Te Rawhiti Kindergarten - 15/02/2019

1 Evaluation of Te Rawhiti Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Te Rawhiti Kindergarten is part of the Te Rā School community in Raumati South. The centre offers early childhood education within a Waldorf Steiner context.

The kindergarten caters for up to 50 children of mixed ages in three separate classrooms. Children share an outdoor space. Three experienced teachers with both Waldorf and early childhood qualifications work alongside teaching assistants.

Most of the children who attend this kindergarten go on to schooling at Te Rā School site under the governance and management structure. The school and its kindergartens in Raumati and Paekakariki are members of Steiner Education Aotearoa New Zealand (SEANZ).

The philosophy emphasises the importance of children learning best through direct experience, and in self-initiated and self-directed play. Other elements include strong rhythm, repetition, and engaging the child’s natural inclination for imitation, allowing their potential to unfold.

Areas identified for further development in the November 2015 ERO report included teachers growing their understanding of internal evaluation; identification and monitoring of annual goals which identify outcomes for children. Appraisal of teachers was a non-compliance. Progress has been made in all areas.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten philosophy effectively weaves together the Rudolf Steiner Principles, te ao Māori concepts and Te Whāriki: the early childhood curriculum. These aspects are highly visible in the enacted curriculum and promote the kindergarten’s identified valued outcomes.  Children access a wide range of appropriate learning opportunities that support them to gain knowledge and skills promoted within the Waldorf Steiner context.

The nature-based outdoor environment provides opportunities for children to engage in a variety of activities that provide physical challenge, promote collaboration and encourage exploration. This space effectively fosters children's developing appreciation and care for the natural world and the importance of sustainable practices. Community excursions enrich the learning programme.

Oral language, literacy, mathematics, science and the arts are well integrated into learning experiences. The daily programme is largely based on children's emerging interests and needs. Individual planning for children should have a stronger focus on documenting deliberate teaching strategies and better record each learner's progress overtime.

Te ao Māori is positively celebrated in the enacted curriculum. A deliberate focus to develop and strengthen teachers’ cultural competencies is highly evident. This strongly supports the provision of the culturally responsive learning environment for all children. Purposeful partnerships allow whānau and external expertise to actively contribute to and enrich the learning provision for all children. The concepts of manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, ako and mahi tahi are interwoven through all aspects of day-to-day operation.

Well-considered and flexible processes and practices support the responsive transition of learners and their families into the kindergarten and on to Te Rā School. Children with additional learning needs are well supported and nurtured through collaboration with whānau and external agencies. An inclusive environment is evident.

Highly respectful relationships are evident within the centre and with families and whānau. Deliberate strategies build purposeful partnerships with families. Seeking and responding to parents’ aspirations is well-considered. Continuing to gather whānau input to inform the strategic direction should support ongoing developments.

A reflective and improvement-focused culture is strongly evident throughout the centre. Review is an established process that supports ongoing improvement. Continuing to build internal evaluation practices to effectively guide decision-making that leads to improved outcomes for children is a next step.

The kindergarten has coherent systems and processes to build teacher capacity aligned to kindergarten priorities. The appraisal process provides good support for teacher development. It incorporates the Teaching Council's requirements. Suitable mentoring and induction processes are in place to support provisionally registered teachers to meet requirements to be fully certificated.

Some sound governance and management practices are in place. Regular reporting about key aspects of operation, including health and safety, is undertaken at various levels of Te Rā School. A next step for governance is to ensure that all policies are regularly reviewed. In addition development of a strategic plan outlining long term priorities and implementing the actions from the Te Rawhiti Early Childhood Education Internal Review. The recruitment of a kaiārahi (kindergarten co-ordinator), should strengthen the sustainability of operation.

Key Next Steps

Priorities for development are to continue to strengthen use of:

  • assessment information to plan children's next learning steps

  • internal evaluation.

The Kāpiti Waldorf Trust should:

  • prioritise implementation of actions from the Te Rawhiti Kindergarten internal review

  • develop a cycle of review for all policies.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern

Southern Region

15 February 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

Raumati South

Ministry of Education profile number

50028

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children

Service roll

45

Gender composition

Girls 25, Boys 20

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

3
41
1

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

December 2018

Date of this report

15 February 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2015

Education Review

November 2012

Education Review

June 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.