Taupaki Kindergarten - 27/10/2017

1 Evaluation of Taupaki Kindergarten

How well placed is Taupaki 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

Taupaki Kindergarten is adjacent to the local primary school, in a semi-rural community on the outskirts of Auckland. It is licensed for 40 children over the age of two years.

The teaching team of four, including the head teacher, is supported by a teacher aide and an administrator. Teachers are developing a team culture that reflects of their desired learning outcomes for children.

The kindergarten's philosophy emphasises the team's commitment to responsive and reciprocal relationships with parents and whānau to support children's learning. Teachers use Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum, to guide an inclusive and bicultural programme.

The positive features identified in he 2014 ERO report have been maintained. These features include responding to children's interests, and the stimulating and well resourced environment. Good progress has been made in relation to ERO's recommendations to further develop programme planning, assessment and evaluation, extend children's learning, strengthen internal evaluation, and build bicultural practices.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA) which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters.

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

The Review Findings

Children are confident and competent. They make choices as their play. Children settle quickly and demonstrate a strong sense of belonging in the kindergarten. They have positive relationships with other children and with teachers and contribute well to conversations about their play. Children play individually and collaboratively in independent groups. They explore the variety of good quality resources and working collaboratively. They develop early literacy skills and mathematical concepts in meaningful contexts.

Teachers are respectful and responsive in their interactions with children. They listen and ask questions that help to extend children's ideas. Teachers celebrate children's strengths and interests in attractive displays. They could further challenge children's thinking, to help them set new goals and develop their problem solving skills.

Teachers are developing their planning and evaluation processes to more clearly respond to children's interests. They reflect on their practices, and identify strategies to support children's learning. Teachers discuss how they are deliberately planning for younger children in the programme. They agree that this could be made more explicit in planning and evaluation records. They value children's contributions to the programme and the environment.

Strong partnerships with parents and whānau contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. Teachers actively foster family involvement through surveys, regular informal discussions and centre events. Attractive displays enable whānau to be well informed about the programme and many are using the kindergarten's digital portal to provide teachers with feedback or to share stories from home.

The kindergarten is well managed. The head teacher is collaborative and encourages leadership among the team of teachers. The different skills and knowledge of each teacher and staff member are valued and help to enhance outcomes for children. Teachers use their strategic action plan to guide kindergarten operations and achieve learning goals for children. They value the extensive range of internal professional development provided by the Association and the support network that is available to them. Teachers are gaining confidence in internal evaluation that is improvement focused.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision that are 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

The teaching team agrees that useful next steps to strengthen the programme for children include:

  • developing consistent understandings about internal evaluation that focuses on the effectiveness of the programme and teaching practice
  • the promotion and integration of te ao Māori
  • ensuring that learning stories consistently show children's contribution, parents' aspirations and next steps for learning
  • the promotion of children's cultural identity and languages in the environment and programme.

The AKA has useful processes for supporting teachers' ongoing professional development. This process could be strengthened by ensuring that teachers' individual goals are measurable and based on the evaluation of teaching practices and impact on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

27 October 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

Helensville, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5559

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, over 2 years of age

Service roll

35

Gender composition

Girls 21 Boys 14

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
other ethnicities

5
26
4

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

August 2017

Date of this report

27 October 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

August 2011

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.