Owhiro Bay Kindergarten

Education institution number:
45229
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
56
Telephone:
Address:

96 Happy Valley Road, Owhiro Bay, Wellington

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Owhiro Bay Kindergarten - 17/06/2015

1. Evaluation of Owhiro Bay Kindergarten

How well placed is Owhiro Bay 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

Situated on the Owhiro Bay School site, the Kindergarten shares a strong connection with the school as part of the local community’s commitment to a ‘one learning community’ approach. It provides full-day early childhood education in a purpose-built premises for up to 40 children, and ten can be up to two years of age.

Owhiro Bay Kindergarten is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. The transition to the new association is expected to be a three-year process.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

All teachers in regulated ratio positions at Owhiro Bay Kindergarten are qualified and registered. Additional staff are in training to be qualified. The well-enacted centre philosophy emphasises the value of free play and place-based learning, using the community to enhance learning experiences, and celebrating diversity.

The kindergarten’s first ERO report in December 2011 identified that assessment, planning, self review, appraisal and the outdoor environment needed further development. Many areas recognised as strengths have been sustained. There have also been positive developments to outdoor learning spaces, and good progress made in improving other aspects of practice.

Areas where the Wellington Kindergarten Association needed to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified at the time of the previous ERO report. Improvement continues to be needed in some of these areas that the association has plans to address. These feature as key next steps in this report. The alignment of individual kindergartens' annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been addressed.

This review was part of a cluster of 16 kindergarten reviews in He Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Infants and toddlers benefit from flexible, unhurried, and relaxed interactions. There are high levels of nurture and care. Staff are attuned to children’s verbal and non-verbal cues fostering children’s language learning. Children’s interests, needs and preferences are well met by teachers who view them as capable and competent.

In 2012, the association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning. Owhiro Bay Kindergarten’s curriculum positively promotes wellbeing and learning outcomes.

Older children confidently lead their learning. Teachers use practices that effectively build on their thinking and problem solving. ERO observed examples of sustained and cooperative play, and older children supporting younger children. Teachers encourage children’s social competence. Literacy and numeracy experiences are naturally integrated into the programme. Ongoing developments to the outdoor spaces promote opportunities for challenge, exploration, and discovery.

Teachers have made good progress in developing assessment processes. They use information and communication technologies well to keep families and each other informed about learning that is occurring at kindergarten. Teachers have appropriately identified further areas of assessment practice that need development.

Developments to planning processes have resulted in the ‘Ako’ framework. This approach makes clear aspects of group learning that are occurring and visible for parents and whānau. Teachers continue to explore ways of refining this practice, and extending the evaluation of teaching and learning.

Opportunities for teachers to take on leadership roles are promoted, through enabling them to use their strengths and interests to enhance the kindergarten programme. A strong culture of reflection is evident within the collaborative and collegial team. Staff are supported to develop their practice. The association has recently revised the appraisal model. This has the potential to build on the kindergarten’s own processes to strengthen teacher and leader development.

Transition processes are well considered, flexible, and responsive. Reciprocal and highly established links with the school support children and families as they move on to school.

Teachers are making good use of review to inquire into aspects of their practice. There is shared understanding of and responsibility for self review as a way of guiding decisions about improvement to teaching and learning. Continuing to extend and embed this practice is an agreed next step.

The senior teacher provides termly written reports that outline agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. The association has recently implemented new reports that should more deliberately focus on outcomes for children, teacher and leader performance. ERO's evaluation affirms this development.

Children have many opportunities to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are woven through the programme and a wide range of experiences for children to know about Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. Maintaining links with mana whenua, and an emphasis on learning opportunities that reflect the local area continue to be priorities for the team. Teachers and leaders have identified that enhancing the focus on sustainability and further exploring te ao Māori are next developments. ERO’s evaluation affirms this direction.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, senior head teacher, staff and ERO agree that the following are key next steps:

  • continuing to build on and embed self-review processes
  • refining aspects of assessment and programme planning.

The senior management team of He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua should continue to further improve processes for growing and developing the practice of teachers, head teachers and senior teachers. This should include:

  • improvements to the quality and monitoring of individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Owhiro Bay 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 Owhiro Bay Kindergarten will be in three years.

Image removed.

Joyce Gebbie Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

17 June 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

Owhiro Bay, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

45229

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll

51

Gender composition

Girls 33, Boys 18

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

6

40

3

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:3

Better than minimum requirements

 

Over 2

1:8

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2015

Date of this report

17 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

December 2011

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.

