Toru Fetu Kindergarten

Education institution number:
45428
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
58
Telephone:
Address:

36 Astrolabe Street, Cannons Creek East, Porirua East

View on map

Toru Fetu Kindergarten - 28/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Toru Fetu Kindergarten

How well placed is Toru Fetu 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

Toru Fetu Kindergarten is located in Porirua East, Wellington. It was the first purpose-built Pasifika Kindergarten, and was established as a result of the aspirations of the Tuvalu, Cook Island, and Niue communities in partnership with the kindergarten association.

The kindergarten is licensed for 80 child places, 24 of these being for children under 2 years of age. Since the 2012 ERO review, there have been some changes to the leadership team. All staff in regulated positions are qualified, registered teachers and are supported in the programme by a cook, administrator, and kindergarten-based students (KBS) who are training to be teachers. The learning/community liaison teacher facilitates working relationships with a number of support agencies to provide a wraparound service for the predominantly Māori and Pacific community.

Developing whanaungatanga for its community underpins all kindergarten practices. The kindergarten promotes a philosophy which nurtures and celebrates the Tuvalu, Cook Island and Niue languages and cultures.

The 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.

Support from the association has enabled teachers to strengthen teaching and learning strategies. Teachers and leaders have been involved in relevant professional development. A playgroup run by the association operates three mornings per week in the community room.

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

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. Toru Fetu teachers have used this to develop their own curriculum document that reflects the socio-cultural context of their community.

ERO's May 2012 report identified that self review, and extending and challenging children's learning and teaching strategies were areas for development and review. Improving these has been a priority for staff and significant progress has been made.

This review was part of a cluster of six in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

The focus on promoting a sense of pride and belonging, and nurturing the mana of each child is evident in culturally responsive practices. Children's language and culture are celebrated and valued. Bicultural practices and children’s wellbeing and cultural identity are a key feature in the kindergarten. Children relate well to each other and to adults and benefit from the centre's strong connection to their parents and whānau.

Children learn through play, and a commitment to inclusion is integral to the kindergarten’s philosophy. They are valued as capable and confident learners and are well engaged as active participants in their own learning. Children make choices and are encouraged to persevere, problem solve and take risks.

There are high levels of cooperative play and tuakana teina relationships are promoted. Children learn many skills and attitudes through relevant and meaningful learning activities that build on the experiences they bring from home. They are also given opportunities to lead. Teachers use deliberate and consistent practices to support infants and toddlers across the kindergarten.

The curriculum is rich and responsive to children’s interests, strengths and culture. It incorporates the centre’s philosophy and parents’ aspirations. Teachers use a good range of effective teaching strategies that support children to learn through play. They provide relevant experiences to extend children's interests and strengths.

Teachers have focused on strengthening their understanding of assessment. Hard copies of portfolios are valued and revisited by children, teachers and parents. Robust planning cycles for groups and individuals inform future and ongoing learning.

Teachers work collaboratively and support each other. They reflect the diverse cultures in the community. Teachers know the children and their whānau well. They invite parents to share their goals for their children and involve them in the programme in various ways. Parents and whānau benefit from the respectful consultation process and decision making for improvement.

Teachers are highly reflective and think deeply about their practice to inform future direction. They are supported to take on different leadership roles to achieve their goals. They attend relevant professional learning and contribute to internal and sector wide professional presentations about their practice. Teachers are committed to ongoing improvement and building a culture of inquiry.

The bicultural curriculum is being strategically developed through the work of the bicultural strategic team. Te ao Māori practices are becoming a stronger focus for teachers. The association has a focused commitment to biculturalism and embracing diversity. They have targeted resources and personnel to better meet specific needs of children and their families.

Leaders work cohesively in a strong team where relationships are a key component to building a cohesive leadership team. Whanaungatanga and manaakitanga are well understood. There is support for emerging leadership and teachers are given opportunity to develop their strengths and interests.

Leaders and teachers have worked collaboratively to provide clear documentation of all processes and procedures. There are sound systems in place for managing health, safety and accountability.

A variety of useful systems and processes contribute to the teaching team’s self review. Leaders and teachers are highly reflective. Self review is used well by teachers to scrutinise what they do to improve aspects of the programme and centre operations. The next step is to increase their focus on evaluating how well teaching and learning practices improve outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and association managers are clear about the future focus areas to strengthen review and evaluation. These include:

  • developing termly evaluation of the strategic teaching and learning goals

  • increasing the variety of data gathered and deepening the analysis of this information to inform evidence based decision making

  • enabling parents and whānau perspectives to contribute to this process

  • using the findings from evaluation of the review process to strengthen the implementation of subsequent reviews and evaluations.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

28 June 2016

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

Porirua East

Ministry of Education profile number

45428

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

80 children, including up to 24 aged under 2

Service roll

98

Gender composition

Girls 51, Boys 47

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Cook Island

Niuean

Tokelauan

Tuvaluan

Other ethnic groups

6

5

21

35

11

8

9

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

1:5

Meets minimum requirements

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2016

Date of this report

28 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2012

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.

