Fiordland Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5517
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
34
Telephone:
Address:

9 Gunn Street, Te Anau

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Fiordland Kindergarten - 31/01/2019

1 Evaluation of Fiordland Kindergarten

How well placed is Fiordland Kindergarten to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Fiordland Kindergarten is Well Placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Fiordland Kindergarten provides early childhood education for children over two years of age. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 40 children who participate in half or full-day sessions from 8.30am to 2.30 pm. The day-to-day operation of the kindergarten is managed by a head teacher supported by qualified early childhood teachers and parent help.

The philosophy states that children will:

  • be inspired by the natural world and in particular Tō Mātou Wahi Ahi Kā (our special place)

  • develop strong ecological identity

  • be proud of themselves and where they come from

  • develop strong and trusting relationships.

Fiordland Kindergarten is one of 23 kindergartens administered by Kindergartens South (KS). A general manager oversees the association under the governance of a board. Senior teachers provide ongoing professional advice and guidance to each kindergarten and teaching team.

Since ERO's 2014 review, a new head teacher and a teacher have been appointed. The teachers have made some progress to meet the recommendations in the 2014 report. The strategic plan goals are closely aligned to the philosophy, teacher appraisal goals and professional development opportunities. Internal evaluation remains an area for further improvement.

This review was part of a cluster of seven reviews in Kindergartens South.

The Review Findings

Children are happy, settled and engaged in meaningful learning of their choosing. The curriculum design is well linked to the kindergarten's priorities for children's learning. Children's opinions on what they want to learn are regularly sought. Wall displays clearly document the depth and breadth of children's learning and the strong influence of the local environment.

Children are knowledgeable about the local history and committed to sustaining and improving the environment. Teachers skillfully incorporate the unique, natural features of Te Anau into the indoor and outdoor areas and planned programmes.

Children are challenged to problem-solve and reflect deeply on what they know and understand. Teachers use a range of approaches to engage children in learning that interests them. These build their capability to reason and think critically. The programme provides many opportunities for children to participate in science and music experiences and to be imaginative in their play and learning.

The children are recognised as competent and confident learners by the wider community. Members of the community visit the kindergarten regularly to share their skills and knowledge with the children. They often invite the children to contribute to significant community projects and events. The children have won many local awards.

The environment is inclusive and welcoming to children and their whānau. Tuakana-teina relationships are clearly evident in the ways older children involve younger children in their play and learning. Parents spend considerable time at the kindergarten, joining in activities, socialising and using their skills to extend children's learning and ideas.

Children's knowledge, use and understanding of te reo and tikanga Māori is increasing. Teachers have taken some appropriate steps to improve this aspect of the programme. They know this is an area where more work is required.

Since ERO’s 2017 reviews of kindergartens, there have been significant changes within the association management and leadership team. Many of the good practices in place to support the kindergartens have been sustained. However, ERO found that the board needs better information to know how well kindergartens are improving outcomes for children. The board also needs to review its own performance and review the roles and responsibilities within the association leadership and management team.

Key Next Steps

The association and the board have clearly identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps to further improve outcomes for children are to:

  • further develop the vision, values, philosophy and goals to better reflect the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and te ao Māori perspectives

  • ensure reporting and monitoring at all levels is evaluative and shows how outcomes for children have been improved, especially for priority learners and in relation to the association’s valued outcomes, vision and philosophy

  • ensure there is a clear process for consulting with all parents and whānau Māori within the association

  • monitor the effectiveness of new initiatives

  • review the roles and responsibilities of leadership positions within the association and review the performance and effectiveness of the board

  • review and update the complaints policy and procedure.

Teachers at the kindergarten have clearly identified, and ERO agrees, that the key next steps to further improve outcomes for children are to:

  • develop a more in depth understanding of internal evaluation, and ensure the process is rigorous and focuses on outcomes for children, particularly Māori children

  • improve assessment and planning by involving parents and children more in the goal setting and evaluation processes, and clearly identify learning and teaching outcomes in the programme evaluations

  • review and clarify the roles and responsibilities within the teaching team, and ensure workloads are manageable and sustainable.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard

Director Review and Improvement Services Southern Southern Region

31 January 2019

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

Te Anau

Ministry of Education profile number

5517

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

38

Gender composition

Girls: 19

Boys: 19

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnicities

3
30
5

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2018

Date of this report

31 January 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

January 2014

Education Review

October 2010

Education Review

March 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.

