Pukerua Bay Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5378
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
40
Telephone:
Address:

1 Wairaka Road, Pukerua Bay, Porirua

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1 Evaluation of Pukerua Bay Kindergarten

How well placed is Pukerua Bay 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

Pukerua Bay Kindergarten is located in a small seaside community in Porirua, near Wellington. Since the September 2012 ERO report, the service has introduced daily, six hour sessions. Parents make decisions about the days of attendance of children based their individual needs. The service is licensed for 40 children aged over two years and of the 75 children enrolled, 11 are Māori. Refurbishments to the kindergarten's entrance and decking enhance the environment for children and families. A pre-entry group, in a separate building, operates each morning for three hours and a flexible roster allows this to be led by one of the teaching team.

The kindergarten philosophy supports children to be 'curious, interested and inspired by the world around them and seeing themselves as competent and confident learners'.

Pukerua Bay 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 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 previous ERO report for Pukerua Bay Kindergarten identified that teachers needed to further develop their understanding of evaluation to improve outcomes for children. 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.

All six teachers at the kindergarten are qualified and registered. Staff changes since the previous ERO report include a new head teacher and two teachers.

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

The Review Findings

Parents are welcomed and acknowledged as their child’s first teacher. Partnerships are based on acceptance and respect. Teachers encourage and provide opportunities for parents to contribute to their child’s learning.

Assessment is responsive to children's immediate and emerging strengths, interests and skills. Recent changes to recording children's learning have focused on making this more visible for children and parents. Easily accessible portfolio books show individual children's engagement, and at times, their progress. Group learning is effectively captured in wall displays in the kindergarten. Documentation shows evidence of teachers' developing analysis of observations and their increased understanding of children's diverse learning.

Children have fun as part of the learning process, supported by warm, nurturing adults. Teachers use a range of strategies to encourage the development of children's ideas about how the world works. Adults frequently engage in one-to-one, sustained interactions with children. They share values that encourage and promote children's developing social competencies. Teachers have a clear focus on ensuring that practices are supportive and inclusive.

The environment reflects the dual heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand in a variety of ways. The outdoor area is inviting and supports sustainable practices. Children engage with the living world in authentic and meaningful ways. They have opportunities to hear and use te reo Māori within the programme. Teachers continue, through professional learning and development, to extend their practice in giving significance to Māori learners’ culture, language, and identity. ERO's evaluation affirms this development.

Children's seamless transition to kindergarten is supported by the option of attending daily pre-entry sessions. Their move to school is designed to meet their individual needs. The neighbouring school and kindergarten work closely together. Teachers and parents share information to assist children to confidently and capably transfer to new entrant classrooms.

The head teacher provides capable, improvement-focused professional leadership. The teaching team is collegial and enthusiastic. Each teacher plays an active role in the service’s development. Staff demonstrate a commitment to using internal evaluation to strengthen current processes and to meet the objectives in strategic plans to support building capacity and sustainability. Regular communication with parents encourages their contribution to decision-making to enhance outcomes for children.

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.

The 2012 ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal process. 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.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next step for Pukerua Bay Kindergarten:

  • to continue to develop and use shared understandings of internal evaluation to enhance teaching and 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 Pukerua Bay 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 Pukerua Bay Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

16 May 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

Porirua

Ministry of Education profile number

5378

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

75

Gender composition

Girls 41, Boys 34

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Tongan

Cook Island

Latin American

British

Other ethnic groups

11

50

2

2

2

3

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

March 2016

Date of this report

16 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

September 2012

Education Review

May 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.

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Pukerua Bay 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 service provider contact person for 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. She also liaises with the kindergarten community.

Pukerua Bay Kindergarten is an integral part of a small, close knit, well established community which is highly supportive of the centre. Transitions into and out of the kindergarten are well-managed, and staff maintain links with families across generations.

The programme has a strong emphasis on building children’s confidence and ensuring that, as the philosophy states, “children find out who they are and to believe in themselves”. Children’s interests and preferences guide programme development. There is an emphasis on literacy and children use the print rich learning environment to support their development. Information and communication technologies (ICT) add further options for children’s learning in this area.

Wall displays make the programme planning process transparent for parents and visitors. As part of a collaborative approach, teachers encourage contributions from parents and input from children. A bicultural perspective is evident.

Individual and small group play is a feature. Children work collaboratively to explore their environment, make discoveries, follow their interests and play with their friends. They are confident and articulate and approach adults for assistance, additional resources and conversation.

The indoor and outdoor environments provide resources that children use in open-ended, challenging and creative play. Teachers respond well to children’s initiative and creativity and work to support and extend these aspects of children’s learning and exploration.

Teachers know children and their families well. Feedback from parents and families is sought and valued by staff. The kindergarten has a close relationship with the local school. Transition is planned and well managed.

There have been significant staffing changes since the May 2008 ERO report, which has led to the current focus on building a strong teaching team with a shared philosophical understanding.

Staff continue to develop an appreciation of evaluation and self review to better gauge the effectiveness of their teaching strategies and the impact of the programme on children’s learning.

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 Pukerua Bay 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 Pukerua Bay 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.

