Wellington City Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten - 29/10/2015

1 Evaluation of Wellington City Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten

How well placed is Wellington City Rudolf Steiner 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

Wellington City Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten provides education and care for up to 22 children aged from two to five years. Half-day morning and afternoon sessions are offered Mondays and Tuesdays for different age groups. Six-hour daily sessions are offered from Wednesday to Friday.

The kindergarten is governed by the Wellington City Incorporated Trust. The trust is made up of staff and parent representation. The trust also provides strategic direction and oversight of the service. A senior teacher manages the day-to-day operations of the centre.

The kindergarten provides a programme based on the Rudolf Steiner curriculum and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. The teaching team is fully qualified and many children transition onto Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School.

The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO.

The Review Findings

The philosophy is clearly evident and reflected in all aspects of the service. The senior teacher has a clear vision for the kindergarten that provides direction for staff. Teachers demonstrate a strong commitment for the philosophy, vision and direction.

Children experience warm, respectful and caring relationships with teachers in a home-like setting. Teachers model rich descriptive language to support each child’s oral language development. Excursions into the local community extend the curriculum.

The kindergarten’s curriculum provides rich opportunities for children to be imaginative and creative. They respond positively to the rhythms and routines of the day and demonstrate familiarity with and a strong sense of belonging within the programme.

Strong partnerships with families and whānau are promoted through a range of parent roles within the kindergarten and the trust. Family and whānau expertise is used to enrich the programme.

Teachers place an increasing emphasis on developing a bicultural programme. They use te reo Māori in general conversations with children, and waiata Māori are used during routine circle time. The kindergarten has identified that this is an area for continued development. ERO agrees with this direction.

Supporting Māori children to succeed as Māori is a developing focus in the kindergarten. Teachers have established strong relationships with whānau Māori. They have engaged in professional learning and development to enhance their understanding of what success as Māori looks like. Engaging with whānau Māori to explore what success looks like for their tamariki is a key next step. This should help teachers and leaders develop a shared understanding of what success looks like for their tamariki.

Teachers have in-depth knowledge of children’s individual learning pathways, strengths and needs. Parents collaboratively build understanding of their child’s progress through regular meetings with teachers. Regular reflection and evaluation contributes to the assessment and teaching practices used in the kindergarten.

Children’s profile books provide an insight into their learning experiences at the kindergarten, and their developing relationships. A next step is for teachers to enhance these records to show stronger links between goal setting and the programme enacted.

Understanding and use of self review is developing. Leaders should strengthen this process to include:

  • a more systematic approach to self review
  • increasing the use of evaluation to determine how well practices improve outcomes for children. This will enable teachers to look beyond what they are doing, to how well they are doing it.

A robust appraisal process is used to support and monitor teachers' practice, and is closely aligned to the 12 Practising Teacher Criteria. Policies and procedures are regularly reviewed. They provide a good level of guidance for staff and whānau.

Key Next Steps

ERO identified priorities for improvement that include:

  • developing the bicultural programme and Māori success
  • enhancing assessment, planning and evaluation
  • strengthening self review.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Wellington City Rudolf Steiner 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.

To improve practice, leaders should:

  • strengthening monitoring systems in the kindergarten to ensure effective implementation and management of all health and safety processes.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Wellington City Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

29 October 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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

60357

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

22 children, aged over two years

Service roll

39

Gender composition

Boys 18

Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

European

Other ethnic groups

2

25

5

3

4

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:7

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

September 2015

Date of this report

29 October 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2012

 

Education Review

February 2009

 

Education Review

December 2005

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.