Waiheke Island Kindergarten - 20/09/2017

1 Evaluation of Waiheke Island Kindergarten

How well placed is Waiheke Island 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

Waiheke Island Kindergarten offers six-hour days for up to 30 children over the age of two years. Most of the children are over the age of four years by the time they are enrolled at the kindergarten. The roll includes a small number of Māori and Pacific children.

A new teaching team has been established this year. It consists of three registered teachers, a teacher aide, an administrator and head teacher. The team is very ably led by the head teacher. Teachers are becoming a strong and cohesive team that is focused on enhancing outcomes for children. The team has amended the kindergarten philosophy to reflect teachers' personal philosophies and their focus on the Enviroschools programme for sustainability. The Enviroschools kaupapa is grounded in Māori perspectives, which are highly valued in the kindergarten programme.

In 2013 ERO identified many positive features in the kindergarten. The good practices that continue to be a feature include effective relationships with parents and whānau and the local community, and a programme that is based on and extends children's interests. Very good progress has been made in relation to ERO's recommendations to strengthen children's skills with digital technologies and continuing to extend constructive networks with other early learning services on the island.

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 11 reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children are respected and viewed as capable and competent learners. They are involved in most areas of kindergarten decision making. All children engage in and sustain their chosen play over long periods of time. Teachers emphasise children having a strong sense of belonging to the kindergarten.

Children participate in a programme that is guided by the things they are interested in and the choices they make as they play. Teachers very capably support and extend these interests, as well as children's characteristics identified through the Enviroschools kaupapa. Children play independently or alongside peers or groups of children for extended periods of time in self-chosen activities.

The environment is interesting and stimulating and reflects children's strengths and preferences. Children have contributed their own designs to the environment and these are respected, used by other children, and maintained long after the creators have moved on from the kindergarten.

Children's social competence is skilfully developed and their independence is fostered, reflecting parents' aspirations for their children. Teachers plan deliberately for children to transition smoothly to school. They purposefully weave literacy and mathematical learning into the contexts of children's play. Children's progress with these areas is clearly identified in their portfolios of learning.

Children and teachers participate in authentic bicultural practices underpinned by the kindergarten's and the Enviroschool values. Te reo and tikanga Māori are woven effortlessly into the daily programme. Teachers agree that it would be appropriate to increase the visibility of Pacific languages and cultures in a similar way.

Teachers continue to build strong child-focused relationships with parents. They are making learning more visible for children and parents through kindergarten displays and access online learning portfolios. Parents report that teachers are approachable and take time to make them feel welcome.

Teachers have very good systems for noticing and recognising children's emerging learning during their play. They make useful plans to extend learning, and to record and discuss children's progress. Teachers have recently evaluated systems for planning and assessment to gain a shared understanding and deepen the team culture. This initiative has resulted in the team having a strong collaborative approach to planning and assessment that extends children’s interests and dispositions. The team uses digital technologies effectively to be more responsive to children's emerging interests and to share innovative and responsive ideas.

Teachers use a framework successfully to guide internal evaluation. This framework includes regular and useful consultation with parents and children to inform ongoing programme improvement.

Kindergarten operations are guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and a shared vision, 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 kindergarten teaching team has identified useful key next steps to continue building on current high quality practices. These include enhancing:

  • teachers' understanding of the children who are at the service for a limited time

  • links with local schools and early learning services

  • their internal evaluation focus on teaching strategies and outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Waiheke Island 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 Waiheke Island Kindergarten will be in four years.

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

20 September 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

Surfdale, Waiheke Island

Ministry of Education profile number

5567

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over two years of age

Service roll

53

Gender composition

Boys 27, Girls 26

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan

6
45
2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

July 2017

Date of this report

20 September 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2013

Education Review

June 2010

Education Review

June 2007

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.