EDUCATION REVIEW OFFICE

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Greytown Kindergarten 23/07/2013

Evaluation of Greytown Kindergarten

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

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

Background

Greytown Kindergarten is located in Greytown, South Wairarapa and caters for children aged from two to five years. It is an all day centre and licensed for 30 children. At the time of this review 55 children, including five Māori, were enrolled.

The Rimutaka Kindergarten Association effectively governs the kindergarten, and provides senior teacher support. The association is committed to maintaining the ratio of 100% qualified teachers. Well-developed policy guidelines clearly outline association expectations for developing the programme and managing day-to-day operations.

The teaching team comprises a head teacher and three fully qualified teachers.

The philosophy emphasises the importance of respectfully working in partnership with families and whānau to enhance children's learning.

The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO. Areas for improvement from the April 2010 ERO report have been considered thoughtfully and responded to effectively.

This review was part of a cluster of eleven kindergarten reviews in the Rimutaka Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

A shared philosophy guides centre-wide direction, implementation of the programme and is highly evident in teaching practice. Partnerships with parents, whānau and aiga are strong, warm and respectful. Their opinions and aspirations are valued, actively sought and used as a basis for future decisions.

Peaceful, cooperative play is a feature. Respectful and sensitive interactions between teachers and children are evident. Consistent positive guidance from adults results in a calm environment. There is a welcoming atmosphere where high expectations for learning and behaviour are well understood.

High quality teaching challenges and extends children’s learning. Effective strategies evident include:

  • valuing the importance of relationships as an integral part of successful teaching and learning
  • fostering independent learning
  • providing children with opportunities to self-select interesting activities
  • encouraging in-depth problem solving
  • authentically empowering children to be part of their own learning.

A carefully considered and well resourced setting contributes significantly to children’s sense of belonging. Children are confident to explore and investigate their learning environment.

Children are regarded as competent and encouraged to take leadership roles. Older children are helpful and caring towards younger children as tuakana teina and teachers enjoy learning alongside the children.

Staff recognise and strongly celebrate cultural diversity. The programme clearly reflects parents’ aspirations for their children. Bicultural perspectives are valued and local iwi provide extensive advice and guidance. Participation in professional development about cultural standards guides teachers’ implementation of highly effective practice to reflect te ao Māori. Teachers support Māori children within a learning environment and meaningful experiences that celebrate their language, culture and identity. Te reo Māori is naturally interwoven into conversations with children.

Teachers clearly recognise the value of providing an inclusive education. Those children identified as requiring extra support are carefully monitored. Observations are analysed and form the basis of individual behaviour plans which are developed collaboratively with parents and whānau to maximise children’s learning potential.

Greytown Kindergarten is very well placed to sustain and improve its performance. Factors promoting capacity-building are:

  • leadership that is strongly collaborative and improvement focused
  • a clear vision for the kindergarten that is well communicated
  • a team culture, based on mutual respect and strengths, which successfully fosters children’s learning. Purposeful learning conversations among teachers are a feature
  • ongoing use of evaluation and rigorous self review to sustain and improve outcomes for children
  • the provision of an innovative, culturally responsive curriculum which gives appropriate emphasis to social skills, literacy and mathematics development.

Senior teachers provide well-targeted, ongoing support and guidance for staff. They promote regular professional development opportunities and useful systems that are focused on positive outcomes for children. Planned development of the performance appraisal processes has the potential to further promote teacher development.

Children’s emotional and physical wellbeing is promoted through sound health and safety practices.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team knows that its priority is to enhance the existing rigorous self review process by continuing to build their evaluative capacity.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie
National Manager Review Services
Central Region (Acting)

23 July 2013

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.

Disclaimer

Individual ERO school and early childhood centre reports are public information and may be copied or sent electronically. However, the Education Review Office can guarantee only the authenticity of original documents which have been obtained in hard copy directly from either the local ERO office or ERO National Office in Wellington. Please consult your telephone book, or see the ERO web page, contact us, for ERO office addresses.

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