Avalon Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5326
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
38
Telephone:
Address:

25 Walters Street, Lower Hutt CBD, Lower Hutt

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Avalon Kindergarten - 07/09/2018

1 Evaluation of Avalon Kindergarten

How well placed is Avalon 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

Avalon Kindergarten is licensed to provide all day education and care for up to 44 children, aged over two years. Sessions run daily during the week, from 8:30am to 2:30pm. Of the total roll of 49, six children are Māori and six are of Pacific heritage. The kindergarten serves a culturally diverse community.

The philosophy emphasises inclusion and relationships. The teaching team are long-serving. They are all fully qualified.

Avalon Kindergarten is one of 19 in the Lower Hutt region, governed and managed by Hutt City Kindergarten Association (the association). Since the June 2015 ERO report, a new senior leadership team has been appointed. This includes a general manager and two senior teachers, guided by a team leader. The governance board has also undergone significant changes.

The previous ERO report identified key next steps for this kindergarten. Good progress has been made in developing internal evaluation processes. Responsiveness to Māori and Pacific learners, and assessment, planning and evaluation practices, remain areas requiring development.

The association also had some areas for development these included: including strategic planning; cultural response to Māori and Pacific families; evaluation; and the appraisal process. Good progress has been made in these areas.

This review was part of a cluster of eight in the Hutt City Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from positive, respectful relationships with their teachers and peers. The learning environment is spacious and inviting. Active physical play and nature exploration are encouraged. Teachers are attentive to group interests and provide resources in response. Excursions and events extend the curriculum.

Children with diverse learning needs are very well supported to engage with the curriculum and their peers. Staff continually build their knowledge and skills in this area, with a range of inclusive strategies and liaison with experts and relevant agencies. This is a strength of the kindergarten.

The bicultural curriculum requires significant strengthening. The association’s current strategic focus on bicultural practices should support this improvement. Building teachers’ understanding of specific strategies, in partnership with whānau, to promote the learning success of Māori and Pacific children should also be a focus for association leaders.

Teachers are warm and welcoming to children and their families, and know them well. These relationships should now be extended into learning partnerships to promote valued learning outcomes. Teachers should:

  • co-construct goals and teaching strategies with parents and whānau

  • build their understanding of what success looks like for each child's family

  • find ways to reflect each child’s culture in teaching practice and the learning environment.

Teachers agree that documentation of the assessment cycle should more strongly demonstrate how planned teaching strategies have purposefully promoted improved learning outcomes. ERO's evaluation affirms the kindergarten's plans for improvement in this area. Individual children’s planning processes should clearly make use of:

  • a robust cycle of assessment, planning and evaluation

  • learning-based conversations with parents and whānau

  • ongoing gathering of information about children’s culture, language and identity.

The teaching team are collaborative and improvement-oriented. They are being supported to grow their evaluation practice through very useful association systems and tools. Senior teachers should continue to work with teachers to build their capacity to evaluate the effect of their practice on children’s learning, particularly through the use of measureable indicators of success.

A comprehensive, well-considered appraisal process is in place. Teachers challenge themselves to continually improve their practice through strategic goal-setting and professional learning. Plans are in place to further strengthen this system by developing an inquiry-based approach to teacher appraisal. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction. This should support teachers to better measure the success of improved practices in promoting outcomes for specific children and priority groups.

The governance board includes a wide range of community representation and useful skills. The board and senior leadership team work well together, with a shared commitment to meeting its goals and objectives for the benefit of children, whānau and community. Resource allocation clearly aligns with this focus. The board and senior leadership actively seek equitable and inclusive ways to eliminate barriers to children’s learning and wellbeing.

ERO, the governance board and senior leaders agree that the association's next steps are to:

  • monitor, evaluate and report on the extent to which outcomes for children and their families are improved though systems, processes and initiatives. This should include consideration of impact on specific priority groups

  • consider ways to increase opportunities for whānau to actively contribute to the association’s operation and strategic direction.

The association's senior teaching team are reflective and highly improvement focused. Robust, linked systems and processes have been skilfully developed to guide and grow teacher capability and positively impact children’s learning. Leaders are successfully fostering a collective sense of responsibility for the vision, values and mission of the association.

Key Next Steps

ERO and kindergarten teachers agree that their priority next steps are to:

  • improve practices that promote parent partnerships

  • build culturally responsive practices

  • develop and embed an effective cycle of assessment, planning and evaluation.

The association agrees they should increase focus on:

  • measuring outcomes for children and their families

  • developing whānau and community partnership practices.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services

Te Tai Pokapū - Central Region

7 September 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

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

5326

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

44 children, aged over 2

Service roll

49

Gender composition

Boys 33, Girls 16

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

6
17
6
20

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 2018

Date of this report

7 September 2018

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

February 2009

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.