Fiordland Kindergarten - 14/01/2014

1 Evaluation of Fiordland Kindergarten

How well placed is Fiordland 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

Children at Fiordland Kindergarten benefit from a high-quality education and care programme. Teachers aim to ignite a life-long love of learning and for children to gain the skills of inquiry, questioning and thinking.

Fiordland Kindergarten is located in Te Anau. It provides three morning sessions and two extended days for up to 30 children.

A positive feature of this kindergarten is the Nature Discovery programme that is held in a nearby nature reserve. This programme has attracted significant media interest and the interest of other educational organisations.

The outdoor area reflects the local Te Anau environment and is interesting for children to explore. The indoor area is very well resourced and is thoughtfully arranged for children to play alone or be together

ERO found the good practices reported in the October 2010 ERO report have been sustained and the teaching team has made the suggested improvements from that report.

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

The Review Findings

Children’s learning and wellbeing is enhanced by the team’s enthusiasm for teaching and learning. Teachers have responsive and respectful relationships with children and their families. The head teacher has established relationships with families over many years. This contributes to a sense of community ownership of the kindergarten. Parents and whānau take an active role in their children’s learning. They are comfortable to stay and play, and learn with their children.

Teachers acknowledge whakapapa (ancestry) as important to developing children’s sense of self and their place as part of a wider family and connectedness to the community. This leads to children having a strong sense of their own identity.

Children are well supported as they transition into kindergarten and later as they move to school. In their time at the kindergarten, teachers help them to become independent, confident, competent learners. ERO observed children with strong friendships. Together they appeared engrossed in imaginary and dramatic play. They choose from a wide-range of stimulating individual and group learning experiences. There is an unhurried pace to the day.

Teachers provide a programme that is responsive to children’s interests, strengths and abilities and is well aligned to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Strengths of the programme include:

  • the clear intentions teachers have for children’s learning
  • the way teachers weave elements of Māori world views in and deliberately teach children about these, for example, developing children’s understanding of papatuanuku and local legends
  • teachers’ subject knowledge which enables them to support children’s interests and enquiries
  • the strong focus on science, nature and sustainability, art, early literacy and mathematics
  • the way children are supported to access information from a range of sources such as the internet, books, community specialists and family.

Children benefit from high-quality learning conversations with their teachers. Teachers have a wide range of teaching strategies that support learning and they deliberately foster children’s oral language. Teachers genuinely listen to children and explore the deeper meanings in their learning. They give children specific feedback and encouragement.

Teachers have creative and innovative practices. This is evident in the way that the nature discovery programme is integrated into the regular kindergarten programme. Teachers use plants, insects and animals to stimulate children’s curiosity and excitement, teach them to observe carefully and develop the qualities of empathy and guardianship of the earth.

Teachers thoughtfully arrange the environment and support children to make decisions about the resources they need to use to achieve their learning goals. Children are empowered to take increased responsibility for the wellbeing of themselves, others and the natural environment.

Teachers have effective assessment and planning systems in place to ensure that all children are catered for. They seek parents’ views and take into account the parents’ wishes for their children when planning group and individual programmes.

Teachers are able to explain and discuss teaching and learning and apply current theory to their teaching practice. The head teacher provides strong leadership to the team. She and the team share leadership with a focus on learning. They develop collaborative relationships and are clear about what their roles and expectations are.

Emergent leadership among teachers is encouraged. Teachers use professional learning opportunities to build their own and support other colleagues’ practices.

Teachers thoughtfully and regularly examine their practices and use good processes of self review to find ways to improve what they do for children.

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. Fiordland Kindergarten benefits from strong ongoing support from the general manager and other association staff.

Key Next Step

A further enhancement to current very good practice would be for the teachers to refine documentation for strategic planning and then use self review to monitor their progress towards achieving the intentions of the plan.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Fiordland 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 Fiordland Kindergarten will be in four years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

14 January 2014

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

Te Anau, Southland

Ministry of Education profile number

5517

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children aged two to five years

Service roll

45

Gender composition

Boys: 25 Girls: 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Japanese

Other

6

35

2

2

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2

Not applicable

 
 

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

November 2013

Date of this report

14 January 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2010

 

Education Review

March 2007

 

Education Review

February 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.