Miramar North Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5360
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
47
Telephone:
Address:

20 Whanganui Street, Miramar, Wellington

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1 Evaluation of Miramar North Kindergarten

How well placed is Miramar North 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

Miramar North Kindergarten is in Wellington. The service is licensed for 40 children aged over two years. Of the 80 children enrolled, seven are Māori and five are Pacific. 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 joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014.

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.

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 February 2012 ERO report for Miramar North Kindergarten identified a number of areas needing further development including, self review, assessment of children's learning, practices to support children's sense of belonging and strategies to assist their transitions to school. These have been a priority for staff and considerable progress has been made. Internal evaluation and assessment of children's learning remain aspects of the programme requiring further development.

Areas where the association could strengthen its support for teachers were also identified, and positive progress has occurred. The alignment of individual kindergartens’ annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been appropriately addressed.

Since the previous ERO report, there have been some changes to the teaching team. A new teacher joined the staff in 2016.

This review was part of a cluster of 10 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

The kindergarten philosophy is highly evident in practice. Children are learning to become problem solvers, negotiators and explorers. They confidently lead their own learning.

Teachers have high expectations of children and effectively support their developing social skills. This contributes significantly to the sense of rangimarie in the kindergarten. A calm, purposeful atmosphere is evident.

Children and whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten in a relaxed, unhurried manner. They are encouraged to settle at their own pace. A well-considered range of strategies supports older children and their families as they prepare for their move to school.

Teachers plan a curriculum which successfully responds to children's interests, strengths and diverse cultural backgrounds. Assessment of children's learning shows significant progress since the previous ERO review. The senior teacher and head teacher have identified a programme of clear next steps to continue this ongoing development. ERO agrees with this approach.

Aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are woven throughout the curriculum. Teachers' use of Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners is increasingly strengthening their practice in supporting educational success for Māori children.

Children with additional needs play and learn alongside their friends. Teachers work in partnership with families and external agencies to meet individual learning goals. Their responsiveness to children's wellbeing is highly evident.

There has been an increasing focus on ways adults can support Pacific children. With guidance from the association, and Pacific families, teachers are beginning to further their knowledge and understanding.

Strong, well-established relationships with families are evident. Teachers frequently refer to the 'kindergarten community' and this is highly evident as teachers, families and children learn together.

Improving internal evaluation has been a considerable focus in the kindergarten. Progress is evident and has led to positive change. The senior teacher, head teacher and teachers recognise they now need to embed this evaluative approach into their practice. ERO agrees.

Staff are improvement focused. The head teacher fosters a culture of reflection and constructive critique. She encourages teachers to use their strengths to contribute to the kindergarten community.

The senior teacher provides termly written feedback that outlines agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. She completes an annual internal evaluation that supports strengthening of these termly reports. There is a deliberate focus on outcomes for children and teacher/leader performance. This has been successful in promoting improved practices in the kindergarten.

The previous ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal processes. Managers undertook an internal review of the appraisal system. The revised model is being implemented across the kindergartens. The process includes focused goals that build teacher and leader capability and clearer links with the Practising Teacher Criteria. Staff at Miramar North Kindergarten are implementing the revised appraisal model.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Miramar North Kindergarten to continue:

  • to embed internal evaluation into practice

  • to strengthen assessment and evaluation of children's learning.

The association should continue to support the development of formal critique of teaching practice and strengthening of responsiveness to Māori children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

27 June 2016

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

Miramar, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

5360

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2 years

Service roll

80

Gender composition

Girls 42, Boys 38

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

7

40

5

28

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

May 2016

Date of this report

27 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

February 2012

Education Review

May 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.

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Miramar North Kindergarten is affiliated to the Wellington Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association has a governing board and a general manager. The general manager is the licensee of the kindergarten. The association employs a team of senior teachers, one of whom is responsible for leading the professional support and advice and guidance to the teaching team.

Since the 2008 ERO review there have been significant changes in staffing and the hours of kindergarten operation. The physical environment has also changed, with ongoing development of the indoor and outdoor areas.

Children learn in a stimulating, settled environment, with a programme that is designed to reflect and extend their interests and preferences. A wide range of materials, resources and equipment allows scope for children to choose activities that appeal to them. Teachers know children and their families well, and ensure that learning experiences are meaningful and relevant. Māori cultural elements are evident throughout the programme.

