Seatoun Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5380
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
52
Telephone:
Address:

14 Gore Street, Seatoun, Wellington

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1 Evaluation of Seatoun Kindergarten

How well placed is Seatoun 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

Seatoun Kindergarten is located in a south Wellington seaside community. The service is licensed for 40 children aged over two years and of the 63 children enrolled, 10 are Māori. Since the January 2012 ERO report, the kindergarten has diversified to offer five six hour sessions for a mixed age group. Parents also have the option of whānau grouping for their children.

The kindergarten philosophy values offering a programme that is inclusive, child-led, fun, challenging, inviting and identifies each child as a learner in an environment that allows children to explore and extend their learning.

Seatoun 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 Seatoun Kindergarten identified that teachers needed to further develop assessment for learning and strengthen their understanding of evaluation. 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 five teachers at the kindergarten are qualified and registered.

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

The Review Findings

Children and their families are warmly welcomed. Parents spend time in the kindergarten, contributing to their child's learning. They are actively involved in events and celebrations. Teachers and parents regularly share information to support children’s learning and wellbeing. Visual displays encourage further links between home and kindergarten.

Learners benefit from the inviting and well-resourced environment. Interesting play areas encourage children’s curiosity, exploration and sense of discovery. They settle into activities of interest and sustain their play for extended periods. Teachers know children well. Nurturing relationships are evident.

Children confidently take part in learning. They make choices about play and set challenges for themselves. Use of digital technology enhances programme opportunities. Children initiate conversations and interactions with their peers and adults. They develop cooperative relationships through their engagement with others and are competent and enthusiastic learners.

Assessment is responsive to children's immediate and emerging strengths, interests and skills. Teachers' approach to assessment for learning is a current focus for the teaching team. Further evaluation of the impact of teaching strategies and curriculum decisions on children's learning to determine next steps should enrich outcomes for children.

Teachers provide children with a range of opportunities to integrate te reo me ngā tikanga Māori practices incidentally within the programme. Staff continue to explore ways of enhancing culturally responsive practices for Māori learners.

Transition to school focuses on supporting children to be confident in a new situation. Kindergarten teachers support families with information and through discussions. Positive relationships have been developed with the adjacent school.

The teaching team is focused on establishing a positive staff culture. As a result, teachers work collaboratively and support each other. The head teacher provides effective leadership. Developing internal evaluation processes are beginning to strengthen current systems and meet the objectives in strategic plans to support improvement and accountability.

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 previous 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, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Seatoun Kindergarten to continue:

  • embedding assessment, planning and evaluation practices to guide future teaching and learning

  • to develop and use shared understandings of internal evaluation.

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 Seatoun 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 Seatoun Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

18 July 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

Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

5380

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

63

Gender composition

Boys 35, Girls 28

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Samoan

Tongan

Other ethnic groups

10

47

1

1

4

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

18 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

January 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

Seatoun 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 and advice and guidance to the teaching team. She also liaises with the kindergarten community.

Since the 2008 ERO review the kindergarten has extended its hours of operation and improved teacher to child ratios. Teachers work well together to support children and each other in an inclusive environment. They know children and their families well. There is a strong emphasis on whānau and relationships. Teachers encourage parents to participate in children’s learning and play.

Children are confident to approach teachers and other adults to share their achievements, ask questions or seek help. They are trusting and supportive of each other, engaging well in a range of activities. Teachers encourage children to be competent explorers and productive learners. Sustained cooperative role play allows for the development of interests and relationships. Hui time is used to empower and develop children’s leadership, their ability to question and share knowledge as experts. In this way they share ideas and gain confidence in speaking and social skills.

Group planning arises from the emergent interests of children. Good quality learning and planning displays explain the origin of interests, demonstrate how these are proceeding and note the learning that has occurred. Literacy, numeracy and science experiences are integrated into discussions and activities. Problem solving is fostered in all aspects of the programme. Music and movement is integrated throughout the morning and during end of session mat time.

Regular reflection supports ongoing spontaneous review. Association guidelines are well used to support self review. This ERO review identified that teachers need to continue to strengthen self review and further develop learning stories.

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 Seatoun 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 atSeatoun 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.

3 The Quality of Education

Background

Since the 2008 ERO review the kindergarten has extended its hours of operation. The teaching team has increased by two part-time teachers. The team of five have worked together for the last three years.

All recommendations from the previous ERO report have been, or are being, addressed. Property improvement has included a major modification of the outdoor environment and redevelopment of the teachers’ office.

Areas of strength

Teachers work well together to support children and each other in an inclusive environment. They know children and their families well. Teachers are available to warmly welcome whānau and encourage parents to participate in children’s learning and play. Communication and consultation is ongoing. Children are confident to approach teachers and other adults to share their achievements, ask questions or seek help. They are trusting and supportive of each other. Teachers are responsive to children’s physical and emotional needs.

