Waikanae Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5388
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
48
Telephone:
Address:

Ngaio Road, Waikanae

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Waikanae Kindergarten - 27/05/2016

1 Evaluation of Waikanae Kindergarten

How well placed is Waikanae 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

Waikanae Kindergarten is located in Waikanae, north of Wellington on the Kapiti Coast. Since the March 2102 ERO report, hours of operation have changed and the service now offers six hour sessions, five days a week for children from two years to school age. All teachers at the kindergarten are qualified and registered.

Waikanae 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 March 2012 ERO report for Waikanae Kindergarten, identified that planning and evaluation practices, self review and the promotion of children's independence during routines needed further development.

Areas for the association to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified. 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

Children are well-supported to learn about the natural world and to care for their environment. They play amiably with their peers. Deliberate and well-considered teaching strategies support their growing independence.

Parents and whānau are warmly welcomed into the kindergarten. They frequently stay within the sessions to talk to teachers, to network with one another and to play alongside their children. Manaakitanga is highly evident.

Bicultural practices are strengthening and are evident in daily routines. Teachers are beginning to more purposefully respond to the cultures of Pacific children.

Māori children's language, identity and culture are fostered by their experiences at kindergarten. They show confidence and leadership as they share aspects of te ao Māori with their peers.

Assessment of children's learning has been a recent focus for teachers. They know where they want to make improvements. ERO's evaluation affirms this direction. Particular attention should be given to how assessment informs curriculum planning to support the next steps in children's learning.

A useful range of strategies assists children and their families as they move to school. Links with a number of local schools helps to promote experiences to encourage smooth transitions.

Children with special needs are well supported. Teachers work in collaboration with parents, whānau and outside agencies to encourage their participation in the programme alongside their peers.

Teachers use self review to identify aspects of their practice needing development. They have taken action and improvements are evident. The senior teacher, head teacher and staff recognise that the focus of internal evaluation should now develop from investigating if staff are doing something, to how well they are doing it.

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 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. Teachers at Waikanae Kindergarten are successfully implementing this new process. Leaders foster a culture of reflection and constructive critique.

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, staff and ERO agree on the following key next steps for Waikanae Kindergarten:

  • continue to strengthen the evaluation of children’s learning to better inform future planning

  • further develop internal evaluation practices.

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 Waikanae 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 Waikanae Kindergarten will be in three years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

27 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

Waikanae, Wellington

Ministry of Education profile number

5388

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2 years

Service roll

75

Gender composition

Boys 39, Girls 36

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

Other ethnic groups

8

55

5

7

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

27 May 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

March 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.

Waikanae Kindergarten - 02/03/2012

1 The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Waikanae 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 licensed 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.

A recent initiative is Te Manawa, the association’s Criteria for Curriculum Implementation. This provides a clear framework for teachers to deliver a high-quality, inclusive early childhood education programme.

A recently appointed head teacher has focused on building a collaborative and cohesive teaching team, after a period of staff change. A positive, harmonious tone is evident. Regular communication and shared understandings of expectations promote a mutually supportive community. Involving parents and whānau in learning partnerships is an ongoing priority.

The programme strongly reflects the kindergarten’s philosophy and is responsive to children’s emerging interests. It provides opportunities for children to engage in rich exploratory, social and imaginative play. An attractive and stimulating learning environment invites and sustains children’s curiosity. Wall displays and learning stories affirm children’s identities, interests and achievements. Information for parents is clearly communicated and attractively presented.

Children collaborate productively in their play and interact in supportive and meaningful ways. Teachers focus on the holistic needs and development of children. They support and affirm children to play well as good friends and to make appropriate choices in their developing relationships.

Enhancing aspects of the programme, and strengthening planning and self review processes should promote ongoing improvement.

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 Waikanae 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 atWaikanae 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 May 2008 ERO review identified that the kindergarten provided a high quality learning environment for children. Teachers were responsive, inclusive and reflective. Areas for improvement included aspects of assessment, planning and evaluation and teachers gaining an in-depth understanding of self review.

A recently appointed head teacher has focused on building a collaborative and cohesive teaching team within the kindergarten, after a period of staff change.

Areas of strength

Programme

The development of children’s social competence underpins the programme. Children are busy and engaged in their play, working collaboratively and cooperatively. They choose from a wide variety of interesting learning activities, which stimulate and develop their emerging interests. Well-established and clearly understood routines provide a structure to the day. Children’s needs are recognised, monitored and appropriately addressed. Practices to promote inclusion for all children are well supported.

