Wellington South Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5390
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
27
Telephone:
Address:

103 Owen Street, Newtown, Wellington

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1. Evaluation of Wellington South Kindergarten

How well placed is Wellington South 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

Wellington South Kindergarten is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. The transition to the new association is expected to be a three-year process.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

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 January 2012 ERO report for Wellington South Kindergarten identified that planning and assessment, self review, appraisal and implementation of Te Manawa needed further development. Many areas recognised as strengths have been sustained.

Areas where the association needed to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified at the time. Improvement continues to be needed in some of these areas that the association has plans to address. These feature as key next steps in this report. The alignment of individual kindergartens' annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been addressed. A diverse programme and warm interactions between children and teachers continue to be strengths.

All teachers at Wellington South Kindergarten are qualified. At the time of this review, an appointment to the part-time teaching position was pending. The centre operates mixed-age sessions five days a week. Children attending the centre come from many different ethnic backgrounds.

This review was part of a cluster of 16 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua kindergartens.

The Review Findings

Aspects of the philosophy are highly evident in practice. Children are encouraged to lead learning for themselves and others. Their play is supported by teachers who use appropriate strategies to ensure they develop skills in English, as an additional language.

Teachers provide a child-centred and holistic curriculum that supports the learning needs of the ethnically diverse kindergarten community. Staff encourage children's exploration and investigation and support the development of their social behaviour. Child-initiated numeracy and literacy activities are highly evident.

Teachers have close ties with children and their families. Suitable processes support parents and children who have English as a second language. Entry to the kindergarten for these families is personalised and thoughtfully managed to meet families’ individual needs. Support to prepare for progression to school is also given.

The consistency of quality in assessment of children’s learning and the sharing of this through individual profile books requires further development. They successfully respond to individual and group interests.

Self review is established and beginning to contribute to decision making and positive change. A next step is for teachers to further their understanding and implementation of these processes.

Teachers are reflective and work well together. Support for the development of teachers as leaders should be provided in a consistent, timely manner in order to ensure continued growth and development within the centre.

The senior teacher provides termly written reports that outline agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. The association has recently implemented new reports that should more deliberately focus on outcomes for children, and teacher and leader performance. ERO's evaluation affirms this development

The 2012 ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal processes. These continue to require development. A recently revised appraisal model, yet to be implemented, includes: more focused goals that build teacher and leader capability; more regular and targeted feedback and feed forward about teaching practice; and clearer links with the Registered Teacher Criteria.

Children at Wellington South Kindergarten have frequent opportunities to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. There is a considered approach to sharing and respecting all cultures within the centre. Association leaders acknowledge that they need to build teachers’ capability to be responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity. This development should include establishing relationships with mana whenua and making use of Ministry of Education resources such as, Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners.

Key Next Steps

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

  • to review and strengthen assessment and evaluation of children’s learning, including the use and presentation of their profile books
  • to strengthen approaches for the development of professional practices and leadership within the centre, including self review and appraisal.

The senior management team of He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua should continue to further improve processes for growing and developing the practice of teachers, head teachers and senior teachers. These should include:

  • improvements to the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens
  • regular implementation of a robust appraisal system
  • building teachers’ capability to be more responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Wellington South 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.

In order to improve practice, leaders need to be clear about how they use equity funding to promote learning and the sense of belonging for children and families.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

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

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

22 June 2015

2. Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Wellington city

Ministry of Education profile number

5390

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Service roll

42

Gender composition

Girls 22,

Boys 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

Somali

Assyrian

Ethiopian

Pacific

NZ European/Pākehā

Other ethnic groups

1

12

7

7

5

1

9

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

May 2015

Date of this report

22 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

January 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

Wellington South 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.

Te Manawa, the association’s criteria for curriculum implementation, is a recent positive initiative. The document provides a clear framework for teachers to deliver a high quality, inclusive early childhood education programme.

The kindergarten caters for children from 2 years of age and operates daily from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm. The kindergarten is located in the multicultural central city suburb of Newtown, which comprises a number of refugee and migrant communities. Children attending bring a rich diversity of cultural and language experiences.

The kindergarten operates as an integrated service, an association initiative. A priority is to collaborate with a wide range of community services to act as a support network for families. Afternoon playgroups operate regularly and are supported by kindergarten staff.

Since the May 2008 ERO review there have been major building alterations and improved access. Modifications to the indoor area, including the bathroom and kitchen facilities, have produced a well-organised and attractive space. Improved access to the outdoor area allows children to make choices about their play.

Children demonstrate a sense of belonging and interact positively with each other in child-initiated play. Teachers know children well and are warm and welcoming in their interactions with them and their families. Children with special learning needs are well integrated into the programme and teachers work productively with families to provide appropriate care and support.

Staff work collaboratively to develop a shared understanding of effective teaching and learning and consider ways to increase challenge and complexity in children’s learning. Further development of processes in assessment and planning, and self review should strengthen practice and improve outcomes for children.

