Grey Lynn Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5100
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
35
Telephone:
Address:

25 Home Street, Grey Lynn, Auckland

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Grey Lynn Kindergarten - 08/02/2018

1 Evaluation of Grey Lynn Kindergarten

How well placed is Grey Lynn 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

Grey Lynn Kindergarten, formerly St James Kindergarten, is licensed to provide education and care for 30 children aged over two years.

Grey Lynn Kindergarten has a positive ERO reporting history. In the last year the kindergarten has employed a new team of three qualified teachers, who are supported by a teacher aide.

The teaching team is rethinking the kindergarten vision, appreciating past high quality practices, with a view to optimising the new team's strengths for the future. This review has resulted in a change in focus with an emphasis on music and a redirection of the 'enviroschool' programme.

The kindergarten is part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA), which provides a governance and management framework. Professional support personnel assist teachers with curriculum, management and property matters. There continues to be a period of transition for staff as they adapt to shifts in AKA operational practices.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Positive and sensitive relationships help families and children to feel a sense of belonging in the kindergarten. Teachers welcome parents and children on arrival, and engage them in conversation to help them reconnect with the kindergarten. Children settle quickly to the centre's routines, and demonstrate a sense of ownership of their kindergarten.

Children are articulate and readily initiate conversations with peers and adults. Teachers respect and respond to children's ideas. Children play well together, have fun, and make choices from a wide array of easily accessible activities.

Teachers promote children's social and learning competencies. They skilfully encourage children to think for themselves and to make decisions in their play, supporting them to take risks and to solve problems. Teachers provide resources and provocations to allow imaginative and creative play to occur naturally. They encourage parents/whānau to be part of their children's play.

Children make good use of the indoor and outdoor play spaces. They play in an environment that is influenced by a strong literacy, mathematics and natural science curriculum, and an ongoing tradition of environmental sustainability practices. This focus encourages children to have an increased sense of responsibility and respect for their world.

Teachers are committed to integrating te reo and tikanga Māori as part of their daily practice. They use the morning formal gathering time to sing waiata and incorporate karakia.

Teachers link children's learning to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. They use an online portal to communicate with parents about their child's learning. Teachers should focus on ensuring that each child's portfolio shows their development over time, and that their interests and strengths are highlighted. The team could consider ways to encourage more parent participation in the learning partnership within the online portal.

A parent committee strongly supports the teaching team. Parents work collaboratively with teachers to ensure that improvements to the kindergarten are ongoing and aligned with the teaching team's strategic plan.

Teachers are very supportive of each other and are aware of their individual strengths. The new team is establishing shared teaching approaches, and teachers are considerate in their decision making. They receive good support from AKA.

The AKA is reviewing the appraisal process to align to the new Educational Council requirements. As part of this development the leaders should ensure that there is depth in the quality of teachers’ reflection and their professional goals.

Key Next Steps

Teachers and the AKA education specialist have recognised that in order to enhance current practices, the teaching team should continue to:

  • build on bicultural practices and further promote children's culture, language and identity
  • continue to strengthen planning, assessment and evaluation practices
  • develop leadership and whole- team capacity
  • develop internal evaluation to continuously improve practices and programmes and the impact they have on children's learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Grey Lynn 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 practice, AKA managers and teachers should ensure that recognised hazards are promptly minimised or removed.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Grey Lynn Kindergarten will be in three years.

Julie Foley
Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

8 February 2018 

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

Grey Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5100

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Boys      20
Girls       18

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Niuean
Samoan
other Asian
other

  3
23
  2
  2
  4
  4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2017

Date of this report

8 February 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2013

Education Review

September 2010

Education Review

June 2007

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.

Grey Lynn Kindergarten - 20/11/2013

1 Evaluation of St James Kindergarten

How well placed is St James 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

St James Kindergarten operates in a heritage villa on the slopes of Arch Hill in Grey Lynn. It offers morning sessions for older children and more nurturing afternoon sessions for younger children. The kindergarten celebrated 100 years of service to the community at the beginning of 2013. Several new features were added to the environment at this time, including a time capsule and a mosaic entry step.

The kindergarten is licensed for 30 children and has two longstanding, registered teachers. Since the previous ERO review in 2010, teachers have continued to consolidate programmes for children that are based on an environmental sustainability focus. Teachers have the intention that children will move on from the kindergarten as confident and capable learners. St James Kindergarten has a very positive reporting history with ERO.

The kindergarten operates as part of the Auckland Kindergarten Association (AKA). The association provides policy, procedural and operating guidelines. It also provides teachers with regular, topical professional development and ongoing support from professional managers.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 kindergarten reviews in the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Teachers continue to provide high quality programmes, environments and resources that foster children’s learning, confidence and capability. Literacy, numeracy and science are smoothly integrated into meaningful play.

Children attending St James Kindergarten are settled, with an obvious sense of enjoyment, belonging and wellbeing. Their relationships with others are respectful and caring. Children make independent choices from the wide range of activities and resources available to them and successfully manage their own involvement in the programme. Shared planning with children has added a significant dimension to the way each day is organised.

Children hold conversations with each other and with teachers that include sophisticated ideas and thinking. They are able to share their knowledge and understanding with others and to invent games and activities that strengthen and support their learning. A significant feature is teachers’ use and children’s understanding of sign language. Teachers successfully challenge children to extend their learning through the opportunities provided for them. A variety of intensive opportunities to explore creativity and risk-taking are offered. Children respond with enthusiasm and pride in their achievements.

The learning environment continues to evolve. New ideas of managing environmental features for best results engage children in planning and research to find solutions relating to conservation. The sustainability focus in the kindergarten extends further than productive gardening and waste management. There is a focus on caring for the wider world community. Children regularly contribute to charities and organisations providing assistance. The notion of giving rather than receiving is apparent in children’s conversations and thinking.

The kindergarten is highly regarded by its community and relationships are strong. Parents are regular helpers and the parent committee members engage with the preparations and presentation of fund-raising events. Many parents contribute to their children’s assessment folders and share family news and concerns with teachers. Children leaving for school are invited back to attend kindergarten traditional visits and events. Attendance at kindergarten events is high.

Children and teachers demonstrate inclusive practices. Children support each other as they play. Teachers support all children to achieve successfully. The small number of Māori and Pacific children and their families are respected for the cultural knowledge that they bring. Children are able to understand some te reo Māori and sing waiata regularly as part of their programme. The kindergarten’s sustainability focus is strongly based on traditional Māori values and practices.

Self review is well established. Teachers meet each day to reflect and plan. More detailed self review explores aspects of practice and guides decision making in the kindergarten.

Key Next Steps

ERO, teachers and managers agree that the next key steps for the kindergarten are for teachers to:

  • continue to use research and self review to maintain the high standards already achieved
  • place a continuing focus on improving children’s bicultural knowledge and experiences.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey National Manager Review Services Northern Region

20 November 2013

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Grey Lynn, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

5100

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Boys 28 Girls 27

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Samoan

Niue

5

45

3

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

N/A

 
 

Over 2

1:15

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2013

Date of this report

20 November 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2010

 

Education Review

June 2007

 

Education Review

June 2004

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.