how well they are progressing and actively encourage them to improve their effectiveness.

Key Next Steps

Teachers at Tamatea Kindergarten should continue to strengthen:

  • assessment, planning and evaluation with a more deliberate focus on individual children's learning outcomes and reflecting their language, culture and identity

  • internal evaluation for improvement.

Education managers should continue to promote sustained improvement and innovation through strengthening:

  • evaluation, inquiry and professional guidance

  • the appraisal process.

Recommendation

Education managers should strengthen their understanding and use of internal evaluation to systematically evaluate their practices and the impact of these on outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tamatea 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.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

18 November 2019

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

Napier

Ministry of Education profile number

5285

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

46 children, aged over 2

Service roll

40

Gender composition

Male 27, Female 13

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

11
23
6

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2019

Date of this report

18 November 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

December 2015

Education Review

October 2012

Education Review

May 2009

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.