Otaki Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5370
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
42
Telephone:
Address:

68 Waerenga Road, Otaki

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Otaki Kindergarten - 05/06/2015

1.Evaluation of Otaki Kindergarten

How well placed is Otaki 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

Otaki Kindergarten 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 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.

The February 2012 ERO report for Otaki Kindergarten identified that assessment and planning for children’s learning needed further development. Areas where the Wellington Kindergarten Association needed to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified. 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 appropriately addressed.

All teachers at Otaki Kindergarten are qualified. The teaching team is long established. The head teacher has been in her post for 20 years. An increase in the enrolment of younger children led to the permanent appointment of a provisionally registered teacher in 2013.

This review was part of a cluster of 12 kindergarten reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Children actively participate in a playbased programme for sustained periods. Their sense of belonging is fostered through the regular routines. The outdoor area is well resourced to engage children’s interest in the environment and natural world.

Teachers know children well within the context of their family. They successfully draw on parents' skills to enhance the curriculum. The kindergarten is inclusive of all families and ethnicities. Teachers are developing strategies to support Pacific children.

Self review is in the very early stages of development. The head teacher and teachers need support to strengthen their understanding of the self-review process and knowledge of evaluation. This should aid the team to monitor the effectiveness of centre operations and practice and guide future decision making.

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. This continues to require strengthening at Otaki Kindergarten.

Children’s pukapuka show their participation in the programme and at times highlight their emerging interests. Teachers should strengthen these records to better illustrate learning over time. Developments should also include a focus on how programme planning responds to individual and group interests and strengths, and how teachers add challenge to children’s learning.

The February 2012 ERO report identified that the association needed to improve appraisal processes to better support teaching and leadership capability. These processes continue to require strengthening. A recently revised appraisal model, yet to be implemented, has the potential to improve processes to better support the development of teachers and leaders. This 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.

Children at Otaki Kindergarten have opportunities to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. They are learning in a bicultural environment that includes Māori skills, concepts, language, customs and beliefs. Teachers and association leaders acknowledge they need to build their capability to be more culturally responsive. This includes making greater use ofKa Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

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.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree Otaki Kindergarten teachers should seek support from the association to strengthen:

  • self review and its purpose in promoting improved outcomes for children
  • appraisal for improvement and accountability
  • assessment, planning and evaluation for children’s learning.

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 senior teachers. This should include:

  • 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 Otaki 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.

Since the on-site phase of the review, the kindergarten has addressed concerns ERO had about documentation related to excursions; and about meeting requirements of the Privacy Act 1993 in relation to information about children and parents/caregivers of those children who attend the service. The service provider must ensure that these recent improvements to practice are maintained.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

5 June 2015

2. Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Otaki

Ministry of Education profile number

5370

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

79

Gender composition

Girls 48,

Boys 31

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

30

39

5

5

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

February 2015

Date of this report

5 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

February 2012

 

Education Review

June 2008

 

Education Review

September 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.

Otaki Kindergarten - 15/02/2012

1. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Otaki Kindergarten is affiliated to the Wellington Region 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, advice and guidance to this teaching team, and for liaison with the kindergarten community.

The kindergarten is situated on the Kapiti Coast, in the township of Otaki. A highly positive and collaborative teaching team provides strong support and manaaki for children and their families. There is a deep and authentic sense of care and concern for people and place. At all levels, positive, nurturing and respectful relationships are highly evident. Transitions into the kindergarten and on to primary school are affirming and inclusive.

The environment is fascinating for children to investigate. Sustainability is integral to the various projects and themes that are explored. Most resources and furniture are handmade or recycled, which gives uniqueness to the setting and the programme. Children plant, cultivate or cook the food produced, and use natural materials in artwork.

Children’s views and suggestions are sought. They are empowered as decision makers, working closely with friends and adults to share their ideas and discoveries. They show a strong sense of belonging and confidence and regularly suggest and plan activities. Teachers are highly responsive to children’s interests, questions and observations as they learn through play. Children and adults show enthusiasm as they explore developing skills and concepts together.

Teachers use daily routines and transition times as key learning opportunities. They demonstrate respect for children and their choices. Independence, cooperation and self care are fostered. Younger peers are supported by older experts. The tone is highly inclusive, all children are valued for their individual strengths and are able to work at their own pace and level of involvement. Effort and ideas are celebrated.

The kindergarten team has a shared vision, philosophy and goals. These are clearly evident in practice. Teachers value and use self review for improvement. Otaki Kindergarten is well placed to continue to provide high quality care and education.

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 Otaki 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 at Otaki 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

The Otaki Kindergarten head teacher and teachers are an established and experienced team. They organise the children into two groups, known as Tuakana and Teina, according to age and development. The kindergarten has received recognition for its strong focus on sustainability.

Areas of strength

Philosophy The team’s rich philosophy is deeply embedded in practice. Otaki Kindergarten puts the strengths and interests of the individual child at the centre of the curriculum. Authentic and meaningful learning experiences are provided so that children learn by doing. Hands-on activities help children develop a range of relevant skills and concepts at their own pace, and in partnership with their friends and adults.

Learning environment The attractive grounds and gardens of the kindergarten are highly interesting for young children to explore. Many secret and quiet places are provided for children to discover and watch insects and other creatures. There is a good array of equipment that encourages physical and dramatic play. Mathematical, literacy, science and technological pursuits are supported by thoughtfully-considered areas for experimenting, investigating and recording developing ideas.

