Otatara Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5523
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
34
Telephone:
Address:

140 Dunns Road, Invercargill

View on map

1 Evaluation of Otatara Kindergarten

How well placed is Otatara 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

Otatara Kindergarten is located next to the Otatara Primary School and enjoys close relationships with the school. The kindergarten 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. A quarter of the children identify as Māori.

The kindergarten is governed by Kindergarten South. The kindergarten receives regular support from senior teachers. After the 2013 ERO review senior teachers supported the teachers to develop action planning to address the key next steps. Since this time there has been a new head teacher and teachers. The new team have continued to progress the key next steps. However, some remain key priorities for development.

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

The Review Findings

Teachers provide a rich and responsive curriculum that supports children's learning and well-being and promotes positive outcomes for children. Teachers provide children with a good variety of opportunities to develop knowledge and an understanding of the cultural heritages of both parties of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Children play and learn in carefully designed indoor and outdoor environments that reflect the natural environment and te ao Māori. Teachers make good use of the local bush to enable children to connect with nature, explore, think and be curious. 

Teachers provide interesting programmes where children can make choices and have many opportunities to:

  • play well together and make friends

  • develop physical and exploration skills

  • be independent and develop self-managing skills

  • be creative and expressive.

Teachers are intentional and responsive to the interests and needs of the children attending and their parents' wishes for their learning. Children with diverse learning needs are well supported. The head teacher has used professional learning and development well to build her own and teachers' knowledge to skilfully build children's oral language development.

The kindergarten has a strong collaborative relationship with the local school. Children's transitions to school are supported through the many and varied experiences they share.

The new head teacher and teachers, in consultation with the community have thoughtfully developed the kindergarten vision. Teachers have developed focused action plans to enact the vision and support positive outcomes for children. The next step is to ensure indicators and actions are aligned to the action plan focus and are regularly monitored and evaluated.

The senior teacher and teachers have identified that planning, assessment and evaluation is an area to further develop and strengthen. Teachers need to continue to find ways to improve assessment practices to:

  • ensure all individual children are consistently assessed and planned for

  • show how they respond to and value the diverse language and cultures of children attending

  • continue to find ways to engage parents to build authentic learning partnerships

  • improve assessment practices to show Māori children are actively engaged in their learning and are progressing well and succeeding as Māori.

The teachers have identified that internal evaluation is an area for improvement. ERO agrees the team needs to improve their understanding and use of effective internal evaluation.

The kindergarten benefits from ongoing and well-planned professional learning and development and is well supported by the senior teachers. 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 Kindergarten 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.

Key Next Steps

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

  • develop their understanding and use of rigorous internal evaluation

  • continue to strengthen long and short-term action planning

  • continue to develop planning, assessment and evaluation.

Next steps for the 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 Otatara 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 Otatara 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

5523

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2

Service roll

41

Gender composition

Boys: 27

Girls: 14

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Pacific
Other

10
25
1
5

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

April 2017

Date of this report

26 June 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

November 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 Otatara Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

With the ongoing support of the association this kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Otatara Kindergarten offers a mixture of six-hour days, or morning or afternoon sessions. Three teachers teach the 30 children in the morning and 20 children in the afternoon.

The Otatara Kindergarten philosophy supports the children to be active learners who explore, enquire, question and work collaboratively with their peers and adults. Children are to be encouraged to take responsibility for initiating and determining their own learning.

The kindergarten is a well established part of the local community. It is located next to the Otatara Primary School and enjoys close relationships with the school.

The children are confident in the spacious surroundings and show a strong sense of belonging in their kindergarten.

The teachers have yet to fully implement the recommendation made in the 2010 ERO report to use effective planning and assessment practices to better promote positive outcomes for children.

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

The Review Findings

Children work and learn in a settled and relaxed environment. They play well together for extended periods of time. Many of the children have strong friendships with each other.

Children have a wide range of resources and experiences to choose from, including early literacy and mathematics, construction and creativity. Displays and current activities show that children’s interests and learning needs are followed in group programmes.

The natural resources and interests of the community are reflected in the kindergarten’s curriculum and environment, including gardening and promoting active movement. Parents are very comfortable to be in the centre and be involved in activities, in particular the weekly nature discovery programme in the neighbouring bush.

Children’s wellbeing and belonging is well supported as they move onto school. This is greatly helped by the kindergarten’s close proximity to the school and the many events and activities the children share with the school.

The environment and resources provide appropriate challenge to the range of children at the kindergarten. The well-considered environment provides spaces for children to be absorbed in their learning. The children are able to explore, problem solve, be creative and imaginative.

Teachers have friendly and caring relationships with the children and their whānau. They are knowledgeable about their children and familiar with their home lives. They have some interactions that are particularly positive in extending children’s thinking as well as helping them to use resources in meaningful ways.

Teachers have undertaken professional learning to increase their awareness of te reo Māori and Māori culture. They integrate a strong bicultural element into the environment and programme, including the whānau wall, resources, regular waiata and karakia. Children take part in the local Polyfest and learn about events significant to Māori. Teachers are committed to appropriately fostering Māori learner’s sense of their cultural identity.

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

Key Next Steps

Children’s learning is not being sufficiently extended due to inadequate planning and assessment. The association has identified, and ERO agrees, that this is a high development priority for the kindergarten. The head teacher and teachers need to ensure that the planning and assessment expectations of the association and their kindergarten are being met.

The head teacher and teachers need to develop planning to clearly identify the priorities and associated goals needed to achieve the association’s vision.

Current self-review practices include the gathering and analysis of useful information from a range of sources. To extend the usefulness of self review, the head teacher and teachers need to:

  • focus on the effectiveness of processes and practices
  • ensure findings are documented and inform priorities, plans, policies and actions
  • include a focus on progress towards the vision, goals and outcomes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

5 November 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

5523

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children from two to five years old

Service roll

43

Gender composition

Girls: 23 Boys: 20

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

South African

3

39

1

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

September 2013

Date of this report

5 November 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

 

Education Review

August 2010

 

Education Review

February 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.