Grasmere Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5519
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
28
Telephone:
Address:

90 Heywood Street, Invercargill

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1 Evaluation of Grasmere Kindergarten

How well placed is Grasmere 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

Grasmere Kindergarten is licensed for 39 children aged from two years to school age. Children attend for a range of times between 8:30am and 2:30pm. Up to 30 children attend in the morning and 20 in the afternoon. Nearly half the children attending are from Māori or Pacific heritage.

The kindergarten is governed by Kindergartens South (KS). The kindergarten receives regular support from senior teachers. Since the 2014 ERO review there has been a significant number of staff changes, including a new head teacher and teacher.

After the 2014 ERO review KS senior teachers supported the teachers to develop action planning to address the key next steps. Teachers have made progress on some of the key next steps from the ERO report, including evidence of philosophy in practice and long-term planning. However, teachers have not developed, embedded and sustained a robust system for assessment, planning and evaluation as recommended in the 2014 report. This is a key next step that needs to be urgently addressed.

This review was part of a cluster of 14 kindergarten reviews in the Southland Kindergarten Association (trading as Kindergartens South).

The Review Findings

Teachers are responsive to children's interests and strengths. They have made improvements to the kindergarten routines to better support the needs of the children attending. Teachers deliberately support children's:

  • oral language skills

  • growing knowledge of early literacy and mathematics

  • dispositions to be caring and nurturing, and make friends

  • active exploration and creativity.

Teachers have made good use of professional learning and development to improve the way they support children's early mathematics learning.

Children's sense of belonging is enhanced through trips into the local community. 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.

Children with diverse needs are well supported. Teachers work alongside parents and agencies to promote positive outcomes for children with diverse needs.

The teaching team has a well-developed philosophy that clearly identifies priorities for children's learning. The teachers need to more effectively use these priorities to guide ongoing planning for groups and individual children. Planning, assessment and evaluation are not effectively used to support children's learning. Teachers need to:

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

  • 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.

Teachers value Māori and Pacific children's language, culture and identity. For example, they encourage parents to share their cultural expertise, and children hear and use te reo Māori, waiata and participate in kapa haka. The next step is for teachers to find ways to improve assessment practices to show how well Māori and Pacific children are actively engaged in their learning and are progressing well and succeeding as Māori and Pacific.

The teachers, with the support of the senior teacher, have identified key priorities for improvement. They have used these to develop long and short-term planning to improve outcomes for children. A next step is to refine and better align the planning to the intended outcomes and evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken.

Internal evaluation is used to make improvements. Aspects need to be further strengthened including relevant indicators and more rigorous analysis of data. To grow and sustain leadership, the senior teachers need to ensure planning is in place for leadership in long-term planning and appraisal systems.

The kindergarten benefits from ongoing and well-planned professional learning and development. However, senior teachers need to find ways to better support teachers to make the improvements required. A new appraisal system is being introduced, further development is required to include expectations for observations and explicit links to Tātaiako. Specific goals to support the development of leadership skills 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 these plans and other initiatives have been enacted and the impact on children’s learning.

Grasmere Kindergarten will be better placed to promote positive learning outcomes for all children when the head teacher and teachers, with strong and ongoing support from Kindergartens South develop and sustain robust systems to consistently plan, assess and evaluate for groups and individual children.

Since the onsite phase of the review ERO has requested an action plan from Kindergarten South that shows how the priorities for improvement will be addressed. ERO will request progress updates against the plan.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps to promote positive outcomes for all children are for the head teacher and teachers with the support of the senior teachers to:

  • develop robust systems to consistently plan, assess and evaluate for groups and individual children

  • show how children's language, culture and identity are valued in planning and assessment

  • refine, monitor and evaluate annual planning

  • strengthen internal evaluation practices

  • grow and sustain leadership.

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 Grasmere 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 Grasmere Kindergarten will be in three years.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

26 June 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

5519

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

39 children aged over 2

Service roll

35

Gender composition

Boys: 18

Girls: 17

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific

14
18
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

26 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

June 2014

Education Review

September 2010

Education Review

May 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 Grasmere Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

With the ongoing support from Kindergarten South, Grasmere Kindergarten will be well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

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

Background

Grasmere Kindergarten is one of 22 kindergartens in the Southland Kindergarten Association. It is located close to local schools in the suburb of Grasmere. Up to 30 children attend for six hours each week day. After a period of unsettled staffing in 2013, there is now an acting head teacher and a teacher in a relieving position. These staff changes have been carefully managed. There are likely to be more staff changes during 2014.

The kindergarten aims to be the “heart of the Grasmere community”. Teachers make the facilities available to families outside kindergarten hours. A parent committee actively supports the kindergarten.

Since the September 2010 education review the kindergarten has made significant improvements to the indoor and outdoor areas and there are plans to further develop these.

The September 2010 Review Report recommended that planning and assessment practices, self review and the Māori dimension in the programme needed to improve. During this review, ERO found that the centre environment better reflects Māori culture, but there is still ongoing work required with planning, assessment and self review.

The Review Findings

Grasmere Kindergarten is a welcoming place where parents choose to stay and play alongside their children. Many of them contribute to the programme with ideas, resources and their help during the day. Children benefit from the caring relationships they have with their teachers.

Children have a strong sense of belonging in the kindergarten. This is evident in the way:

  • they confidently access resources and materials and make choices
  • they can see themselves in interesting photographic wall displays of past activities
  • teachers value children’s work and talk with them about past learning.

ERO observed children who were settled in their play and played well alongside each other.

Children confidently approached their teachers for help, enjoying long conversations with them and sharing their ideas.

Children play in a spacious natural outdoor area with a wide variety of physical challenges and interesting spaces to explore. Teachers have created an interesting and inviting indoor area. This includes well-resourced areas for play, investigation and creativity.

Teachers think carefully about ways to enrich and extend children’s experiences. They work well as a team. They have begun work on developing a shared philosophy. This includes looking at some aspects of their programme to make it more child centred. For example, children are able to have morning tea when they choose to. The teachers work well with external agencies to support children with additional needs.

The records of learning provide parents with an attractive record of their children’s time at kindergarten. Parents' comments show they enjoy reading them. Teachers have a system to ensure that all children are planned for over time.

Grasmere Kindergarten benefits from strong ongoing support from the general manager and other association staff. This includes:

  • the development of action plans to improve practices in the kindergarten
  • useful advisory-support teacher reports with specific next steps for the team to implement
  • a termly support group meeting for head teachers.

ERO discussed with Kindergarten South the possibility of a more formal programme to support new head teachers.

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.

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.

Key Next Steps

ERO, teachers and managers agree that the key next steps to improve outcomes for children are to:

  • ensure that the philosophy is evident in practice and guides teachers in their work
  • continue to develop and effectively use self-review processes.

Teachers need to make their indentified priorities for children’s learning clearer in their planning. In particular group planning should show how teachers will deliberately help children to develop:

  • social skills
  • oral language
  • a greater awareness of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and learning some te reo Māori.

The teachers need to improve records of individual children and group planning, assessment and evaluation. Records should clearly show:

  • children’s next learning steps and the planning to support these
  • children’ progress over time
  • how parents’ wishes for their children’s learning are responded to.

Teachers should continue to use the action plans they have developed to guide their work and review their progress against these.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

13 June 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

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

5519

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

39

Gender composition

Boys: 23 Girls: 16

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other

1

35

3

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

May 2014

Date of this report

13 June 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

September 2010

 

Education Review

May 2007

 

Education Review

April 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.