Taiaotea Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5025
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
50
Telephone:
Address:

4 Woodlands Crescent, Browns Bay, Auckland

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Taiaotea Kindergarten - 26/03/2020

1 Evaluation of Taiaotea Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Taiaotea Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Taiaotea Kindergarten is one of 15 early childhood services under the umbrella of the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association, (the association) now trading as Kaitiaki Kindergartens. The service is licensed for 40 children aged over two years and serves a diverse ethnic community. Many families have English as a second language. Daily sessions are for a mixed-age group of children from three to five years.

A governing board sets strategic direction for the association. Management of the association’s operations is the responsibility of the general manager (GM). Two professional practice leaders (PPL's) have oversight of teaching and learning, compliance, policy development and leadership. Day-to-day operation in this kindergarten is the responsibility of the head teacher who leads a team of four registered teachers.

Since the February 2015 ERO report, there has been turnover of personnel at management and senior leadership levels. All of the teaching team have been employed since that time.

The philosophy underpinning teaching and learning emphasises the importance of authentic learning partnerships with tamariki, whānau and community; children’s holistic development; and the importance of reflecting whanaungatanga, kotahitanga and wairuatanga in daily practices.

Taiaotea Kindergarten is a member of Mid Bays Kāhui Ako l Community of Learning and has a bronze Enviroschool status.

The previous ERO evaluation findings agreed with the teaching team's area for improvement. These included continuing to strengthen bicultural practices throughout the kindergarten, and building partnerships with parents. Progress in these is evident.

This review was one of nine in the Northern Auckland Free Kindergartens.

The Review Findings

The philosophy is a living document. The identified values clearly underpin teaching and learning. It is regularly reviewed by the teaching team. Children play freely in a thoughtfully designed, richly resourced environment. They are seen as self-managing and independent learners. The curriculum is child led. Teachers work alongside children to support their perseverance, settling and social interactions. They respond sensitively to each child's cues and changing needs.

The holistic learning programme is responsive to children's interests and follows the natural rhythm of the day. Displays highlight priorities for programme development and celebrate Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Literacy, science, mathematics and the arts are woven skilfully into the learning experiences.

A well-developed approach is in place for group planning. It is linked to children's interests and the service's philosophical values. Ongoing programme evaluation should focus more on identifying how well this supports the achievement of outcomes for children and identify next learning steps.

Individual children's learning portfolios are rich records of their participation and learning. Parents' and children's aspirations are responded to and evident in stories. Next steps are to better show in portfolios how children's cultures are valued and how teachers strengthen children's emerging interests over time.

The cultural diversity of the community is strongly reflected in the environment and acknowledged in the programme. Language and protocols are evident, valued and shared with families. Teachers continue to develop a bicultural curriculum with a strong focus on te reo Māori and te ao Māori. Professional learning and connections with local iwi are beginning and this should strengthen their approach.

The development of purposeful and reciprocal relationships with families is prioritised by teachers. Community links are highly valued as part of the learning programme. An online assessment tool enables families to share their aspirations and be informed about children’s learning and achievements.

Children with additional learning needs are identified and effectively supported to participate in the curriculum. Leaders and teachers track, monitor and plan for their learning and development. They work alongside families to access association and external agencies' support when required.

Transitions into kindergarten and on to school are very well considered. Regular, reciprocal visits support children’s confidence and familiarity with the school context.

An effective distributed leadership model is highly evident. Teachers are encouraged to take on a range of responsibilities. They are highly reflective and access a useful range of professional learning and research to continually grow their understandings. Narrowing the scope of internal evaluation and emphasising outcomes for children as indicators for success, are next steps. This should support teachers to more effectively measure the impact of their practices on outcomes for children.

The association has some good processes in place to support teachers. These include an improved inquiry-based appraisal, targeted learning and development opportunities and access to PPLs' guidance. Assisting teachers to implement and embed the new policy framework and reporting requirements, and deciding on the form and function of the PPL role and how this will be enacted in kindergartens, are priorities.

With the appointment of a new board, GM and leadership team, considerable work has been done to review the existing management structures, processes and guidelines for operation, and to improve accountability. The board and GM should continue to review and develop governance and operational roles and responsibilities, in consultation with teachers and the community, to support the sustainability of operation and ensure that continuous improvement to outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Priorities for teachers are to continue to develop:

  • refining the use of internal evaluation

  • aspects of planning for children's learning over time.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Taiaotea 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.

