Strathmore Park Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5381
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
51
Telephone:
Address:

50 A Strathmore Avenue, Strathmore Park-Wellington, Wellington

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Strathmore Park Kindergarten - 08/07/2016

1 Evaluation of Strathmore Park Kindergarten

How well placed is Strathmore Park 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

Strathmore Park Kindergarten is in Strathmore, Wellington. It is licensed for 40 children over two years old and operates five six-hour sessions a week. Younger children attend Wednesday and Friday and older children Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. The community is culturally diverse and children come with a rich range of backgrounds, knowledge, skills and interests.

Since the August 2012 ERO report, there have been some changes to the teaching team. A new part-time teacher joined the staff in 2016.

The 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 Strathmore Park Kindergarten identified a number of areas needing further development including internal evaluation, assessment of children's learning, use of te reo Māori and strategies to promote children's self management. Teachers have made considerable progress in addressing these.

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.

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 firmly embedded in practice. Teachers frequently refer to the kindergarten as a 'community of learners' and this is highly evident as children and adults learn together. A sense of ako and tuakana teina is apparent.

The inclusive, welcoming nature of the kindergarten is a positive feature. Children are learning about the wider world and building positive cross cultural relationships. Their diverse languages and cultures are strongly reflected in their profile books and throughout the kindergarten.

Teachers plan activities and experiences that are supportive of children's developing interests. Challenges for children are highly evident. Children are self managing and regularly show skills of leadership and collaboration.

Pacific children's unique heritage is cherished. There is a strong focus on building trusting relationships with families in ways that promote Pacific values. The concept of fanau is clearly evident.

Since the previous ERO review, bicultural practices have strengthened. Te reo Māori is used frequently and spontaneously by adults and children. Teachers continue to work with key documents and access association support to build their cultural competence to respond to Māori learners.

Children with diverse learning needs are well supported. Teachers work successfully with families and outside agencies to enable their participation and learning alongside their peers.

Profile books record children's participation and enjoyment in the programme. They are increasingly showing evidence of teachers revisiting and extending children’s learning. The senior teacher and head teacher recognise that the emphasis on children’s individual learning and progress needs to strengthen in these books.

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

The head teacher is effectively leading practices to support continuing improvement. She is supporting teachers to take on leadership roles within the kindergarten.

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 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 Strathmore Park Kindergarten are implementing the revised appraisal model.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Strathmore Park Kindergarten to continue to:

  • develop and embed internal evaluation practices
  • strengthen assessment and evaluation of children's learning.

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

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Strathmore Park 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 Strathmore Park Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

8 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

5381

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2 years

Service roll

69

Gender composition

Boys 36, Girls 33

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

6

30

15

18

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

8 July 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

August 2012

Education Review

May 2008

Education Review

August 2005

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children

Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.

Strathmore Park Kindergarten - 07/08/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Strathmore Park 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.

Children and their families are warmly welcomed on arrival. Parents appreciate the multicultural nature of the service and the positive impact it has on children’s understandings of others. Interactions between teachers and children are caring and positive. Children are friendly, confident to approach adults to make requests and share achievements. Teachers support children to negotiate relationships and promote their confidence and well-being.

The programme provides opportunities for children to investigate and explore through making their own play choices. Teachers value and support children’s contribution to the programme and are responsive to their interests. Educators use a range of effective teaching strategies to support children’s learning.

Good quality group planning is appropriately based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and Kei Tua o te Pae Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars. Recognition of learning is sound and regularly evaluated in team meetings. Teachers discuss and document children’s emerging interests and strengths, and identify specific strategies to support individual and group needs.

The kindergarten is well-resourced, with a good variety of learning spaces. Literacy and mathematical development is promoted. Children’s awareness of caring for the environment is fostered through gardening, composting and recycling. The outdoors promotes physical development and play and plans to further develop the space are underway.

The teaching team is aware that its next step is to continue to implement robust self review.

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 Strathmore Park 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 atStrathmore Park 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 the May 2008 ERO review, the kindergarten has restructured, increased session hours and expanded the teaching team. This has improved teacher to child ratios. Educators include a head teacher and three teachers, one of whom is provisionally registered.