The buildings invite positive learning experiences. Well set up and resourced activity areas support children’s choice and programme delivery indoors and out. Good use of space, with effective indoor/outdoor flow, provides opportunities for children to work independently or with their peers. A print-rich environment provides a range of children’s displays, programme information and bilingual prompts. Displays strongly reflect a commitment to celebrating multiculturalism. The outdoors invites exploration and the variety of contours promotes physical challenge.

Programme content emphasises caring for the environment. The importance of recycling and promotion of healthy eating habits is fostered. Natural resources are used to develop children’s creativity and appreciation of their surroundings, including tending the gardens.

The kindergarten philosophy is evident in the programme and the environment. Children are well engaged in a range of activities and are encouraged to be competent explorers and productive learners. Sustained cooperative role play allows for the development of interests and relationships. Music and movement are integrated throughout the morning and during end of session mat time. Routines are well known to children. Positive behaviour strategies are used effectively by teachers. Independence and choice are promoted.

Literacy, numeracy and science experiences are integrated into discussions and activities. A problem-solving approach is fostered in all aspects of the programme.

Hui time is used to empower and develop children’s leadership, ability to question and share knowledge as teachers. Children share their ideas and gain confidence in speaking and social skills.

Te Manawa, the association’s criteria for curriculum implementation, is used to clearly document the process for group and individual learning, including children’s portfolios. Group planning arises from the interests of children. Teachers bring learning stories to their regular hui discussions, reflection meetings and use these, along with a daily diary, to record children’s learning and interests. Good quality learning and planning displays explain the origin of interests, demonstrate how these are proceeding and note the learning that has occurred.

Attractively presented, easily accessible children’s profiles provide families with a good record of their child’s learning and involvement in activities. There is an appropriate balance of individual and group learning stories. Links between these stories are becoming more evident as a result of professional development and a recent review of profiles. Te reo Māori is used to affirm children’s learning within stories. Profiles are frequently revisited by children and parents to share and recall past learning activities.

Strong links are developed with the local primary school. Children visit new entrant classrooms to make connections and ensure that the move to school is non-threatening. Kindergarten displays include photographs of the school principal, teachers and friends already at school. Regular visits to the local school library facilitate smooth transitions.

Association guidelines and regular reflection are well used to support the review process. An appropriate current review is about improving learning stories to ensure that individual profiles truly represent how each child learns.

Areas for development and review

Staff have identified, and ERO’s external evaluation agrees, the need to further develop assessment documentation to:

  • ensure that there are documented learning stories for all children. Recent monitoring has started to ensure equitable provision
  • document parent input to the profiles and follow up and acknowledge this to parents
  • include next learning steps more frequently in children’s learning stories.

ERO also identified the need for more robust self review to support continuous improvement.

Appraisal implementation lacks specific constructive feedback to guide teachers’ improvement of their practice.

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.

4 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

All teachers interact inclusively with the children their education support workers (ESWs) and their families. Children transition in with their parents, spending time getting to know the teachers, their ESW, other children and the environment.

Teachers gather information about the respective needs of these children to understand and support their learning.

A wide range of external agencies assist in the planning for and support of each child. Well prepared learning plans are written. Goals are set and strategies for achieving these are documented. Regular review meetings to track progress and revise goals are held. Each meeting includes reports by the head teacher, parents and specialists.

The teachers assist with the transition of these children into school. All children mix freely and help each other.

5 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Seatoun 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.

6 Recommendation

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

7 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 over 2 years of age

Roll number

75

Gender

Girls 46 Boys 29

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 60,

Other European 8,

Māori 6,

Pacific 1

Review team on site

November 2011

Date of this report

13 January 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review May 2008

Education Review June 2005

Accountability review July 1998

13 January 2012

To the Parents and Community of Seatoun Kindergarten

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

Seatoun 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 and advice and guidance to the teaching team. She also liaises with the kindergarten community.

Since the 2008 ERO review the kindergarten has extended its hours of operation and improved teacher to child ratios. Teachers work well together to support children and each other in an inclusive environment. They know children and their families well. There is a strong emphasis on whānau and relationships. Teachers encourage parents to participate in children’s learning and play.

Children are confident to approach teachers and other adults to share their achievements, ask questions or seek help. They are trusting and supportive of each other, engaging well in a range of activities. Teachers encourage children to be competent explorers and productive learners. Sustained cooperative role play allows for the development of interests and relationships. Hui time is used to empower and develop children’s leadership, their ability to question and share knowledge as experts. In this way they share ideas and gain confidence in speaking and social skills.

Group planning arises from the emergent interests of children. Good quality learning and planning displays explain the origin of interests, demonstrate how these are proceeding and note the learning that has occurred. Literacy, numeracy and science experiences are integrated into discussions and activities. Problem solving is fostered in all aspects of the programme. Music and movement is integrated throughout the morning and during end of session mat time.

Regular reflection supports ongoing spontaneous review. Association guidelines are well used to support self review. This ERO review identified that teachers need to continue to strengthen self review and further develop learning stories.

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.