Forest View Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5010
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
45
Telephone:
Address:

215 Kiripaka Road, Tikipunga, Whangarei

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Forest View Kindergarten - 14/12/2016

1 Evaluation of Forest View Kindergarten

How well placed is Forest View 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

Forest View Kindergarten operates as part of the Northland Kindergarten Association (NKA) which provides a governance and management framework to support its operation. Children from the surrounding suburbs and from further afield attend morning or all day sessions in a mixed age group. The kindergarten is able to cater for up to 40 children over the age of two years. Children play together in a mixed age group. The majority of children have Māori heritage. The kindergarten has a staff of five qualified teachers.

The philosophy for the kindergarten clearly indicates a commitment to fostering children's understanding and knowledge of New Zealand's dual cultural heritage. This focus includes the use of te reo Māori and tikanga practices as part of the learning programme.

ERO's 2012 review recommended developments in self review as well as planning, assessment and evaluation. These areas continue to be the focus of development.

This review is part of a cluster of eight kindergarten reviews in the Northland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children and their whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten at the start of the day. They settle quickly to play, making choices from the wide range of activities and resources available. Teachers encourage children to be independent and to guide their own learning in the carefully prepared environment.

Teachers demonstrate genuine attitudes of respect and willingness to listen to whānau. Parents spoken to during the review expressed their appreciation of the kindergarten. Teachers have developed positive, sensitive relationships with children. They respect the children's right to express a point of view and have meaningful conversations with children.

Teachers promote children's self-choice and encourage them to take increasing responsibility for their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. There are good prompts in the environment for children to engage with print, to enjoy stories and to act out familiar stories. Children are also able to learn about mathematical concepts and the natural world. There are good opportunities for children to be imaginative and creative.

Assessment processes are well established. Children's portfolios are cherished by whānau and children, and provide a good pictorial story of the children's learning journeys. Some of the written stories are high quality and clearly demonstrate children's dispositions and personalities. This focus on recording children's time in the centre is also clear in the "Learning and Growing Together - Ako tahi tupu ana" large books on display around the centre. These records are clearly linked to the Māori values and tikanga that teachers identify in children's play.

Teachers have evaluated and reviewed the bicultural focus in the centre. The indoor environment demonstrates the progress they are making in showing their commitment to making bicultural intentions clear. Teachers support the deliberate use of te reo Māori with children and in written displays. This continues to be an area that all teachers wish to further develop.

The Association provides governance for kindergartens. Its long-term direction continues to focus on improving learning outcomes for children. Positive strategies include:

  • very good support and guidance by Association personnel in an organisational culture that supports ongoing improvement particularly in the development of culturally responsive practices that are meaningful

  • new and effective teacher appraisal systems, and professional learning and development that focuses more closely on whole team participation to improve skills, knowledge and practice, particularly in more shared leadership

  • a continuing focus and investment in property and environment upgrades to promote children's exploration and investigation

  • regular head teacher meetings that provide of collegial discussion and support.

Key Next Steps

Association managers and teachers agree that next key steps for teachers is to:

  • more explicitly record and evaluate the teachers' role in supporting children's learning

  • build capacity across the teaching team to increase consistency in assessment and teaching practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Forest View 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 current practices, the Association should ensure that all kindergarten policy folders include updated policies and procedures that reflect the latest legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Forest View Kindergarten will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

14 December 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

Tikipunga, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number

5010

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

50

Gender composition

Girls 27 Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

other

27

20

3

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

August 2016

Date of this report

14 December 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

June 2012

Education Review

April 2009

Education Review

February 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.

Forest View Kindergarten - 29/06/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Forest View Kindergarten operates as part of the Northland Kindergarten Association. Children attend either morning or all day sessions. Children and their parents report that they feel welcome and included by teachers. Parents confidently spend time at the kindergarten, taking an interest in activities with their children and talking with teachers. A high percentage of parents provide useful information that contributes to assessment of children’s learning.

The physical environment is spacious and well organised. The building has been renovated to improve facilities and to provide better spaces for parents/whānau and teachers. Children enjoy exploring the outdoor area and the challenges it provides them. Areas of play are well resourced and set up to enable uninterrupted play. Equipment is appropriate and accessible to children. The natural environment is well represented in gardens and resources.

The strong sense of community within the centre is supported by positive relationships and respectful practices. Teachers foster children’s social skill development and encourage them to be independent. Children are very inclusive of others and older children often support and encourage their younger peers.

The programme flows smoothly, and children enjoy the calm, unhurried tone of the centre. Teachers reflect on aspects of the programme and make changes to suit the age group of children attending. Opportunities for literacy, numeracy and science learning are provided in the context of play.

