Elston Lea Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5516
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
31
Telephone:
Address:

40 Iona Court, Invercargill

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1 Evaluation of Elston Lea Kindergarten

How well placed is Elston Lea 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

Elston Lea Kindergarten is located in Invercargill and is licensed for 40 children aged from two years to school age. Up to 30 children attend in the morning and 20 in the afternoon, for a mixture of six-hour days, or morning or afternoon sessions.

The kindergarten is governed by Kindergartens South (KS). The kindergarten receives regular support from KS senior teachers. There have been significant staffing changes since the 2013 ERO report. The new head teacher and teachers are in the early stages of developing and implementing systems.

This review was part of a cluster of fourteen kindergarten reviews in the Southland Kindergarten Association (trading as Kindergartens South).

The Review Findings

Children benefit from caring and supportive relationships with their teachers. Teachers have had a deliberate focus to help children learn the dispositions and skills of:

  • independence

  • being a good friend

  • resolving conflict

  • empathy and kindness

  • early literacy skills.

Teachers carefully design the programme for children to learn at a calm, unhurried pace and to be sustained in their play. Each week a small group of older children travel to a nature reserve where they are free to imagine, explore and learn about the natural world. 

The head teacher and teachers, in consultation with their community, have redeveloped the kindergarten's philosophy to maintain valued links to the past philosophy and meet the needs of the current community. Māori concepts, including manaakitanga and whanaungatanga, are integrated into the philosophy. These are evident in practice by the way teachers have built respectful relationships with parents and whānau, and help to support the mana of Māori and Pacific children.

Teachers are developing new systems to plan, assess and evaluate for individual and group learning. The key next step is for teachers to continue to develop, implement and embed these systems to ensure consistency for all children. Teachers need to:

  • consistently gather and show in documentation how they respond to parents' wishes

  • consistently show how they value and respond to children's language, culture and identity

  • identify the desired outcomes for children's learning

  • make clear the strategies and experiences to support these outcomes

  • evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies and experiences in supporting children's learning.

The kindergarten benefits from the head teacher's considered and careful approach to managing change. The head teacher and teachers, with the support of the KS senior teacher, are redeveloping systems for the smooth operation of the kindergarten. At the time of the ERO review, key priorities for the kindergarten's development have been discussed but not documented. They now need to develop a plan that clearly shows how these key priorities will be developed, implemented, monitored and evaluated.

The new team has not undertaken formal evaluation of their programmes and practices. As a result they do not have a shared understanding of how effective practices and programmes are supporting children's learning. The next step is to develop internal-evaluation processes to evaluate the effectiveness of the new systems, programmes and practices.

The kindergarten benefits from ongoing and well-planned professional learning and development. A new appraisal system is being introduced. This needs to include expectations for observations and explicit links to Tātaiako. Specific goals to support leadership development should be included within the process.

The kindergarten receives good support from Kindergartens South (KS). The KS board has a clear strategic vision that outlines key priorities for development. The next step is to ensure explicit alignment of these priorities to each kindergarten's long-term planning. The board has identified that internal-evaluation practice is not strong at board level. The board needs to receive evaluative reporting of how well plans and other initiatives have been enacted and the impact on children’s learning.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for the head teacher and teachers, with the support of KS senior teachers are to:

  • continue to develop and implement planning, assessment and evaluation systems for groups and individual children

  • consistently show in group planning and records of learning how they value and respond to children's language, culture and identity

  • develop planning that clearly shows how the key priorities will be developed, implemented, monitored and evaluated

  • over time evaluate the effectiveness of programmes and practices through internal evaluation.

The key next steps for the KS board are to:

  • ensure the appraisal system continues to be developed and embedded

  • develop and use rigorous internal-evaluation practices

  • ensure explicit alignment of kindergarten planning to implement the KS strategic goals

  • receive evaluative reporting of progress towards the strategic goals.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Elston Lea 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 Elston Lea Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

21 August 2017

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

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

5516

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2

Service roll

33

Gender composition

Girls: 18

Boys: 15

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific

4
26
3

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 2017

Date of this report

21 August 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

December 2013

Education Review

August 2010

Education Review

February 2007

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 Evaluation of Elston Lea Kindergarten

How well placed is Elston Lea 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

Elston Lea Kindergarten is located in South East Invercargill. The kindergarten provides extended day sessions for up to 30 children aged two to five years. Some of the parents of the children who attend also attended this kindergarten as children. Teachers ensure children from a range of backgrounds are made to feel welcome and that they belong.

