Yendarra Kindergarten - 29/05/2015

1. Evaluation of Yendarra Kindergarten

How well placed is Yendarra 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

Yendarra Kindergarten serves a multicultural community in Otara, Auckland. The Kindergarten Day Model of six hour days is provided. Up to 30 children from two to five years of age can attend daily. The physical environment provides children with a wide range of choices, and celebrates children’s cultures and interests.

The kindergarten team has three registered teachers, including the head teacher, two support staff, and an administrator. Staff have well-established relationships with families and the community. They are developing connections with the Ngāi Tai kaumatua and with leaders from Pacific communities.

Teachers are proactively working to increase levels of attendance by developing clearer communication processes with whānau at the time of enrolment. Their intention is to help whānau understand the importance of early childhood education as a foundation for children’s life-long learning. Good use of Ministry of Education Equity Funding and successful applications for community grants are supporting children’s attendance and engagement in the kindergarten programmes.

ERO’s 2012 report highlighted positive features, including welcoming and inclusive relationships and children who were capably engaged in the programme. These positive features continue to be evident. The report also recommended that teachers could increase opportunities for literacy and numeracy learning, and extend children’s thinking and problem solving skills. Teachers have responded positively to these areas for development by engaging in professional development.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides considered leadership, a management framework, support personnel and a programme of professional development for teachers.

After extensive review, consultation and development, the AKA has recently launched a new 10-year strategic direction. Its four strategic pillars or objectives relate to educational excellence, core organisational processes, community engagement and a future focus. These objectives are intended to guide the AKA and its kindergartens in their ongoing development. The AKA’s approach to rolling out a substantial change in its organisational structure has been carefully considered.

New AKA roles have been established to provide more targeted support for kindergarten operations, curriculum and development. Professional development is planned to support kindergarten head teachers in their leadership and management roles. A Quality Improvement Process (QIP) is being developed to monitor quality in kindergartens and contribute to self review and ongoing improvement.

This review is one of a cluster of ten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The learning programme has a special sense of wairua and respect for the mana of children and their whānau. It promotes children’s sense of cultural belonging and identity. Children and their whānau are greeted in their home languages. A strong foundation is provided for Māori and Pacific children to experience regular reinforcement as competent and capable learners.

Children actively plan for their own learning and assess the progress they make. They select freely from a wide variety of high quality resources in thoughtfully presented play areas. Children work alongside teachers, identify topics that they want to learn more about, and use computer tools and resource books to gather in-depth information of interest.

Teachers respect children’s capability and independence. They listen to children and extend conversations to promote children’s language development and thinking skills. A big focus has been on supporting English language learning for children with other home languages.

Literacy, mathematics and natural science learning are included well in the programme. A major focus has been on gardening and healthy eating. The programme and environment are being modified to cater for the learning needs and attributes of younger as well as older children.

The kindergarten’s environment reflects teachers’ commitment to bicultural practice. The history and tupuna of mana whenua are featured along with many other resources and taonga. The kindergarten has a strong sense of identity as part of the Ngāi Tai rohe. These positive practices provide a welcoming environment for Māori whānau and help all children to become familiar with the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Effective planning, assessment and evaluation processes support and extend individual children’s interests. Teachers value and respond to children’s ideas, which are recorded in attractively presented assessment portfolios and curriculum programme displays. Portfolios provide good evidence of children’s individual progression of learning over time.

Teachers maintain close partnerships with parents/whānau, helping them to support their children’s learning. Parents talk about their aspirations for their children’s education and about their children’s learning experiences beyond the kindergarten. This information is used to extend children’s learning.

Well-considered processes support children’s transitions into the kindergarten and then on to school. Staff are working together with the adjoining primary school to support transitions and encourage early childhood attendance.

Teachers continually reflect on the impact of their teaching on improving outcomes for children. The AKA is supporting the head teacher in her role to make operational tasks and responsibilities more manageable. Further sharing of tasks would be useful in building the professional skills and capacity of the teaching team.

AKA systems for monitoring and promoting improvement in kindergarten operations are well established. A variety of useful systems and processes contribute to the teaching team’s increasingly robust self review. This self review is both responsive and planned, is supported by research into best practice, and reflects teachers’ focus on continual professional development. It often results in improvements. It is timely now for teachers to raise the level of critique of their teaching practice, and more specifically identify outcomes for children as part of their self review.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and ERO agree that next steps could include:

  • refining self-review processes

  • building leadership capacity in the teaching team

  • strengthening appraisal processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

29 May 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

Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5114

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

40

Gender composition

Boys 22

Girls 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

Samoan

Cook Island Māori

Niue

Tongan

10

16

11

2

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

March 2015

Date of this report

29 May 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

March 2012

 

Education Review

February 2009

 

Education Review

March 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.