Owhiro Bay Kindergarten - 08/12/2011

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Owhiro Bay Kindergarten is affiliated to the Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association has a governing board and a general manager. The general manager is the service provider contact person for the kindergarten. The association employs a team of senior teachers, one of whom is responsible for leading the professional support and advice and guidance to the teaching team. She also liaises with the kindergarten community.

This new purpose-built kindergarten was opened in November 2009. It is situated in the grounds of Owhiro Bay School. Staff work with those in the school, joining together for a range of regular activities for children and to share special events.

The kindergarten caters for children from 6 months to 5 years. The play space for infants and toddlers is known as Tipu (seedlings) and the play areas for older children are known as Puawai (blossom).

A new head teacher commenced at the beginning of 2011. She has developed a vision for the kindergarten with the team and this is evident through the effective focus on building relationships and creating a climate of care at all levels in the kindergarten. Teachers feel empowered to share and reflect on their teaching practice and to undertake research projects around areas of particular interest that contribute to staff development. One example has resulted in a high quality focus on bicultural practices giving prominence to te ao Māori and authentic integration into the well-planned programme.

Consistent, good quality interactions, and the thoughtful transitions within and beyond the kindergarten support children’s well-being. Teachers share an understanding of high quality practices for infants and toddlers. These are demonstrated in the way they calmly organise the programme and routines around the children's natural rhythms, interests and care needs.

Children are settled and engaged in their play throughout the kindergarten and show positive relationships with one another. Teachers foster tuakana teina relationships where older children demonstrate care and responsibility for younger children. Teachers effectively promote literacy learning and support their language development. They recognise children’s wide ranging interests through lively narrative and recounts of children's participation in the programme. Linked stories acknowledge developing friendships and interest in their world.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Owhiro Bay Kindergarten was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atOwhiro Bay Kindergarten.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

The new purpose-built kindergarten opened in November 2009. It is situated in the grounds of Owhiro Bay School. Staff work with those in the school, joining together for a range of regular activities for children and to share special events.

The kindergarten caters for children from 6 months to 5 years. The play space for infants and toddlers is known as Tipu (seedlings) and the play areas for older children are known as Puawai (blossom).

A new head teacher commenced at the beginning of 2011. She has developed a vision for the kindergarten with the team and this is evident through the effective focus on building relationships and creating a climate of care at all levels in the kindergarten.

This is the kindergarten’s first ERO review.

Areas of strength

Bicultural practices Teachers work collaboratively promoting high quality bicultural practices that are shared authentically with children and whānau. These are well integrated and naturally incorporate te ao Māori into programmes and daily practices. Regular excursions into the local environment strengthen children’s sense of place and belonging.

Literacy Teachers effectively integrate a range of practices to promote children’s literacy learning. Children enjoy listening to and recounting stories, and creating their own. A range of opportunities stimulate children's imagination and creativity, and support language development.

Portfolios Teachers record children’s interests through lively narrative and recounts of participation in the programme. Stories link to reveal children’s ongoing and deepening interests.

Planning The well-planned programme is based on authentic learning experiences and promotes manaakitanga (well-being). Children can develop their ideas and revisit their emerging interests. Programme evaluations identify future directions.

Provision for infants and toddlers Teachers share an understanding of high quality practices for infants and toddlers. They demonstrate an affinity for working with this age group and organise the programme and routines around the children's natural rhythms, interests and care needs.

Transitions Children are well supported through a variety of transitions. When they move from Tipu to Puawai it is well considered and flexibly caters for individual needs. Children move in and out of the two areas at their own inclination and pace. The closeness of the relationship between the kindergarten and school promotes smooth transitions as children turn five.

Interactions Interactions are consistently good quality, respectful and empowering. Children are encouraged to make their own decisions and choose whether or not they participate in various aspects of the programme. Teachers respond to children with warmth and affection.

Relationships Children’s interactions with one another are positive and caring. Their support of each other is evident in the tuakana teina relationships that the teachers foster. Teachers model positive relationships through their interactions with team members.

Self review Teachers are highly reflective and work effectively with one another to develop the kindergarten’s culture and to strengthen planning and assessment. Actions ensure they are responsive to children’s emerging and developing interests.

Spontaneous reviews enable teachers to reflect more deeply, to scrutinise their practice and to consider parents’ questions and concerns. Teachers use Te Manawa indicators to formally investigate aspects of their practice.

Learning environment Children are confident and secure as they explore their learning environment. They are familiar with routines and expectations. They are settled and highly engaged in their play choices.