Relationships Whanaungatanga and community engagement are central to the kindergarten’s culture. Interactions are very warm, welcoming and nurturing. Care and manaaki is embedded in relationships and actions. Families are treated with respect. They show a deep sense of trust in staff and are confident to discuss needs and interests with them. Parents are encouraged to explore the environment with their child. Many stay to play during the session. Support and partnership is highly evident.

Te ao Māori A strong commitment to promoting success for Māori is a key facet of the team’s philosophy and practice. A rich partnership with whānau and local iwi is highly evident, and continues to grow through review and consultation. Members of the nearby marae have a close association with teachers and children and enjoy sharing their stories, expertise and te reo Māori with the kindergarten. This strong partnership is mutually beneficial.

Teaching team Effective leadership promotes and makes good use of the strengths and expertise of teachers. A committed and positive team ethic is clearly evident. Teachers have enthusiasm and a collective ‘can do’ attitude, which embraces new ideas and improvement.

Programme planning Teachers know the children well. Team discussion helps them to shape the programme in response to evolving strengths, interests and needs. They listen, observe, and respond to key learning opportunities. Since the 2008 ERO review, teachers have worked to further enhance planning and assessment. Children’s kindergarten books are attractive, individualised and have a clear focus on documenting their ideas and choices in learning.

Learning through play Children engage in purposeful, sustained play and exploration. They are confident and enthusiastic in their activities. A strong sense of belonging is evident. Children are confident to initiate conversations, to share their discoveries and achievements, and to ask for support from adults or peers. They move and adapt equipment and resources to suit their play needs. Well-timed conversations and placement of resources by adults further enhance play. There is a clear sense of fun and wonder.

Routines Routines are thoughtfully considered. Teachers model and promote cooperation and respect for others and for the environment. The tone is peaceful and harmonious. Self care and independence are fostered. For example, children can make and cook their own pizza using produce from the gardens when they are hungry. Younger peers are helped by older experts.

Partnership The teaching team has a strong culture of collaboration within the kindergarten and also with the community. This includes other early childhood services, education professionals, support agencies and schools. Teachers are keen to show and share ideas, philosophy and high quality practices with others to enhance early childhood education overall.

Self review Spontaneous and planned reviews are well used to scrutinise practice. Teachers are highly reflective. The association’s introduction of Te Manawa as a guiding resource for kindergartens has helped the team refine its self-review practices. The head teacher effectively builds team practice using self review as a guide to improvement, with positive outcomes for children, families and whānau.

Area for development and review

Assessment, planning and evaluation Teachers are keen to further enhance processes for planning and assessment. An existing forum for team discussion could be better used for reviewing children’s progress toward their goals at key points in time. Possibilities for adapting resources and shaping the programme would guide planning in a considered way, and ensure ideas for providing challenge and extending learning are shared and recorded.

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’s 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
Areas of strength

The kindergarten culture is highly inclusive. All teachers model warmth, openness and interest in others. They show great empathy and understanding. Families and children are well supported by effective transition practices. Information about a child’s strengths, interests and specific needs is shared openly in a three-way conversation between families, staff and support agencies.

Children with special needs are nurtured as confident members of the kindergarten. Specific programmes are planned and reviewed regularly, and teachers ensure the environment and resources are well aligned to their needs. Their achievements are affirmed by adults and their peers. They are supported in following their interests. These children are viewed as competent learners, with their own gifts and talents.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Otaki Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they 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

45 children, aged over 2

Roll number

82

Gender composition

46 Boys, 36 Girls

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 49,

Māori 20,

Pacific 6,

Chinese 4,

Indian 2,

Other ethnic groups 1

Review team on site

December 2011

Date of this report

15 February 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review June 2008

Education Review September 2005 Accountability Review July 1998

 

15 February 2012

To the Parents and Community of Otaki Kindergarten

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

Otaki Kindergarten is affiliated to the Wellington Region 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, advice and guidance to this teaching team, and for liaison with the kindergarten community.

The kindergarten is situated on the Kapiti Coast, in the township of Otaki. A highly positive and collaborative teaching team provides strong support and manaaki for children and their families. There is a deep and authentic sense of care and concern for people and place. At all levels, positive, nurturing and respectful relationships are highly evident. Transitions into the kindergarten and on to primary school are affirming and inclusive.

The environment is fascinating for children to investigate. Sustainability is integral to the various projects and themes that are explored. Most resources and furniture are handmade or recycled, which gives uniqueness to the setting and the programme. Children plant, cultivate or cook the food produced, and use natural materials in artwork.

Children’s views and suggestions are sought. They are empowered as decision makers, working closely with friends and adults to share their ideas and discoveries. They show a strong sense of belonging and confidence and regularly suggest and plan activities. Teachers are highly responsive to children’s interests, questions and observations as they learn through play. Children and adults show enthusiasm as they explore developing skills and concepts together.

Teachers use daily routines and transition times as key learning opportunities. They demonstrate respect for children and their choices. Independence, cooperation and self care are fostered. Younger peers are supported by older experts. The tone is highly inclusive, all children are valued for their individual strengths and are able to work at their own pace and level of involvement. Effort and ideas are celebrated.

The kindergarten team has a shared vision, philosophy and goals. These are clearly evident in practice. Teachers value and use self review for improvement. Otaki Kindergarten is well placed to continue to provide high quality care and education.

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.