Physical changes have been made to the indoor environment to improve working and storage spaces. Developments are underway for considerable change to the outdoor areas.

Areas of strength

Programme

The programme provides opportunities for children to investigate and explore through making their own play choices. Teachers value and support children’s contribution to the programme and are responsive to their interests. Educators use a range of effective teaching strategies to support learning. Questions promote and extend play. Teachers encourage children to lead learning. Educators work alongside children using thoughtful prompts to build confidence and to support emerging and developing literacy and mathematical skills. They model oral language and discuss words and meaning to build children’s vocabulary.

Bicultural perspectives are evident in the programme. Many children share their mihi and confidently take part in waiata and action songs.

Planning

Good quality group planning is appropriately based on Te Whāriki, and Kei Tua o te Pae Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars. Recognition of learning is sound and regularly evaluated. At team meetings educators discuss and document children’s emerging interests and strengths. They identify specific strategies to support groups and individual needs.

Assessment

Learning journals record children’s involvement in the kindergarten programme. Cultural perspectives are included in relevant learning stories.

Teachers are currently reviewing the extent to which children’s voices and self assessments are incorporated in learning journals.

Environment

Children and their families are warmly welcomed on arrival. Parents appreciate the inclusive and multicultural nature of the service and the positive impact it has on children’s understandings of others.

The kindergarten is well-resourced, with a good variety of learning spaces. Literacy and mathematical development is promoted. The outside environment promotes physical development and play. Children’s awareness of caring for the environment is fostered through gardening, composting and recycling.

Interactions

Interactions between teachers and children are caring and positive. Children are friendly, confident to approach adults to make requests and share achievements. Teachers support children to negotiate relationships and promote their confidence and wellbeing.

Self review A sound framework is used to guide self review. Support from the senior teacher is strengthening this process. When revisiting their philosophy teachers focused on their bicultural practices. They developed a clear statement which has been shared with the parent community.

Transition

The teaching team has worked hard to develop relationships with local schools. Transition to school is celebrated through wall displays that provide useful information for children and whānau.

Areas for development and review

Te reo Māori is used effectively at mat times. Teachers are working on purposefully integrating its use throughout the day, to better reflect the team’s support for biculturalism.

Positive guidance procedures cater appropriately for children’s emotional development and could usefully be reviewed to include strategies that promote children’s self management.

The team and ERO agree that work on strengthening continuity in documenting and showing how they are extending children’s learning is an area for development.

Broadening the scope of self review is an identified next step. Planned self review needs to gather momentum. Spontaneous review should occur as appropriate.

Association Support

Background

The previous 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 Strathmore Park Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreManagementAssurance Statement and Self-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.

In order to improve current practice the managers should:

  • ensure that all emergency drills are appropriately recorded
  • ensure that all staff are appraised annually.

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 38, Male 31,

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 23,

Māori 10

Samoan 10,

Other Pacific 7

Other ethnic groups 19

Review team on site

May 2012

Date of this report

7 August 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review May 2008

Education Review August 2005

Accountability Review July 1998

7 August 2012

To the Parents and Community of Strathmore Park Kindergarten

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

Strathmore Park 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.

Children and their families are warmly welcomed on arrival. Parents appreciate the multicultural nature of the service and the positive impact it has on children’s understandings of others. Interactions between teachers and children are caring and positive. Children are friendly, confident to approach adults to make requests and share achievements. Teachers support children to negotiate relationships and promote their confidence and well-being.

The programme provides opportunities for children to investigate and explore through making their own play choices. Teachers value and support children’s contribution to the programme and are responsive to their interests. Educators use a range of effective teaching strategies to support children’s learning.

Good quality group planning is appropriately based on Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and Kei Tua o te Pae Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars. Recognition of learning is sound and regularly evaluated in team meetings. Teachers discuss and document children’s emerging interests and strengths, and identify specific strategies to support individual and group needs.

The kindergarten is well-resourced, with a good variety of learning spaces. Literacy and mathematical development is promoted. Children’s awareness of caring for the environment is fostered through gardening, composting and recycling. The outdoors promotes physical development and play and plans to further develop the space are underway.

The teaching team is aware that its next step is to continue to implement robust self review.

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.