Discovery Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5348
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
60
Telephone:
Address:

Pullen Lane, Whitby, Porirua

View on map

1 Evaluation of Discovery Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

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

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

Background

Discovery Kindergarten caters for 40 children aged over two years. Of the 64 children on the roll, nine identify as Māori. The kindergarten serves a diverse ethnic community.

Since the June 2015 ERO review, a senior teacher and acting head teacher have been appointed. All teachers are qualified and registered.

The philosophy prioritises a love of learning, kindness, respect, confidence and leadership within an inclusive environment, supported by reciprocal relationships with family and community.

The 2015 ERO report identified assessment, evaluation, bicultural practices and leadership support as areas requiring further development. Progress is evident.

The kindergarten is governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association (the association). The association governs 103 early childhood services which include a diverse range of kindergartens, all day education and care services, three Pacific kindergartens and a Pacific home-based service. A team of senior teachers oversees and supports professional practice.

Progress has been made by the association to improve the support for individual kindergartens, the appraisal process, and teachers' capability to work with Māori learners.

Discovery Kindergarten is a member of the North Porirua Kāhui Ako I Community of Learning.

This review was one of eight in He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association, Wellington region.

The Review Findings

Children are confident, competent learners. The curriculum promotes ongoing opportunities for children to make choices and lead aspects of their learning in well-resourced, thoughtfully designed indoor and outdoor environments. High levels of sustained and imaginative play are deliberately modelled and monitored by teachers. Authentic contexts for literacy and numeracy are intentionally introduced as ways to enable children to make links to their prior knowledge and promote further exploration and sense making.

A settled, calm environment supports children's participation in learning and development of social competencies. Independence and self-management are promoted.

Sustainability and kaitiakitanga, guardianship of Papatuanuku, the land, is a developing focus. Ngahere tamariki, the bush kindergarten for older children, strengthens a sense of belonging, extends their learning experiences and knowledge about their local area.

Teachers closely observe and are highly responsive to children's emerging interests. They collaboratively plan to deepen and extend learning. Daily planning enables teachers to identify, monitor and document children's significant learning over time.

Profile books consistently capture children's discoveries, experimentations and emerging understandings. Next steps are to focus on what learning is important for each child. Teachers should measure and document the impact of their teaching strategies which have led to improved outcomes for children.

Commitment to further develop the bicultural curriculum is evident and well supported by the association through the provision of ongoing professional learning and development. A next step is to continue this journey, focused strongly on te ao Māori, supported by a rich local curriculum of stories, history, kaitiakitanga, and the values and aspirations of whānau and the community.

Inclusive practice is highly evident. Children with additional needs are well supported to improve their learning and development, in partnership with parents. Additional expertise is sought from relevant agencies where required.

Transitions into kindergarten are well supported by a collective team approach, based on individual children’s needs in collaboration with parents. Strong relationships with local schools support positive transition. Continuing to seek ways to share information about individual children's learning with new entrant teachers should support greater continuity of learning.

Reciprocal relationships with whānau are prioritised. A variety of effective communication strategies are used including an online platform to share children's progress and learning achievements with parents.

The acting head teacher leads a collaborative, improvement-focused teaching team which values the skills and expertise of each member. Refining and deepening understanding of internal evaluation is a next step so that leaders and teachers can make sound decisions about change and improvement.

The association provides effective professional development and ongoing support, to build the leadership capabilities of the head teacher and teaching team. Well-considered resource allocation enhances teaching and support for children’s learning and wellbeing. There is an established culture in place which values and celebrates children and their whānau.

A well-considered appraisal process continues to be reviewed and developed to better support teachers and leaders to inquire into the effectiveness of their practice. Work is ongoing to build and embed understanding of the association's expectations and processes.

Association leaders, including the senior teachers, work effectively together with shared commitment to the mission, vision, values and goals of the organisation. Strategic goals and objectives are focused on improvement for the benefit of children, whānau and community. Tūmanako, is providing high-level guidance for the association's future direction as Tiriti o Waitangi based organisation. A range of effective tools is used well by senior teachers to monitor the quality of, and promote improvement to, individual kindergarten practice and operation.