The kindergarten tone is welcoming and inclusive, with positive relationships among children and adults. Parents contribute to the learning environment, and are well informed and involved in decision-making.

Teachers work collaboratively as a team and have a shared understanding of how the kindergarten philosophy can be best expressed through the programme in action. Their daily professional discussions focus on children’s strengths, interests and needs.

As a team, they have identified areas to further develop their effectiveness in promoting children’s learning. These include: more regular use of te reo Māori; greater integration of multicultural elements; strengthening participation of parents and whānau in the documentation of children’s learning; and formal evaluation of the impacts of their practice on outcomes for children. ERO’s external evaluation findings concur with these.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2 Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Miramar North Kindergarten was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atMiramar North Kindergarten.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.
  • In addition, ERO decided to evaluate:
  • association support

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

Since ERO’s May 2008 review, there have been significant changes in the teaching team and the senior teacher position has been held by six different people.

The kindergarten has reorganised to operate on a full day licence, with a range of new sessions for three and four year olds. The number of teachers has increased, resulting in improved teacher-child ratios. A part-time teacher aide assists with administration tasks.

A five year development plan identifies priorities for improvement to the environment. Recent property enhancements include alterations to the main building and outdoor play areas.

Areas of strength

Programme

Children benefit from a programme which supports sustained periods of play and learning in a variety of settings. Routines are well established but flexible. Early literacy and mathematics learning is well supported in meaningful, relevant contexts. Children’s learning and participation are highly visible, with many opportunities for them and their parents and whānau to revisit and reflect on past experiences.

Aspects of ngā tikanga Māori are integrated into the day-to-day programme. Children learn waiata, haka and karakia. Māori myths are featured in story-telling and reading activities. Staff recognise the need to continue to raise the profile of te ao Māori. The next step is to strengthen teachers’ confidence and ability in using te reo Māori in daily interactions and documentation.

Individual learning profiles are readily accessed by children, parents and whānau. They are a lively record of children’s learning, with teachers’ commentaries that clearly highlight the significance of the experiences shared.

The programme is flexible and inclusive, with a focus on positive behaviour and achievement. It effectively supports each child at his or her own level. Success and progress are celebrated in a variety of ways.

Environment

Children learn in a welcoming, inclusive, child-centred environment. The overall tone is settled and calm.

The physical environment provides a wide range of opportunities for play, exploration and challenge. The layout is well considered, with easy flow between different activities and equipment. Teachers provide materials and resources that reflect children’s current interests. Gardens provide authentic contexts for learning. Children are actively involved in setting up and taking responsibility for the environment.

Interactions

Children confidently share ideas and experiences with peers and adults. They enjoy working and playing together, and demonstrate the social competences contained in the kindergarten’s values. Teachers know families well and interact positively with children and adults. They listen to children and parents and value their contributions. Parents are well-informed about their children’s progress and kindergarten activities.

Teachers work well as a team and reflection is well embedded in their daily practice. They have complementary strengths and interests, which they use in regular discussions about how well the programme promotes children’s learning. This collaborative approach helps to reinforce shared understandings about what the kindergarten’s philosophy means for programme planning and implementation.

The senior teacher gives useful written feedback to the teachers on what is going well, and suggests next steps that are meaningful, realistic and relevant.

Areas for development and review

Kindergarten staff have identified the following areas for ongoing development and review. ERO’s evaluation agrees with these identified priorities.

Self review

Teachers have yet to complete a full cycle of the association’s self-review framework for 2011. Teachers should continue to focus on improving the rigour, usefulness and effectiveness of self review to guide continuing improvements. The next steps are to ensure that staff document a shared understanding of the purpose and desired outcomes of each review.

Assessment, planning and evaluation

Teachers’ draft response to implementation of the association’s Te Manawa criteria has yet to be consistently evident in practice. Staff have identified the need to continue to increase children’s, parents’ and whānau participation in assessment and programme evaluation.

Cultural diversity

To enhance children’s sense of belonging in the kindergarten, teachers are considering ways to further incorporate the diverse languages and cultures of families in its community.

Transition to school Procedures and practices to support children’s smooth transition to school need strengthening.

