VisionWest Christian Kindergarten - 06/03/2015

1 Evaluation of VisionWest Christian Kindergarten

How well placed is VisionWest Christian 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

VisionWest Christian Kindergarten, in Glen Eden, provides sessional and full day early childhood education and care for up to 35 children over two years of age. It is governed by the VisionWest Community Trust as part of a comprehensive range of services it provides for the local community. A committee of parents also contributes to decision-making about aspects of the centre.

VisionWest Community Trust is guided by a strong Christian vision. This vision and the centre philosophy, provide a framework for the promotion of Christian values for its diverse community.

The 2012 ERO report noted that the centre had recently gone through a number of staff changes and was in the process of inducting a new centre manager. It also highlighted a number of key next steps relating to the provision of appropriate teaching and learning programmes for children. Many of ERO’s recommendations are under review at present.

In 2015 the centre is again inducting a recently appointed manager. The majority of staff in the centre are fully registered teachers. The manager, who works closely with the senior teacher and the teaching team, reports to the community services manager. The community services manager then reports to the CEO of the trust.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten is making a positive difference to children’s learning and development. Teachers warmly welcome children and their families at the start of their day, settling children and providing opportunities for families to talk. This friendly and pleasant start to the day encourages children to have a strong sense of belonging and wellbeing. The partnership teachers have with parents contributes to open sharing of information about children’s learning.

Teachers are creating an environment that provokes children’s interest and inspires exploration and discovery. This inspiration, developed from aspects of the Reggio Emilia philosophy has a positive effect on children’s interest in resources and activities. They independently choose from the wide range of attractively arranged resources, and stay for good periods of time to explore activities.

Children are encouraged to make choices about their play during the day. They are also grouped at times to work on projects that arise out of children’s interests. Teachers use group times to reinforce basic skills and knowledge relating to school readiness. They are beginning to talk about ways of integrating opportunities for children to explore concepts of literacy and mathematics in meaningful contexts as part of play. This is a positive move.

Children are relaxed and friendly with adults and their peers. Conversations between children are frequent. Teachers could increase the focus on engaging children in conversations about their thinking and ideas. This useful next step would make it easier for teachers to be sure that group times more clearly reflect what children want to learn.

The majority of the teachers have been in the centre for some time. The teaching team is collegial and works effectively to support children’s comfort and pleasure in their time in the centre. The manager has built sound relationships with teachers, valuing their strengths and supporting necessary changes with sensitivity and appropriate pace.

The centre community includes a number of Māori and Pacific families. In recent times teachers have placed a strong focus on making visible in the centre their commitment to supporting these families, and particularly the children. Children respond positively to the teachers’ use of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. Signs, labels and other displays affirm and celebrate children’s cultural heritage.

Management of the centre is efficient. Review of policies is on-going and personnel management is effective. Teacher appraisal is regular and supports teachers to consider and improve their practice. The manager has identified self review of teaching practice as a worthwhile next step for teachers.

Key Next Steps

Management identified their next key steps as supporting teachers to:

  • continue extending the good practices in celebrating biculturalism within the centre
  • create more meaningful assessment, planning and evaluation systems
  • use self review to evaluate the quality of inclusion and child-centred teaching practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

6 March 2015

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

Glen Eden, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20056

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

63

Gender composition

Boys 34

Girls 29

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

other

6

38

5

14

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

February 2015

Date of this report

6 March 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012

 

Education Review

April 2009

 

Education Review

April 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.