Toru Fetu Kindergarten - 24/05/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Toru Fetū Kindergarten is the first purpose-built Pacific kindergarten in New Zealand. It operates as a single kindergarten using 3 teaching rooms under two licences. The Cook Island, Tuvalu and Niue cultures are nurtured separately within the scope of one Pacific kindergarten. Toru Fetū 1 and 2 share some common play spaces and a community room.

Toru Fetū 1 Kindergarten (known as Te Punanga Reo Kuki Airani) began as one of three culture-based playgroups, now under the umbrella management of Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association is responsive to the cultural integrity and aspirations of each group. The teaching teams are led by a head teacher and two assistant head teachers, with support of an association senior teacher and a pacific coordinator.

Children and fanau/whānau are welcomed warmly to the kindergarten. Children greet teachers with enthusiasm and are settled in their play. Interactions between teachers and children are nurturing, respectful and attuned to the individual needs of children.

Teachers respond to children’s questions and join in the fun of learning and exploring. Routines around devotion and kai times show a balance between free play and cultural protocols. Pacific language is integrated well into the programme and conversations between children can be in multiple languages.

The programme is responsive, interactive and flexible, and based on children’s observed interests. It reflects a shared understanding of what is valued across the diverse cultures and integrates well with the stated aims and philosophy of the kindergarten. Teachers support each other in the production of learning stories which are multi-voice and in multiple languages. It should enhance the stories if teachers identify possible opportunities to extend learning and provide challenge.

Staff are committed to supporting opportunities for parents to participate in their child’s acquisition of different Pacific languages. Raising the profile of early childhood education in the community is the basis for encouraging increasing numbers of parents to be involved as educators.

The well-considered design of the facility allows children free access to multiple play areas, with easy flow between rooms. Each room uniquely reflects its cultural heritage supporting a sense of identity. The mixed-age groups facilitate the fostering of empathy with others. Learning occurs in a very inclusive climate.

It is to the credit of the core holders of the cultures, the association and the Ministry of Education that this unique venture is now in a position to go forward with confidence. The systems and structures now in place, along with ongoing development of robust self review, augur well for continuing improvement at the kindergarten.

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 Toru Fetū 1 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 atToru Fetū 1 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.

In addition, ERO decided to evaluate:

  • association support

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

The Quality of Education

Background

The founding members of the playgroups worked cooperatively to create a Pacific early childhood community which is culturally inclusive, maintains strong community relationships, and fosters a sense of place in the community. Sufficient time was given to fully consult with the three cultures involved to form an overall vision, philosophy and facility design.

Association personnel provide support for systems and procedures, opportunities for professional development and leadership, strategic placement of staff, and induction and mentoring for provisionally registered teachers. The association is responsive to the cultural aspirations of each group.

Areas of strength
Programme, planning and assessment

The programme is responsive, interactive and flexible. It reflects a shared understanding of what is valued across the diverse cultures and integrates well with the stated aims and philosophy of the kindergarten.

Teachers are responsive to children’s questions and join in the fun of learning and exploring alongside the children. Routines around devotion and kai times show a balance between free play and cultural protocols. The programme encourages involvement of parents and whānau.

Planning, based on observed children’s interests, is clearly documented and well-displayed to inform staff and fanau/whānau. Cooperative fortnightly planning meetings involve team and individual teacher planning, with consistent practice across the three rooms. Staff and children are proud to belong to the first Pacific early childhood centre to be awarded a bronze Healthy Heart Award.

Pacific language is integrated well into the programme, as are basic maths concepts. Conversations between children can be in multiple languages. Regular visits to the adjacent school and the local public library demonstrate the importance given to early literacy. A group of older children from all three rooms come together daily for extension activities. This provides opportunities to socialise and acquire skills which facilitate transition to school.

Children’s learning and progress is captured in attractive individual profile books, along with sharing at parent-teacher meetings. A full audit and evaluation of profile books across all rooms resulted in changes made to improve quality and consistency. Teachers support each other in the production of learning stories which are multi-voice and in multiple languages. There are many stories where teachers have identified leadership in their cultures and noted children’s conversations, including comments on their own learning experiences. It would be beneficial to identify further possible opportunities for extending children’s learning and providing challenge.

Environment

The well-considered design of the facility allows children free access to multiple play areas, with easy flow between rooms. Each room uniquely reflects its cultural heritage which supports a sense of identity. The mixed-age groups facilitate the fostering of empathy with others. Learning occurs in a very inclusive climate.