Teachers make parents feel very welcome and encourage them to stay and play with their children and to meet other parents.

There is a settled team of three experienced teachers and a teacher aide. Strengths of the teaching team include specialist interest in child protection, and knowledge and experience of Pacific language and cultures. All teachers have participated in 'Incredible Years Training' that has supported them in implementing positive behaviour programmes in the kindergarten.

The kindergarten is set in a large tree-lined playground where children are encouraged to play and value the natural environment.

The children are beginning to be involved in community initiatives such as the 'South Alive' project, where they have adopted a street to regularly visit and care for.

The teachers aim for all children to have a desire for learning, to know that their questions lead to new and exciting discoveries and to be confident and socially competent. Teachers have identified priorities for children’s learning. These include:

  • whanaungatanga (creating a sense of family)
  • manaakitanga (hospitality)
  • kaitiakitanga (respect for the environment)
  • tuakana/teina (buddy system).

The teachers have made some good progress in addressing the recommendations from the last review, particularly in improving group planning.

This review was part of a cluster of 23 kindergarten reviews in the Southland Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

Children benefit from a strong sense of belonging and aroha shown to them by their teachers.

The kindergarten is a place where a sense of humour and having fun while learning are valued. Teachers have strong, authentic relationships with children and their families. Teachers have open, respectful, and considerate conversations with parents and whānau. They seek their views in a variety of ways.

Teachers provide a programme that responds to the varied family backgrounds and circumstances. For example, teachers are aware of children who may only attend for a short time because their families move frequently. There is a deliberate inclusion of parents in the programme. Families are invited to share their knowledge and experiences with the children, such as learning about mutton birding and some aspects of Samoan culture.

Teachers listen carefully to children. They know their interests and strengths and build on these. They have genuine learning-centred conversations with children.

Children’s learning is enhanced by the way their teachers encourage them to:

  • make choices about what they want to do
  • set their own learning goals
  • be engaged in their work and be competent, confident learners
  • take care of the kindergarten.

The group planning for each term shows what teachers want children to learn and how children’s learning progresses over the term. Children have recently been learning about sustainability, gardening, Mātariki and preparing for the Polyfest. Regular visitors, excursions and a wide range of resources are provided to enrich children’s experiences.

Records of learning and wall displays show very well children’s diverse cultural backgrounds and the ways in which they learn.

There is meaningful integration of early literacy and mathematics, such as daily baking and small group times where familiar stories and songs are shared.

Teachers have created indoor and outdoor learning environments that invite children to explore, be together or alone and use their imagination.

The teachers have a shared understanding of how the kindergarten works and how children learn. They have established the values that are important in this community and in this kindergarten.

The Kindergarten South governors consulted widely when developing the vision and goals that guide the long-term direction of the association. They have high expectations that the association and each kindergarten will:

  • involve the community
  • provide natural learning environments
  • do what is best for children
  • be a good employer.

The association is committed to transforming each kindergarten’s outdoor play area. Children now play and learn in attractive and natural environments.

Governors and staff have a clear understanding of the roles of governance and management in the association. They have developed a useful policy framework and guidelines that support the day-to-day and long-term operation of the kindergartens.

The advisory-support teachers provide useful feedback and guidance to staff and endorse the high expectations set by the board of governors. Elston Lea Kindergarten benefits from strong ongoing support from the general manager and other association staff.

Key Next Steps

Teachers have identified that their next steps are to continue to develop:

  • the use of self review to make improvements to programmes and practices
  • assessment practices to better show planned next steps for individual learning
  • consistency in the way they show children’s progress over time and the difference teachers make to children’s learning.

Teachers identified that they need to:

  • document the critical discussions of their reflections and learning conversations
  • implement action planning to ensure their priorities are met, including further developing knowledge and incorporating Māori perspectives.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Elston Lea 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 Elston Lea Kindergarten will be in three years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

18 December 2013

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

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

5516

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children from two to five years

Service roll

47

Gender composition

Girls: 25 Boys: 22

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Cook Island

Samoan

Other ethnicities

10

31

1

3

2

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

October 2013

Date of this report

18 December 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

August 2010

 

Education Review

February 2007

 

Education Review

March 2004

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.