Marie McFarland Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5243
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
37
Telephone:
Address:

40B Cornfoot Street, Whanganui

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1 Evaluation of Marie McFarland Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Marie McFarland Kindergarten, situated in Castlecliff, Whanganui, is a well-established kindergarten and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. It is licensed for 40 children over the age of two years. The current roll of 44 children, includes 18 Māori children and a small number from other ethnicities.

Through their philosophy, teachers aim to promote respectful and rewarding relationships. The curriculum priorities include cultural development alongside cognitive, physical and interpersonal development.

Marie McFarland is one of 15 kindergartens governed and managed by the Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). The governing board is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day running of the association is the role of the general manager, who is responsible to the board.

Along with Gonville and Barsanti Kindergartens, Marie McFarland is part of the newly formed Castlecliff/Gonville Hub. This was formed to develop a collaborative approach to strengthening practice and cultural responsiveness. A new senior head teacher was appointed in January 2019. She has overall responsibility for the three kindergartens in the hub. A new team leader was appointed to Marie McFarland Kindergarten in January 2019. She is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the kindergarten. There have also been some changes within the teaching team over the past year.

Since April 2018, the association's programme of professional learning and development and curriculum implementation has been managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated. An association senior teacher and two senior teachers from Whānau Manaaki provide regular support for teachers.

Since the September 2015 ERO report, the kindergarten has responded positively to aligning key documentation to priorities for children's learning. Assessment practice remains an area of focus.

This review was part of a cluster of 15 in the Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from sustained periods of uninterrupted play within a spacious environment. Wide open spaces encourage physical challenge, exploration and opportunities for children to learn about the living world. There are many areas of play. Excursions within the local community and visitors into the kindergarten enrich the programme. Children are confident and active learners.

Children's learning is captured in individual portfolios. There is a new approach to the assessment, planning and evaluation of children's learning. Assessment draws on teachers' knowledge of the children. They are strengthening parent contribution to this process to enable teachers to intentionally plan towards meeting these aspirations. Teachers more consistently celebrate children's language, culture and identity and now need time to strengthen and embed this new process.

The new teaching team are developing trusting and respectful relationships with children and their families. They have identified the need to continue to work towards developing stronger learning partnerships with the community, parents and iwi. Children and their families are supported to transition to local schools. Māori children benefit from increased use of te reo Māori spoken within the kindergarten. Te ao Māori is visible in the physical environment and tikanga practices are observed. Children with additional learning needs, including those with English as their second language, are identified and referrals to external agencies are made when required. A priority for teachers is to develop a consistent approach to strengthening social competence for children.

New systems and processes are being established to guide centre operation. The new leadership team are establishing a supportive and positive team culture. They lead developments in culturally responsive practice. Although a framework for self review is in place, there is a need to now fully implement this process. A recent management annual review of the kindergarten has identified important next steps relating to a bicultural curriculum, group planning, appraisal, priority learners and transitions. ERO's evaluation affirms these findings and actions are underway to address issues identified.

The governing board is future-focused and has taken appropriate steps to strengthen opportunities for teachers’ professional learning and development. An association-wide appraisal process is in place to support teacher practice in promoting positive learning outcomes for children. Consistency of its implementation across all kindergartens requires strengthening.

Key Next Steps

Association leaders and ERO agree that for ongoing and sustained improvement, staff at Marie McFarland Kindergarten should:

  • continue to embed the new approach to assessment, planning and evaluation of children’s learning

  • develop a consistent approach to strengthening children's social competence

  • strengthen the understanding and use of internal evaluation.

The senior management team of Whanganui Kindergarten Association Incorporated should continue to strengthen the implementation of teacher appraisal.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Marie McFarland 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.

In order to improve practice, sleep records need to be accurately and consistently documented.

Phil Cowie

Director Review and Improvement Services Central

Central Region

11 June 2019

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

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

5243

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

44

Gender composition

Boys 24, Girls 20

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

18
24
2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

April 2019

Date of this report

11 June 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2015

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

May 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

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.

