Te Atatu South Kindergarten - 08/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Te Atatu South Kindergarten

How well placed is Te Atatu South 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

Te Atatu South Kindergarten offers all day education and care for up to 40 children over the age of two years. The roll includes some Māori children and a small number of Pacific and Asian children.

A new teaching team consists of four qualified teachers, one teaching assistant, a teacher aide and a staff member who works as both administrator and teacher aide. One full-time teaching position is shared by two teachers. The imminent appointment of another full-time teacher will complete the teaching team. The newly appointed head teacher and the teachers are keen to build a cohesive and collaborative teaching team.

The 2014 ERO report noted that teachers skilfully engaged children in collaborative play and investigation, and facilitated conversations that challenged children's thinking. A commitment to recognising the special interests of Māori and Pacific children was also evident. These positive aspects of teaching practice remain.

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. There continues to be a period of transition for staff as they adapt to changes in AKA operational practices.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are confident learners and communicators. They know about making choices, are able to lead their own learning and independently select resources. The programme is unhurried and gives children time to engage in play and exploration for long periods. Many children work collaboratively and persist at difficult tasks. Children are well supported to be strong in their cultural identity.

Teachers provide a welcoming, friendly and inclusive environment for children and their whānau. They foster conversations with children that promote language development, communication skills, thinking and reasoning. Teachers listen carefully to children’s ideas and make good links with their prior knowledge. Teachers encourage and scaffold children's learning through exploration, investigation, independence and problem solving.

Bicultural practices are integrated well. Children share mihi in te reo Māori, and sing waiata at mat times. The use of Māori resources supports children to develop an appreciation of the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa. All teachers have undertaken professional learning and development in the AKA Whakamanawa programme that focuses on strengthening bicultural practices. Teachers value and make links to Tātaiako, the cultural competencies for teachers of Māori learners. Teachers intend to increase the incidental use of te reo Māori in the programme.

The kindergarten's learning environments play a powerful role in supporting children’s learning. The stimulating and attractive environments give children lots of choice and access to resources and equipment. The spacious and well-resourced outdoor area provides children with extensive physical challenges and indicates respect for children as capable, self-directed learners.

Teachers are embarking on a new planning process to respond more effectively to children's interests and strengths and have started monthly programme evaluations. This process helps them to identify teaching strategies and learning outcomes for children. Individual portfolios provide an attractive record of children's engagement in the programme and capture their relationships with others well. A good reflection of children's cultural identity is also evident.

Teachers encourage children to identify their own learning goals. They could now regularly update these goals and make better use of them to guide their assessment of children's learning. These steps would allow them to strengthen the focus on children's individual strengths and interests in portfolios.

Teachers build strong child-focused relationships with parents. There are many opportunities for families to participate in the programme, share their culture and be aware of their children’s progress. Children's learning is shared with parents through wall displays and an online e-portfolio. Parents appreciate how quickly their children settle, the very good quality of teaching and learning, and the way in which teachers involve parents in their children's learning.

Teachers have identified areas for shared professional development, particularly in internal evaluation and the update of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Teachers are reflective and are starting to strengthen the ways that they critique their own practice to improve outcomes for children.

The AKA is reviewing its appraisal processes to align with the new Education Council requirements. As part of this development leaders should ensure that there is depth and an improvement focus in teachers’ reflection and professional goals.

Key Next Steps

Key next steps for the teaching team include:

  • reviewing the kindergarten's vision, philosophy and long term goals
  • integrating the key curriculum areas of literacy, mathematics, science and technology more visibly in programme planning
  • planning more specific, effective teaching strategies to extend children's individual learning
  • establishing clear strategies for supporting children's transition to school
  • building their capability in internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Te Atatu South 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 Te Atatu South Kindergarten will be in three years.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 February 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

Te Atatu South, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5109

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Girls       29
Boys      26

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Cook Island Māori
Indian
Chinese
Korean
Samoan
other Asian
other

12
18
  4
  3
  2
  2
  2
  3
  9

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

8 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2014

Education Review

April 2010

Education Review

November 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.