The Quality of Education

Background

Since the previous ERO report there have been several staffing changes. The teaching team has developed a new team contract to bring a shared and cohesive approach and understanding to their work with young children.

Use of ICT was noted as a particular strength of the programme in the previous ERO report and this continues to be so. Children have good access to ICT resources that particularly supports their literacy development.

Areas of strength

Programme

Teachers provide opportunities for children to have input and assist with decision making about the programme. Children’s preferences and contributions are valued and form the basis of planning, with a strong emphasis on helping children to build relationships and develop a sense of belonging. Programme planning is clear and well documented. Children and their families have access to the complete programme planning process through a clear and purposeful wall display.

Children participate in sustained individual and group play. Established routines provide a stable and flexible framework for the day. Teachers encourage children to act as role models for each other, and support them in large group situations to demonstrate their learning to others. This practice supports children’s growing confidence and leadership capability.

There is an emphasis on literacy learning throughout the programme. This is supported through specific teaching strategies, access to a wide range of resources including ICT and informative wall displays which make aspects of literacy explicit for both children and parents. Early literacy learning is encouraged in all areas of the kindergarten both inside and outdoors. Children respond well to this initiative.

Natural science is an integral part of the programme, and is visible in the indoor and outdoor environments. Children are encouraged to learn about and extend their knowledge of the natural world including planting and looking after the gardens.

A bicultural approach to learning continues to form an important part of the programme. Regular opportunities for children to learn about te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are provided by the head teacher and a part time teacher of te reo Māori.

Children’s learning stories contain a range of perspectives from teachers which has increased the depth and complexity of their recognition of, and response to, children’s learning. Group learning stories identify individual children and connect their learning and behaviour to the group. Teachers have developed a variety of ways to engage with parents and capture parent voice within children’s learning stories. Portfolios are accessible and revisited by children and parents.

Teachers are highly reflective and engage in robust professional discussion. They frequently consider their own practice to gauge children’s learning and progress.

Interactions

Children play collaboratively and cooperatively in small groups for significant periods of time. Respectful and supportive relationships are evident among teachers and children, and between adults. Teachers foster open communication with parents and families. Their input into the programme and children’s portfolios is valued.

Children are secure and confident to take risks with their learning. Teachers use critical questioning, new ideas, and complex language to challenge and extend children’s thinking. Teachers affirm and value children’s contributions.

Environment

The indoor and outdoor environments provide resources that children can use in open-ended and creative play. Teachers respond well to children’s creativity and initiative and work to extend these through critical questioning and additional resourcing, particularly in the visual and expressive arts.

The outdoor environment provides a wide variety of opportunities for appropriate physical challenge, including enclosed and open spaces and different levels of terrain. Resources are freely accessible to children and encourage cooperative play. The indoor environment is well maintained throughout the day.

Māori arts are visible in wall displays and through music. Te reo Māoriis nurtured in conversation with children. The development for children and teachers in te reo Māori is supported through displays of instructions, signs and symbols.

Area for development and review

Teachers are continuing to develop their understanding of evaluation to further improve outcomes for children. ERO concurs with this direction.

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 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Pukerua Bay Kindergarten completed an ERO Centre Management 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:

  • 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.

4 Future Action

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

About the Centre

Type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

40 children over 2

Roll number

69

Gender composition

Female 35, Male 34

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 45,

Māori 11

Other European 9,

Other ethnic groups 4

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

5 September 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review May 2008

Education Review September 2005

Accountability Review July 1998

5 September 2012

To the Parents and Community of Pukerua Bay Kindergarten

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

Pukerua Bay 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 service provider contact person for 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. She also liaises with the kindergarten community.

Pukerua Bay Kindergarten is an integral part of a small, close knit, well established community which is highly supportive of the centre. Transitions into and out of the kindergarten are well-managed, and staff maintain links with families across generations.

The programme has a strong emphasis on building children’s confidence and ensuring that, as the philosophy states, “children find out who they are and to believe in themselves”. Children’s interests and preferences guide programme development. There is an emphasis on literacy and children use the print rich learning environment to support their development. Information and communication technologies (ICT) add further options for children’s learning in this area.

Wall displays make the programme planning process transparent for parents and visitors. As part of a collaborative approach, teachers encourage contributions from parents and input from children. A bicultural perspective is evident.

Individual and small group play is a feature. Children work collaboratively to explore their environment, make discoveries, follow their interests and play with their friends. They are confident and articulate and approach adults for assistance, additional resources and conversation.

The indoor and outdoor environments provide resources that children use in open-ended, challenging and creative play. Teachers respond well to children’s initiative and creativity and work to support and extend these aspects of children’s learning and exploration.

Teachers know children and their families well. Feedback from parents and families is sought and valued by staff. The kindergarten has a close relationship with the local school. Transition is planned and well managed.

There have been significant staffing changes since the May 2008 ERO report, which has led to the current focus on building a strong teaching team with a shared philosophical understanding.

Staff continue to develop an appreciation of evaluation and self review to better gauge the effectiveness of their teaching strategies and the impact of the programme on children’s learning.

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.

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services

Central Region (Acting)

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.
  • 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.