Key Next Steps

ERO and senior leaders agree that priorities for teachers are to continue to strengthen and embed systems and practices for:

  • internal evaluation

  • assessment, planning and evaluation

  • transition to school.

The priority for the association is to:

  • continue to build on and follow the strategic direction set through Tūmanako, Te Tiriti o Waitangi based Strategic Priority Framework.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Discovery 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement

Southern Region - Te Tai Tini

8 June 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

Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number

5348

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children aged over 2

Service roll

64

Gender composition

Female 38, Male 26

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Other ethnic groups

9
38
17

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

February 2020

Date of this report

8 June 2020

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

June 2012

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 Discovery Kindergarten

How well placed is Discovery 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

Discovery Kindergarten is a situated in Whitby, Wellington. It is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from the joining of the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. The transition to the new association is expected to be a three-year process.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

Since the June 2012 ERO report, a new staff team has been established. Operational hours have changed and a mixed–age approach now operates daily. All teachers are qualified.

The previous ERO report identified areas in need of review in relation to the assessment of children’s learning, self review and the bicultural curriculum. These areas continue to need improvement and feature as key next steps in this report.

Areas where the Wellington Kindergarten Association needed to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified at the time. Improvement continues to be needed in some of these areas that the association has plans to address. These feature as key next steps in this report. The alignment of individual kindergarten's annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been addressed.

This review was part of a cluster of 12 kindergarten reviews in He Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens.

The Review Findings

The Discovery Kindergarten curriculum is responsive to children’s interests and ideas. Teachers are guided by children’s learning, supporting them to explore and extend their ideas. They use openended questions effectively, to prompt and extend children’s language and understanding of mathematics and science concepts.

Children show security and confidence in their interactions with their peers and adults. They join other children in play and are also able to work independently.

Teachers encourage, and provide opportunities for, parents and whānau to contribute to the curriculum. Aspirations for their children are valued and taken into account in programme planning. Transitions into the kindergarten and to schools are responsive to individual needs. Strategies to support Pacific children are developing.

In 2012, the association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning. The head teacher and staff at Discovery Kindergarten are using Te Manawa appropriately to guide their practice. A new process of assessment, planning and evaluation of children’s learning was introduced in 2014. Teachers should continue to further develop and strengthen this approach.

Staff knowledge of self review is developing. It has led to some positive changes in the kindergarten. A next step is for teachers to continue to develop their understanding and use of self review and evaluation to support ongoing improvement.

The senior teacher provides termly written reports that outline agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. The association has recently implemented new reports that should more deliberately focus on outcomes for children, teacher and leader performance. ERO's evaluation affirms this development.

Children have some opportunities to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. Teachers and leaders acknowledge that they need to build their capability to be responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identities. This development should include establishing relationships with mana whenua and making use of Ministry of Education resources such as,Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

Team work is developing and ongoing support for leadership is in place. The 2012 ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal processes. These continue to require strengthening. A recently revised appraisal model, yet to be implemented, includes: more focused goals that build teacher and leader capability; more regular and targeted feedback and feed forward about teaching practice; and clearer links with the Registered Teacher Criteria.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree that key next steps are to:

  • strengthen the assessment and evaluation of children’s learning
  • further develop self-review practices
  • continue to develop the bicultural curriculum
  • continue to support leadership development.

At association level, the senior management team of He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua should continue to further improve processes for growing and developing the practice of teachers, head teachers and the senior teachers, including:

  • improvements to the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system
  • building teachers’ capability to be more responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Discovery 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 the following areas of non-compliance:

  • the service provider must take all reasonable steps to ensure that at least one toilet for use by children is designed to provide them with some sense of privacy
  • the service provider must take all reasonable steps to ensure the requirements of the Privacy Act 1993 are met in relation to information about children and the parents/caregivers of those children who attend the service.Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, PF22 Privacy Act 1993, principle 5

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

5 June 2015

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Whitby

Ministry of Education profile number

5348

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

69

Gender composition

Girls 36,

Boys 33

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

6

62

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

March 2015

Date of this report

5 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2012

 

Education Review

April 2008

 

Education Review

August 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.