Educators, finding a paucity of appropriate resources in the various languages, are beginning to produce their own. Avenues being explored include a parent handbook, traditional stories and songs, and translations of children’s favourite stories.

Interactions

Children and fanau/whānau are warmly welcomed to the kindergarten. Children greet teachers with enthusiasm and are settled in their play. Interactions between teachers and children are nurturing, respectful and attuned to the individual needs of children. Teachers model positive guidance strategies when conflict arises. They operate in a high trust climate where they are encouraged and supported to reflect on each other’s practice.

Fanau/Whānau and community relationships

Strong reciprocal community relationships are well-established. Good use is made of the Community Room for parent and community gatherings. Staff are committed to supporting opportunities for parents to participate in their child’s acquisition of different pacific languages.

Leadership

A devolved model helps develop leadership capacity. Each staff member has a voice in decision-making. Raising the profile of early childhood education in the community is the basis for encouraging increasing numbers of parents to be involved as educators.

Self review

Formal and informal review is occurring. Planned review using supplied templates has begun. This is an area for ongoing development.

Areas for development and review

The following apply to all three rooms.

  • Self review is an area for ongoing development. This is stated in the strategic plan of the association.
  • The purpose of the learning enrichment group is currently under review. ERO’s external evaluation confirms the review is timely, to ensure objectives align with current research.
  • Learning stories could be enhanced by identifying possible opportunities for further extending learning and providing suitable challenge.
  • Continuing to focus on widening teaching strategies, especially questioning techniques which foster thinking skills and problem solving, will improve learning outcomes for children.

Association Support

Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association

Toru Fetū 1 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 licensed 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.

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, including well considered support and guidance for provisionally registered teachers
  • 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 the association can strengthen their support for teachers. These include:

  • further developing and supporting leadership, including a review of the appraisal process
  • reviewing how kindergarten’s annual plans for teaching and learning could more explicitly show how teachers respond to the association strategic priorities.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Toru Fetū 1 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:

  • 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.

4 Recommendations

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

5 Future Action

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Location

Porirua City

Ministry of Education profile number

45428

Type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 9 aged under 2

Roll number

31

Gender composition

Girls 16

Boys 15

Ethnic composition

Cook Island Māori 25

Other ethnic groups 6

Review team on site

February 2012

Date of this report

24 May 2012

Previous three ERO reports

This is the kindergarten’s first report

To the Parents and Community of Toru Fetū 1 Kindergarten

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Toru Fetū 1 Kindergarten.

Toru Fetū Kindergarten is the first purpose-built Pacific kindergarten in New Zealand. It operates as a single kindergarten using 3 teaching rooms under two licences. The Cook Island, Tuvalu and Niue cultures are nurtured separately within the scope of one Pacific kindergarten. Toru Fetū 1 and 2 share some common play spaces and a community room.

Toru Fetū 1 Kindergarten (known as Te Punanga Reo Kuki Airani) began as one of three culture-based playgroups, now under the umbrella management of Wellington Region Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association is responsive to the cultural integrity and aspirations of each group. The teaching teams are led by a head teacher and two assistant head teachers, with support of an association senior teacher and a pacific coordinator.

Children and fanau/whānau are welcomed warmly to the kindergarten. Children greet teachers with enthusiasm and are settled in their play. Interactions between teachers and children are nurturing, respectful and attuned to the individual needs of children.

Teachers respond to children’s questions and join in the fun of learning and exploring. Routines around devotion and kai times show a balance between free play and cultural protocols. Pacific language is integrated well into the programme and conversations between children can be in multiple languages.

The programme is responsive, interactive and flexible, and based on children’s observed interests. It reflects a shared understanding of what is valued across the diverse cultures and integrates well with the stated aims and philosophy of the kindergarten. Teachers support each other in the production of learning stories which are multi-voice and in multiple languages. It should enhance the stories if teachers identify possible opportunities to extend learning and provide challenge.

Staff are committed to supporting opportunities for parents to participate in their child’s acquisition of different Pacific languages. Raising the profile of early childhood education in the community is the basis for encouraging increasing numbers of parents to be involved as educators.

The well-considered design of the facility allows children free access to multiple play areas, with easy flow between rooms. Each room uniquely reflects its cultural heritage supporting a sense of identity. The mixed-age groups facilitate the fostering of empathy with others. Learning occurs in a very inclusive climate.

It is to the credit of the core holders of the cultures, the association and the Ministry of Education that this unique venture is now in a position to go forward with confidence. The systems and structures now in place, along with ongoing development of robust self review, augur well for continuing improvement at the kindergarten.

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.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

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.
  • 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.