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 Wellington South 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 atWellington South 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 previous report, structural and physical developments have occurred, and there have been a number of staff changes. The current teaching team is supported by a recently appointed head teacher, the association, and a senior teacher who liaises with the kindergarten.

In 2009 the kindergarten changed to an all day licence, which has improved teacher to child ratios. The kindergarten now operates 5-hour daily sessions. Children and families attending have a diverse range of cultural and language backgrounds.

Areas of strength

Programme Child-initiated and play-based activities form the basis of the programme. Flexible routines support children’s growing independence, which is actively fostered. Teachers provide a range of opportunities for revisiting and building on prior learning experiences. Children interact positively with others of different ethnic groups as they engage in independent and cooperative play. Teachers know children well in the context of their families. A commitment to bicultural practice is evident and aspects of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are integrated into the programme.

Assessment, planning and evaluation Attractive and well-presented portfolios, documenting aspects of children’s learning, are readily accessible to children and their whānau. Teachers use a narrative approach to highlight children’s developing friendships and engagement in the programme.

Interactions Teachers are positive, warm and welcoming in their interactions with children and their families. Children demonstrate a sense of belonging and confidently approach teachers for support and assistance. Teachers are inclusive and recognise children’s individual strengths and differences. They model strategies to encourage sharing, turn-taking and playing co-operatively. At times, children engage in sustained conversation with teachers who use rich, descriptive language and effective strategies to extend learning.

Environment Children play in a well-organised and attractive space. A range of appropriate resources are available for them to freely access. Improved flow between the outdoor and indoor areas allows children to make choices about their play.

Leadership and self review The new head teacher works productively to build a collaborative team and develop a shared understanding of effective teaching and learning. The kindergarten’s senior teacher provides opportunities for useful professional discussion to guide teachers’ practice and aid reflection on their practices. Spontaneous reviews have resulted in improved outcomes for children.

Areas for development and review

Further consideration of ways to offer challenge and add complexity through interactions, programme and the environment is required. This would enhance children’s opportunities for thinking, reasoning and problem solving, and further engage them in rich, purposeful learning.

As a new team, the teachers are examining their current practices to establish shared purposes and processes for planning and assessment. Processes to show how teachers identify and meet groups of children’s interest are not yet formalised. Further documenting of planning should assist reflection on and evaluation of children’s involvement in the programme. This is likely to more effectively guide the selection of teaching strategies that challenge, extend and support learning.

Children’s portfolios should be further developed to more clearly demonstrate learning progress, invite contributions from children and their families, and identify possible lines of direction for future learning.

The teaching team has identified they are in the early stages of developing their planned self-review practice. Establishing clear evaluative questions with specific indicators to examine and improve embedded practice, should strengthen the implementation of the process.

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

Children with moderate to severe special needs are well integrated into the programme. Teachers work productively with families to provide appropriate care and support for their learning and development. They consider specific learning needs when making changes to their environment and programme. Transitions to and from the kindergarten are thoughtfully considered and managed to support children’s well-being.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Wellington South Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5. Recommendations

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

6. Future Action

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

 

 

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

17 January 2012

About the Centre

Type

All Day Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, aged over 2

Roll number

36

Gender composition

Girls 20, Boys 16

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 8, Somali 6, Māori 5, Samoan 5, Assyrian 3, Indian 3, Ethiopian 2, Other ethnic groups 4

Review team on site

October, 2011

Date of this report

17 January 2012

Previous three ERO reports

 

Education Review May 2008 Education Review September 2005 Assurance Audit March 2003

 

 

To the Parents and Community of Wellington South Kindergarten

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

Wellington South 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.

Te Manawa, the association’s criteria for curriculum implementation, is a recent positive initiative. The document provides a clear framework for teachers to deliver a high quality, inclusive early childhood education programme.

The kindergarten caters for children from 2 years of age and operates daily from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm. The kindergarten is located in the multicultural central city suburb of Newtown, which comprises a number of refugee and migrant communities. Children attending bring a rich diversity of cultural and language experiences.

The kindergarten operates as an integrated service, an association initiative. A priority is to collaborate with a wide range of community services to act as a support network for families. Afternoon playgroups operate regularly and are supported by kindergarten staff.

Since the May 2008 ERO review there have been major building alterations and improved access. Modifications to the indoor area, including the bathroom and kitchen facilities, have produced a well-organised and attractive space. Improved access to the outdoor area allows children to make choices about their play.

Children demonstrate a sense of belonging and interact positively with each other in child-initiated play. Teachers know children well and are warm and welcoming in their interactions with them and their families. Children with special learning needs are well integrated into the programme and teachers work productively with families to provide appropriate care and support.

Staff work collaboratively to develop a shared understanding of effective teaching and learning and consider ways to increase challenge and complexity in children’s learning. Further development of processes in assessment and planning, and self review should strengthen practice and improve outcomes for children.

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.

 

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.