Teachers are currently accessing professional development to strengthen programme planning, assessment and evaluation. They also recognise the need to improve self-review practices. ERO recommends that teachers work with the Kindergarten Association to develop a more systematic approach to self review that will lead to ongoing improvement.

Future Action

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

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Forest View 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 atForest View 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
  • the interactions between children and adults.

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

The Quality of Education

Background

ERO’s 2009 report identified many strengths of the kindergarten, including the environment, positive and supportive staff relationships with children and their families, and many good teaching practices. These strengths continue to characterise the kindergarten.

The 2009 report also identified the need to strengthen self review, planning and assessment to better record children’s learning. Progress in these areas has been limited.

Areas of strength

Environment. Teachers regularly review the environment to ensure that it supports children’s learning. The spacious physical environment is well maintained. Children enjoy the physical challenges in the outdoor area. They make good use of the well laid out indoor areas and covered deck. Children respect the resources and environment.

Relationships. There is a strong sense of community at the kindergarten. Teachers promote positive relationships with the community. They welcome children and their families, and spend time talking with them, making connections, and learning about children’s home life. Parents keep teachers well informed about children’s interests and experiences outside of the kindergarten.

Children are inclusive in their play and provide support for each other. Teachers encourage children to be independent. Children with special needs are well integrated into the centre.

Programme. The programme provides children with many opportunities for uninterrupted play. Routine activities such as meals and mat times are unobtrusive. Children take advantage of opportunities to make choices about their play. There are opportunities and resources for children to develop literacy and numeracy skills and science knowledge within their play. Teachers are responsive to children’s interests and position themselves strategically to support and resource their play. Children make good use of the information and communication technologies provided.

Te reo Māori. Parents value the efforts made to include aspects of Māori language and culture. Te reo is used with children throughout the day. Teachers are provided with ongoing professional development to build their knowledge and confidence in this area.

Areas for development and review

Teachers recognise that they could improve the kindergarten’s self-review systems and its systems for programme planning, assessment and evaluation.

Self review. While teachers are reflective about their teaching practices and make changes in response to this reflection, they have yet to develop in-depth review processes that are planned and based on collated evidence. It would be useful for teachers to use Ngā Arohaehae Whai Hua, the Ministry of Education guidelines for self review, to develop their self-review processes.

Planning, assessment and evaluation. Teachers are currently exploring new ways of assessing children’s learning and using this information to extend children’s learning. They are trialling new ways of recording their observations. This process could be useful for demonstrating learning over time.

3 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Forest View Kindergarten completed an ERO Centre Management 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
  • 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
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

4 Recommendations

ERO and the centre managers agree that teachers should continue to strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation and self-review processes.

5 Future Action

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

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

All Day Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

40 children over 2 years of age

Roll number

49

Gender composition

Girls 30 Boys 19

Ethnic composition

NZ European Pākehā 26

Māori 22

Tokelauan 1

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

29 June 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review, April 2009

Education Review, February 2006

Education Review, April 2003

29 June 2012

To the Parents and Community of Forest View Kindergarten

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Forest View Kindergarten.

Forest View Kindergarten operates as part of the Northland Kindergarten Association. Children attend either morning or all day sessions. Children and their parents report that they feel welcome and included by teachers. Parents confidently spend time at the kindergarten, taking an interest in activities with their children and talking with teachers. A high percentage of parents provide useful information that contributes to assessment of children’s learning.

The physical environment is spacious and well organised. The building has been renovated to improve facilities and to provide better spaces for parents/whānau and teachers. Children enjoy exploring the outdoor area and the challenges it provides them. Areas of play are well resourced and set up to enable uninterrupted play. Equipment is appropriate and accessible to children. The natural environment is well represented in gardens and resources.

The strong sense of community within the centre is supported by positive relationships and respectful practices. Teachers foster children’s social skill development and encourage them to be independent. Children are very inclusive of others and older children often support and encourage their younger peers.

The programme flows smoothly, and children enjoy the calm, unhurried tone of the centre. Teachers reflect on aspects of the programme and make changes to suit the age group of children attending. Opportunities for literacy, numeracy and science learning are provided in the context of play.

Teachers are currently accessing professional development to strengthen programme planning, assessment and evaluation. They also recognise the need to improve self-review practices. ERO recommends that teachers work with the Kindergarten Association to develop a more systematic approach to self review that will lead to ongoing improvement.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the centre 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.

Makere Smith

National Manager Review Services

Northern 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.