Association Support

Background

The 2008 ERO review of the association identified several strengths, including the provision of professional development, sound operation plans, support for property development and the use of a range of communication strategies to keep teachers and communities informed. Areas for improvement included the quality and depth of the written feedback given to teachers by the senior teacher and strengthening the appraisal process.

Since 2008, the association has led consultation with the community to modify session times and improve the ratio of teachers to children from 1:15 to 1:10 and maintained its policy of employing qualified, registered teachers in regulated permanent positions.

The association provides expectations and guidance to the kindergarten through its strategic plan, policies and procedures and more recently, the professional development strategy Te Manawa: Criteria for Curriculum Implementation.

Areas of strength

The association continues to provide high levels of guidance and support to teachers for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning. These include:

  • the strategic plan, setting expectations for participation, parent/whānau involvement and quality teaching practices

  • clearly defined indicators of quality teaching and learning practice through Te Manawa

  • a wide range of professional development opportunities

  • ongoing support in property development, human resource management, finance and resourcing.

Areas for development and review

The association, senior teachers and ERO have identified areas where the association can strengthen its support for teachers. These include:

  • further developing and supporting leadership, including a review of the appraisal process

  • reviewing senior teacher documentation to show how teachers have improved their practice as a result of feedback

  • reviewing how kindergartens’ annual plans for teaching and learning could more explicitly show how teachers respond to the association strategic priorities.

3 National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Inclusion of children with moderate to severe special needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions ensure the continuing well-being, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs
  • children with moderate to severe special needs are supported to be confident and capable learners
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs.

The association’s mission is to provide high quality early childhood education. Being inclusive and developing partnership with parents, whānau and community are a priority. The kindergarten regularly enrols children with special needs.

Areas of strength

An inclusive atmosphere is evident at the kindergarten. Teachers are warm and welcoming. Support workers are included as part of the teaching team. Children include those with special needs naturally into their play. The free choice programme enables children to participate in the programme at their own level. Teachers are supportive of families’ circumstances. They work collaboratively with external agencies to support and benefit the child and their family.

Transitions into the kindergarten are flexible and individually tailored to each child’s needs. Teachers are available and take time to discuss how best to cater for each child.

4 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Miramar North Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreManagement Assurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they have attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5 Recommendations

ERO and the kindergarten leaders agreed that the priorities for development and review are those outlined in the report.

6 Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

About the Centre

Type

All Day Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Roll number

70

Gender composition

Girls 36, Boys 34

Ethnic composition

NZ European/ Pākehā 49,

Māori 5,

Asian 3,

Other ethnic groups 13

Review team on site

November 2011

Date of this report

3 February 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review May 2008

Education Review June 2005

Accountability Review July 1998

3 February 2012

To the Parents and Community of Miramar North Kindergarten

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Miramar North Kindergarten.

Miramar North Kindergarten is affiliated to the Wellington Free Kindergarten Association (the association). The association has a governing board and a general manager. The general manager is the licensee of the kindergarten. The association employs a team of senior teachers, one of whom is responsible for leading the professional support and advice and guidance to the teaching team.

Since the 2008 ERO review there have been significant changes in staffing and the hours of kindergarten operation. The physical environment has also changed, with ongoing development of the indoor and outdoor areas.

Children learn in a stimulating, settled environment, with a programme that is designed to reflect and extend their interests and preferences. A wide range of materials, resources and equipment allows scope for children to choose activities that appeal to them. Teachers know children and their families well, and ensure that learning experiences are meaningful and relevant. Māori cultural elements are evident throughout the programme.

The kindergarten tone is welcoming and inclusive, with positive relationships among children and adults. Parents contribute to the learning environment, and are well informed and involved in decision-making.

Teachers work collaboratively as a team and have a shared understanding of how the kindergarten philosophy can be best expressed through the programme in action. Their daily professional discussions focus on children’s strengths, interests and needs.

As a team, they have identified areas to further develop their effectiveness in promoting children’s learning. These include: more regular use of te reo Māori; greater integration of multicultural elements; strengthening participation of parents and whānau in the documentation of children’s learning; and formal evaluation of the impacts of their practice on outcomes for children. ERO’s external evaluation findings concur with these.

Future Action

ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • National Evaluation Topics – This strand contributes to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.