ERO identified an area of non-compliance relating to health and safety, governance and management. The service provider must ensure that:

  • heavy furniture, fixtures and equipment that could fall or topple and cause serious injury or damage are secured.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, HS6

Since the on-site stage of the review this issue has been addressed.

Steve Tanner

Director Review and Improvement Services Northern

Northern Region

26 March 2020

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

Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5025

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2

Service roll

60

Gender composition

Female 38, Male 22

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
South African
Korean
Other Ethnicities

2
29
9
5
15

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2019

Date of this report

26 March 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2015

Education Review

September 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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.

Taiaotea Kindergarten - 05/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Taiaotea Kindergarten

How well placed is Taiaotea 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

Taioatea Kindergarten, on Auckland’s North Shore, provides high quality education and care for up to 40 children over two years old to school age. The kindergarten operates as a ‘kindergarten day model’, which enables children to attend sessions similar to school hours. The kindergarten is staffed by four teachers and an administrator. All teaching staff are qualified and experienced.

The kindergarten is part of the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association Manatōpū Kura o Te Tai Tokerau (NAKA) and operates within the policies and management framework of this organisation. NAKA is governed by a well informed board with a clear strategic direction and a focus on continuous improvement. The Association continues to provide highly effective governance and management.

Taiaotea Kindergarten’s vision of ‘a place where everyone learns and grows’ is reflected in the culture of the kindergarten. Its whakatauki ‘Whakatepea te ko, kia kotahi – We are in this together’ is at the heart of the kindergarten practices and aligns well to teachers’ philosophy and Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

The kindergarten has responded very well to the 2011 ERO review. Teachers have strengthened their self review. A teaching and learning folder provides relevant information for parents and children to share and revisit. Team meetings have been restructured to better utilise professional conversations and decision making.

A noteworthy feature of the kindergarten is the importance that is placed on listening to children and allowing them uninterrupted time to work at their own pace.

This review was part of a cluster of four reviews in the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children, parents and whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten. Teachers know their families well. The teaching and learning programme is inclusive of and responds well to children’s diverse cultures and learning needs. The kindergarten values the wider community and positive relationships have been established with other early childhood services and the local library.

Children are settled, confident and highly engaged in their learning. Their relationships with others are respectful and caring. Children respond well to the unhurried pace of the programme. They benefit from teachers’ carefully considered approach to programme planning. Children negotiate, are imaginative, and make independent choices from a wide range of resources.

Teachers are highly responsive and respectful. They are skilled at listening, supporting and challenging children to extend their understandings. Teachers successfully integrate literacy, numeracy and science learning experiences into the programme and provide children with many opportunities to develop in these areas. Teachers value parents’ aspirations for their children and have developed systems to include these into programme planning.

The learning environment challenges and extends children’s play. An appreciation of the arts as a mode of learning is reflected within the kindergarten. Teachers and children are building their skills and knowledge around Māori culture and language. Aspects of Te Ao Māori are integrated into the programme.

Programme planning and assessment are of a high quality. Teachers’ very good knowledge of children informs decisions about the programme. They have established good processes to support children’s transition to school. Productive working relationships have been established with local schools.

Kindergarten leadership is shared. The strengths of individual teachers are valued and utilised. There is a strong team culture where care for each other is important. A culture of ongoing improvement underpins the kindergarten’s operations. Teachers work effectively together and make good use of professional development. Self review is consultative, effective and informs all aspects of programme management and practices.

There is a strong sense of mutual respect and trust between the Association and its kindergartens. The Association is very well informed about each kindergarten’s curriculum and how it reflects the local community context. Decisions about staff appointments are strategically made. Teaching services managers (TSMs) visit kindergartens regularly and provide professional advice and support. They encourage teachers to be innovative, engage in professional learning, and share knowledge within and outside the Association.

The Association has a strong commitment to bicultural practice and to embracing diversity. Teachers contribute to the Association’s systematic policy review cycle. The teacher appraisal process is currently under review. The Association has high expectations that all kindergartens will use evidence based teaching practices, will undertake effective self review, and will promote positive outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

The teachers and TSM have identified appropriate priorities for ongoing development, including continuing to strengthen:

  • bicultural practices across all areas of the kindergarten
  • partnerships with parents in the programme planning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern Select Region

5 February 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Browns Bay, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5025

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

59

Gender composition

Girls 31,

Boys 28

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Korean

British

Chinese

2

45

6

4

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

NA

 
 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2014

Date of this report

5 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

September 2011

 

Education Review

September 2008

 

Education Review

June 2005

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.