Whitiora Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5159
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
35
Telephone:
Address:

45 Abbotsford Street, Whitiora, Hamilton

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Whitiora Kindergarten - 20/12/2018

1 Evaluation of Whitiora Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Whitiora Kindergarten located in the centre of Hamilton is licensed for 45 children. The kindergarten offers both full and part-day education and care for children from two years to school age. Children come from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds and for many English is a second language. At the time of this ERO review 55 children were enrolled, including 14 who identify as Māori.

The kindergarten is one of 29 kindergartens that operate under the Waikato Kindergarten Association (WKA), which is a charitable trust. The strategic direction of the association is guided by the overarching statement, ‘Our children are strong in heart, head and hand’. The WKA has a commitment to providing quality, inclusive services that effectively meet the diverse educational needs of all children attending. Advice, guidance and support is provided to the organisation by a kaumātua from Tainui.

All kindergartens are involved in a ‘Cool 4 School’ transition programme and sustainable education, environment and health programmes such as Enviroschools and Sport Waikato ‘Under 5 Energise’. The kindergartens’ education, operational and administrative responsibilities are supported by experienced Association personnel.

Whitiora Kindergarten's philosophy values children’s ways of knowing and being. 'Working in collaboration, strong, tall and proud like a stand of Kahikatea trees'. The Kindergarten aims to be united with the community, whānau, families, children and colleagues. The principles of Te Whāriki are the foundations of the curriculum, decision making and a guide for every aspect of pedagogy and practice. The kindergarten's philosophy is anchored by a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

In July of 2018 an acting head teacher was appointed. The kindergarten has responded to the previous ERO report by making learning visual, and informing the parents about what learning is taking place. Children's Individual learning plans have supported the teaching team to notice and respond to children's emerging interests.

This review was part of a cluster of eight reviews in the Waikato Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children’s language, culture and identity are highly visible and valued. Learning partnerships between the kindergarten and home guide individual children’s programmes for learning. The learning programme is tailored to all children’s abilities, emerging interests and needs. Complexity is added to play which empowers children’s sense of what they know and what they need to learn. Children are considered confident and are curious about the world around them.

The curriculum is effectively designed through the context of the child, their family and the community. The environment is well-prepared and resourced to provide a rich learning space. Dispositional learning is actively promoted and learning outcomes are intentional and well understood. Authentic connections with the community enrich the meaningful local curriculum and children’s learning and their sense of self. Children experience an environment that promotes excitement for learning, wellbeing and fun.

Assessment builds a clear picture of what children know, understand, are interested in and can do. Individual planning, in collaboration with families is responsive to each child's abilities, needs and interests. Literacy and numeracy are authentically woven throughout play and are visible throughout the kindergarten. Transition-to-school processes support children's confidence as they move to the next stage of their learning.

Māori learners are actively supported to achieve success as Māori. The culture of Māori children is acknowledged and valued. Children's learning pathways are identified and include emerging leadership and knowledge, valuing what children know and what they bring to their learning. Children are supported to make connections as they acknowledge the bicultural partnership of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Teachers have extensive knowledge of children as learners and their learning. They actively seek ways to continually strengthen connections to children’s language, culture and identity. Children are listened to, recognised and valued for their working theories. Teachers encourage children to explore their working theories through rich conversation, providing effective oral language support. Teachers practice builds inclusion and removes barriers to learning for all children.

Leaders promote a collaborative approach to building teachers' professional knowledge. Emergent leadership is actively fostered and focused on building leadership capability across the kindergarten. Internal evaluation is effective and contributes to continual improvement to the service for children and their families. Kindergarten leaders are strong advocates for children's learning and wellbeing. Together with teachers they have established a strong partnership with children and families, especially those with English as a second language.

Education services managers (ESMs) work closely with the head teacher and provide well-informed professional leadership to support kindergarten operation. The association has recently reviewed its teacher appraisal process. Ensuring this new process is fully implemented is a priority for ESMs.

The WKA provides sound, comprehensive systems, policies and procedures to guide kindergarten practice. Teachers have access to ongoing and targeted professional development to promote improved practice and contribute to positive outcomes for children. Effective governance by the WKA is contributing to high-quality, inclusive and equitable services for children.

Key Next Step

The key next step for leaders and teachers is to further refine and enhance internal evaluation processes to ensure they are more clearly focused on outcomes for learners.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Miringa - Waikato / Bay of Plenty Region

20 December 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

Hamilton, Waikato

Ministry of Education profile number

5159

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children aged over 2

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Girls 30 Boys 25

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Indian
Asian
Other

13
14
15
6
7

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

October 2018

Date of this report

20 December 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

November 2014

Education Review

September 2011

Education Review

November 2008

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.