An ongoing emphasis on involving parents and whānau in learning partnerships is evident. Developing connections to the local environment, the marae and Māori community enriches learning.

Environment

An attractive and interesting environment invites children to engage in a wide range of exploratory, social and imaginative play. They confidently access and organise resources for their learning, and show a sense of belonging. Care for the natural environment is fostered through the tending of the extensive edible gardens. These provide ongoing opportunities for investigation and sustained learning.

Wall displays and learning stories affirm children’s identities, interests and achievements. Children are encouraged to regularly revisit and enrich their learning experiences through portfolios, and interactive and photographic displays. A bicultural perspective is reflected in the environment and the use of natural materials is promoted. Information for parents is clearly communicated and attractively presented.

Interactions

Warm, welcoming and caring interactions are evident in teachers’ conversations with children and their families. Teachers respond to children’s communication with curiosity and interest. Rich, descriptive language is used to support children’s expanding vocabulary and build conceptual understandings. Ongoing communication between teachers focuses on children’s well-being and learning.

Children interact in rich, supportive and meaningful ways. Positive interpersonal relationships are fostered. Strategies to promote friendship and cooperation are explicitly shared and developed with children.

Assessment, planning and evaluation

Teachers work to develop a shared understanding of children’s interests and progress. They regularly discuss children’s well-being, successes and involvement in the programme. Planning stories provide useful records of learning. They promote reflection on the programme and outcomes for children, and identify possible new directions for learning.

Planning walls effectively communicate key ideas and developments in focus areas to children and their families. Portfolios provide a portrait of the child as a learner and show learning over time. These promote and give value to contributions from children and their families.

Areas for development and review

Routines and transition times do not consistently provide opportunities for rich interaction or fully support children’s developing independence. Reviewing aspects of the programme in greater depth to explore ways to more effectively promote children’s developing strengths, independence and leadership should strengthen practice.

Staff continue to develop their planning and evaluation practices. Further refining of processes should enable teachers to respond more effectively to assessment information through the planned programme.

Staff acknowledge self review is in the early stages of development. Establishing shared in-depth understanding and practice of self-review should strengthen decision-making and enhance outcomes for children.

Other Priorities

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

Productive partnerships are established and maintained with support agencies, whānau and kindergarten staff to provide education and care for children with moderate to severe learning needs. Parents’ knowledge of the child, their aspirations and perspectives are sought and valued. Conversation about children’s specific needs is open and ongoing.

Transition into and from the centre is tailored to the individual’s needs. Personalised books constructed to identify key people, routines and aspects of the environment, provide support for whānau. These help to ease a child’s transition into the kindergarten environment. Good connections with local schools are established and information is shared to enhance the transition process.

Teachers promote a range of inclusive practices and equip the children with specific strategies for communicating and playing productively. Planning clearly identifies goals and planned actions, which are well monitored. Individual books are developed to celebrate the child’s strengths and interests, and are shared with peers.

4 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Waikanae Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they 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 Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2 years

Roll number

71

Gender composition

Girls 37, Boys 34

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 44,

Māori 14,

Pacific 5,

Other ethnic groups 8

Review team on site

November 2011

Date of this report

2 March 2012

Previous three ERO reports

Education Review May 2008

Education Review June 2005

Accountability Review July 1998

2 March 2012

To the Parents and Community of Waikanae Kindergarten

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

Waikanae 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 licensed 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.

A recent initiative is Te Manawa, the association’s Criteria for Curriculum Implementation. This provides a clear framework for teachers to deliver a high-quality, inclusive early childhood education programme.

A recently appointed head teacher has focused on building a collaborative and cohesive teaching team, after a period of staff change. A positive, harmonious tone is evident. Regular communication and shared understandings of expectations promote a mutually supportive community. Involving parents and whānau in learning partnerships is an ongoing priority.

The programme strongly reflects the kindergarten’s philosophy and is responsive to children’s emerging interests. It provides opportunities for children to engage in rich exploratory, social and imaginative play. An attractive and stimulating learning environment invites and sustains children’s curiosity. Wall displays and learning stories affirm children’s identities, interests and achievements. Information for parents is clearly communicated and attractively presented.

Children collaborate productively in their play and interact in supportive and meaningful ways. Teachers focus on the holistic needs and development of children. They support and affirm children to play well as good friends and to make appropriate choices in their developing relationships.

Enhancing aspects of the programme, and strengthening planning and self review processes should promote ongoing improvement.

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.