Leadership Strong, empowering leadership encourages innovative practice. The head teacher has focused on building relationships, creating a climate of care at all levels. She encourages the teaching team to share individuals’ areas of strength and assist each other. Teachers undertake their own research to improve their practice and outcomes for children.

Areas for development and review

Kindergarten management and ERO’s external evaluation have identified the following areas for ongoing development and review:

  • continue to build shared understandings about planned self review in order to make judgements about the quality of teaching and learning practices
  • continue to strengthen assessment practices by adding greater depth to the analysis of learning stories, more clearly identifying the learning and suggesting possible next steps
  • develop appraisal to provide specific feedback and support for individual teachers’ development
  • plan to develop the outdoor environment to create more inviting play spaces.

Association Support

Background

The 2008 ERO review of the association identified several strengths, including the provision of professional development, sound operation plans, support for property development and the use of a range of communication strategies to keep teachers and communities informed. Areas for improvement included the quality and depth of the written feedback given to teachers by the senior teacher and strengthening the appraisal process.

Since 2008, the association has led consultation with the community to modify session times and improve the ratio of teachers to children from 1:15 to 1:10 and maintained its policy of employing qualified, registered teachers in regulated permanent positions.

The association provides expectations and guidance to the kindergarten through its strategic plan, policies and procedures and more recently, the professional development strategy Te Manawa: Criteria for Curriculum Implementation.

Areas of strength

The association continues to provide high levels of guidance and support to teachers for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning. These include:

  • the strategic plan setting expectations for participation, parent/whānau involvement and quality teaching practices
  • clearly defined indicators of quality teaching and learning practice through Te Manawa
  • a wide range of professional development opportunities
  • ongoing support in property development, human resource management, finance and resourcing
Areas for development and review

The association, senior teachers and ERO have identified areas where they can strengthen their support for teachers. These include:

  • further developing and supporting leadership, including a review of the appraisal process
  • reviewing senior teacher documentation to show how teachers have improved their practice as a result of feedback
  • reviewing how kindergartens’ annual plans for teaching and learning could more explicitly show how teachers respond to the association strategic priorities.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Inclusion of children with moderate to severe special needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions ensure the continuing well-being, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs
  • children with moderate to severe special needs are supported to be confident and capable learners
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs.

Although there are no children with moderate to severe special needs currently enrolled in this service the team recognises the importance of inclusive education and has a focus on building relationships. The building is physically accessible.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Owhiro Bay Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5. Recommendation

ERO and the kindergarten leaders agree that the priorities for development and review are those outlined in the report.

6. Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

About the Centre

Type

All Day Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Roll number

61

Gender composition

Boys 36, Girls 25

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 33,

Assyrian 10,

Māori 5,

Other ethnic groups 13

Review team on site

September 2011

Date of this report

8 December 2011

Type

First Review

8 December 2011

To the Parents and Community of Owhiro Bay Kindergarten

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Owhiro Bay Kindergarten.

Owhiro Bay Kindergarten is affiliated to the Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association has a governing board and a general manager. The general manager is the service provider contact person for the kindergarten. The association employs a team of senior teachers, one of whom is responsible for leading the professional support and advice and guidance to the teaching team. She also liaises with the kindergarten community.

This new purpose-built kindergarten was opened in November 2009. It is situated in the grounds of Owhiro Bay School. Staff work with those in the school, joining together for a range of regular activities for children and to share special events.

The kindergarten caters for children from 6 months to 5 years. The play space for infants and toddlers is known as Tipu (seedlings) and the play areas for older children are known as Puawai (blossom).

A new head teacher commenced at the beginning of 2011. She has developed a vision for the kindergarten with the team and this is evident through the effective focus on building relationships and creating a climate of care at all levels in the kindergarten. Teachers feel empowered to share and reflect on their teaching practice and to undertake research projects around areas of particular interest that contribute to staff development. One example has resulted in a high quality focus on bicultural practices giving prominence to te ao Māori and authentic integration into the well-planned programme.

Consistent, good quality interactions, and the thoughtful transitions within and beyond the kindergarten support children’s well-being. Teachers share an understanding of high quality practices for infants and toddlers. These are demonstrated in the way they calmly organise the programme and routines around the children's natural rhythms, interests and care needs.

Children are settled and engaged in their play throughout the kindergarten and show positive relationships with one another. Teachers foster tuakana teina relationships where older children demonstrate care and responsibility for younger children. Teachers effectively promote literacy learning and support their language development. They recognise children’s wide ranging interests through lively narrative and recounts of children's participation in the programme. Linked stories acknowledge developing friendships and interest in their world.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.

Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.

National Evaluation Topics – This strand contributes to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.

Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.