Whitiora Kindergarten - 05/11/2014

1 Evaluation of Whitiora Kindergarten

How well placed is Whitiora 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

Whitiora Kindergarten is situated in the grounds of Whitiora Primary School in Hamilton Central. It provides a mixture of full day and sessional education and care for up to 40 children from two years to school age, at any one time. The kindergarten’s roll reflects the culturally diverse community that it serves. At the time of this ERO review, the roll of 57 included eight Māori, six Asian and 13 Indian children. For many children English is a second language, and nearly a quarter of the children attending are aged between two and three years old.

The kindergarten operates under the umbrella of the Waikato Kindergarten Association (WKA), which is a charitable trust, and does not operate for profit. The strategic direction of the association is guided by the overarching statement, ‘Every child reaching their full potential’. The WKA has a commitment to providing quality, inclusive services that effectively meet the diverse educational needs of all children attending. All kindergartens provide an Enviroschools’ focus as a key curriculum feature to encourage children to better understand caring for the environment.

The Educational Service Manager (ESM) monitors and reports to the association on the kindergarten’s quality of education. A kaumātua from Tainui provides advice, guidance and support about Māori language, culture and identity. The kindergarten’s administrative responsibilities are well supported by association resource personnel. It also benefits from the WKA's clear guidelines and expectations for practice and the availability of good self-review processes for monitoring and evaluating the quality of education and care it provides for children.

The kindergarten responded positively to the 2011 ERO report. Indoor and outdoor areas have been substantially upgraded. The teaching team has developed more effective strategies of working in partnership with families to support the learning of tamariki Māori and children for whom English is not their first language. The team participated in relevant professional development to support these partnership strategies with a view to benefitting all children.

The knowledgeable and experienced head teacher and teaching team have worked together for over nine years. They demonstrate a strong commitment to fostering warm and reciprocal relationships, celebrating diversity, and working in partnership with families, whānau Māori and the community to empower children to be capable and competent learners.

This review was part of a cluster of 12 kindergarten reviews in the Waikato Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

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

Children have good opportunities to become capable and competent learners and communicators. New children thrive in the calm and settled environment and develop a strong sense of belonging. Children play well with and alongside others, quickly learn to express their needs, and share and cooperate with others. A feature is the way the children of mixed ages nurture younger children and include them in their play. Children have frequent opportunities to make decisions about their learning and to practise self-help and care skills. The spacious and well-resourced environment provides a wide variety of challenges for children at different developmental levels.

Teachers’ interactions with children are consistently gentle, respectful and caring. They are particularly skilled at identifying and responding to the learning and care needs of children under three and those for whom English is not their first language. Teachers value children for who they are, including their diverse languages, cultures and ethnic identities. They skilfully foster the development of social and language skills and integrate learning about literacy, mathematics and science in meaningful ways. Children also have opportunities to design and implement projects that require them to problem solve and further develop self-management skills.

The teaching team has established effective partnerships with parents based on mutual respect, a willingness to listen, learn and change. Whānau Māori, and families from other cultures, feel that their knowledge and expertise are highly valued. Parents, whānau and children confidently participate in programme planning and often lead significant parts of the programme. Teachers make effective use of whānau aspirations. They use this knowledge, to plan for children’s diverse strengths, needs and interests. Parents are kept well informed about their children’s progress through informal discussions and individual assessment profiles.

The head teacher provides high-quality professional leadership. She involves all members of the kindergarten community in decision making processes and is well respected by them. Members of the teaching team are empowered to use their strengths and develop their leadership skills. The teaching team are highly reflective. They make effective use of self review and whole team professional development to continually improve their teaching practice. Teachers are strong advocates for children and whānau, and work hard to provide equitable outcomes for all children.

Key Next Steps

The teaching team has identified, and ERO agrees, that the next step for teachers is to continue the journey of reviewing planning and assessment practices and displays to deepen parent and whānau understanding of:

  • learning through play
  • the processes of identifying and developing learning opportunities to promote children’s emerging interests.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

5 November 2014

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

Hamilton

Ministry of Education profile number

5159

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

53

Gender composition

Boys 28

Girls 25

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Asian

Middle Eastern

Tongan

8

20

19

5

1

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

September 2014

Date of this report

5 November 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2011

 

Education Review

November 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.