Te Awanga Kindergarten - 24/09/2019

1 Evaluation of Te Awanga Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Te Awanga Kindergarten is situated next to Haumoana school. It provides all day education for up to 40 children over the age of two. Children travel from a wide, semi-rural geographical area to attend. All teachers are fully qualified.

The philosophy statement describes empowering children to become confident and independent learners through mindful relationships, nurturing curiosity and creativity, and fostering appreciation and respect for the natural world. The kindergarten is a member of the enviroschools programme.

Te Awanga 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.

The December 2015 ERO report identified that further strengthening of assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning, internal evaluation and teacher appraisal was required. Progress has been made and these continue to be areas for the kindergarten to strengthen.

The Review Findings

The philosophy is well embedded within kindergarten practices. Children benefit from a wide range of experiences that promote their curiosity and creativity. The curriculum fosters children's connection to nature and the environment. Their cultures and languages are acknowledged and intentionally woven through teaching and learning. Children demonstrate confidence as learners.

The bicultural curriculum is strengthening. Children have opportunities to experience aspects of te ao Māori throughout the programme. There has been a deliberate focus on growing teachers' understanding of local areas of significance for Māori. They are beginning to introduce this into the programme.

Warm and respectful relationships are evident between all involved in the service. A recent initiative aimed at building parent, teacher and child relationships supports younger children to successfully transition into the kindergarten. Teachers apply consistent strategies and respond appropriately to nurture each child's social and emotional competence. Children play capably with, and alongside each other. They display a sense of belonging and ownership.

Parents readily participate in kindergarten activities and teachers' design learning experiences that carry on at home. Teachers are continuing to develop appropriate strategies to effectively respond to parent aspirations and build learning-centred partnerships. This should further support teachers' understanding of what educational success looks like for Māori and for Pacific children in their kindergarten.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported to engage with the curriculum. Teachers, parents and external agencies work collaboratively to support progression towards learning goals. They have established a range of useful resources that foster an inclusive environment.

Group planning is well established. Teachers consider how children's emerging interests can be extended and what next steps can be taken in response to group learning. They are exploring how assessment, planning and evaluation can be further strengthened to document the progression of learning for individual children.

Regular self review leads to improvements for children's learning. Teachers' understanding and use of effective internal evaluation is developing. Strengthening the focus on outcomes for children, and evaluating kindergarten practices against knowledge of what constitutes high quality early learning, should further enhance decision making. Education managers should continue to grow their own knowledge and practice of 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 its communities. 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

ERO and leaders agree that teachers should continue to strengthen:

  • how they gather and respond to parent aspirations

  • assessment, planning and evaluation to clearly show progress of learning for individual children

  • internal evaluation to enhance decision making that results in positive outcomes for children.

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 Te Awanga 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance.

  • The service provider must ensure that parents have given written approval of the proposed adult:child ratio for all excursions.
    [Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS17].

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Central Region

24 September 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

Haumoana, Hastings

Ministry of Education profile number

50025

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2

Service roll

31

Gender composition

Male 16, Female 15

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

1
29
1

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

August 2019

Date of this report

24 September 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.