1 Evaluation of Marie McFarland Kindergarten

How well placed is Marie McFarland 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

Marie McFarland Kindergarten is situated in Whanganui. It is one of 14 kindergartens administered by the Whanganui Kindergarten Association. The kindergarten operates under an all-day licence for up to 40 children, over two years of age. Teachers are qualified and registered.

The governing board is responsible for setting overall strategic direction for the organisation. The day-to-day running of the association is the role of the general manager, who is responsible to the board. Two senior teachers are employed to support the learning and development of staff. Two cultural advisors were recently appointed to support teachers to realise the potential of and success for Māori and Pacific children.

Sustained progress has been made since the September 2012 ERO report. This has been well supported by focused professional learning and development.

This review was part of a cluster of seven reviews in the Whanganui Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children enthusiastically participate in a curriculum that responds to their interests, strengths and ideas. Learning experiences enhance understandings of literacy, mathematics, science and nature concepts. The priorities for children’s learning are strongly evident in all aspects of the curriculum, including assessment, planning and evaluation.

The kindergarten’s philosophy focuses on priorities for children’s learning: ‘environment, community involvement, social competence, school readiness and let’s get physical.’ These priorities are evident in the inclusive and respectful practices that nurture relationships with children and their families.

Children have many opportunities to explore and enjoy the stimulating environment. They demonstrate confidence and high levels of independence. Relationships between children and teachers are warm and open. Adults intentionally interact with each child in ways that extend and enrich learning. They speak to children in calm and gentle ways. The atmosphere is peaceful and purposeful.

The 'Priorities for Children’s Learning' initiative was guided by the senior teacher’s response to a recent ERO national evaluation report. This provides a useful framework which has strengthened assessment, planning and evaluation processes in each kindergarten.

Portfolios and kindergarten displays celebrate each child’s learning and development. Children demonstrate high levels of ownership of these records. Whānau contribute with their stories and photographs from home.

Assessment focuses on dispositions, priorities for children’s learning and parent aspirations, as well as skills and ways of knowing. Leaders and teachers agree that they should investigate how best to record what has been noticed about children’s interests. This should better guide planning and alignment with the agreed priorities.

Children at Marie McFarland kindergarten experience a culturally responsive curriculum. A Pacific teacher is a staff member. Children are surrounded with the symbols, language and songs of their cultures.

Successful transitions are well supported by effective partnerships between whānau, the kindergarten and schools. This supports children to reach their potential through visits between the kindergarten and school. Mutual conversations occur about the knowledge children bring to school and connections are made between Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum andThe New Zealand Curriculum.

Collaborative teamwork is a feature of the kindergarten. Leadership is distributed and includes teachers, parents and children. Everyone involved at the kindergarten is empowered to make a contribution. Leaders establish a culture in which children are valued and affirmed for who they are and what they bring to their learning.

Highly inclusive practices help all children and whānau to celebrate their difference by reinforcing the rights of individuals to be different.

Appraisal is improvement focused. Leaders and teachers are reflective practitioners. The inclusion of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners contributes positively to the enactment of culturally responsive practices and the kindergarten’s strong bicultural perspective. The head teacher has identified that teachers should align their professional goals to the kindergarten’s priorities for children’s learning. ERO supports this direction.

Self review is strongly focused on improving learning outcomes for all children. It embraces parent aspirations and the priorities for children's learning. Strong links are made to the association’s strategic plan and the kindergarten action plan. The development of further links between self review and appraisal is an agreed next step.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, general manager, head teacher, teachers and ERO agree that the following are key next steps:

  • refining aspects of assessment practice
  • continuing to align teacher appraisal and self review with the priorities for children’s learning.

The senior managers of the Whanganui Kindergarten Association acknowledge that they should continue to further build teachers, capability to be responsive to Māori and Pacific children’s cultures, languages and identities. ERO affirms this.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Marie McFarland 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 Marie McFarland Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

23 September 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Whanganui

Ministry of Education profile number

5243

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

44

Gender composition

Girls 27,

Boys 17

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Cambodian

10

33

1

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

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2015

Date of this report

23 September 2015

Most recent ERO report(s) 

Education Review

September 2012

 

Education Review

May 2008

 

Education Review

September 2003

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.