Avalon Kindergarten - 16/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Avalon Kindergarten

How well placed is Avalon 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

Avalon Kindergarten is located in Hutt City and provides education and care for children from two to five years of age. Morning sessions are offered each day. Three days a week there is the option of an extended six- hour day. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 44 children.

The teaching team is fully qualified and the programme is further assisted by support staff. The kindergarten has a positive reporting history with ERO.

ERO’s 2012 report identified areas requiring further development. These include assessment, planning and evaluation, self review, appraisal and the bicultural programme. Appropriate professional learning and development has been accessed to improve aspects of practice. Teachers are committed to the ongoing acquisition of professional knowledge.

The kindergarten is governed by the Hutt City Kindergarten Association (the association). Two professional practice managers (PPMs) are employed by the association to provide professional support and guidance to teachers. Since the previous review there have been several changes to the General Manager.

This review was part of a cluster of ten kindergartens reviews in the Hutt City Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children engage in sustained play and learning in a free play programme. Routines provide a useful structure for the day and give children a sense of security in knowing what will happen next. Teachers know children well within the context of their families. The annual cycle of regular events contributes to their sense of belonging. A calm atmosphere supports children’s purposeful engagement in the curriculum.

The bicultural curriculum has been a recent self review focus. The outcome has been to strengthen teachers’ practice and understanding of ways to promote te ao Māori in the curriculum. Teachers are committed to ongoing learning in this area. Te reo Māori is used well during routine times. A next step is for teachers to further integrate the use of te reo Māori throughout the early childhood programme. Success for Māori and Pacific families should be further enhanced through consulting with parents about their cultural aspirations they may have for their child.

Regular and informative entries in children’s profiles highlight their participation and engagement in the programme. Currently, assessment practice does not clearly align with the expectations of the association’s quality practice statement. Reflecting these expectations is a key next step.

Children with additional learning needs are well supported. Teachers access external agencies where appropriate. Assessment documentation should better reflect the shared intentions identified in the child’s individual development plan and highlight progress for their family.

The curriculum is extended through regular excursions into the local community and by visitors to the kindergarten. Formal planning and ongoing evaluation of events, regular occurrences and children’s interests should strengthen the learning programme.

Children’s transition to school is supported through collaborative relationships with local schools. An informative range of assessment information is provided to the school about the child’s strengths, interests and learning dispositions.

A useful framework guides the successful implementation of review and evaluation in the kindergarten. Teachers should continue to build their capacity to evaluate their practice through this process.

The approach to leadership is collaborative and supportive. Emergent leadership is encouraged and builds on teacher’s strengths and interests.

The association is part way through the implementation of a new approach to appraisal. Once fully established this should assist leaders to provide a robust, supportive and developmental process. Leaders should then undertake regular monitoring of how well appraisal is being implemented in each kindergarten.

The board receives a range of useful information. A key next step is for leaders to provide more evaluative reporting to assist in decision making and ongoing resourcing. The strategic plan provides a vision and shared direction to guide development. Establishing clearer measures of success should strengthen evaluation of progress towards goals. In addition, strategies that promote cultural responsiveness to Māori and Pacific families should be highlighted in strategic documents.

The PPMs provide half-yearly written reports. These provide information about how the kindergarten is meeting legislative requirements, and at times, make recommendations. These reports should be strengthened by providing critical feedback on the quality of teaching and the effectiveness of the curriculum in improving outcomes for children.

The association provides guidance and support to teachers for continuous improvement of teaching and learning. This includes:

  • a useful framework and clear expectations, that guide kindergarten operations and support the services to meet legislative and health and safety requirements
  • opportunities for professional learning and development for staff
  • sound support for provisionally registered teachers.

At the time of this review the association was involved in a process of a formal review to determine the future direction of Hutt City Kindergartens. ERO identified that within the current operating model the capacity of senior staff to provide targeted support that promotes ongoing improvement to teaching and learning is limited.

Key Next Steps

ERO identified that priorities for improvement should include:

  • consulting with parents about cultural aspirations to promote success for Māori and Pacific learners
  • improving the quality assessment, planning and evaluation practices
  • building the evaluative aspect of self review.

The association should:

  • strengthen the measures used to evaluate the progress of the strategic plan
  • provide evaluative reports to support decision making
  • at a strategic level identify strategies to promote cultural responsiveness to Māori and Pacific families
  • monitor each kindergarten to ensure the robust implementation of the appraisal process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Image removed.Joyce Gebbie Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

16 June 2015

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

Lower Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number

5326

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

44 children, over two years of age

Service roll

55

Gender composition

Girls 32, Boys 23

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Asian

Pacific

12

25

12

6

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

April 2015

Date of this report

16 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

August 2012

 

Education Review

February 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.