Lees Street Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5536
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
37
Telephone:
Address:

75 Lees Street, Invercargill

View on map

1 Evaluation of Lees Street Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Lees Street Kindergarten is Well Placed to promote positive learning outcomes for all children.

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

Background

Lees Street Kindergarten provides early childhood education for children aged 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 two qualified early childhood teachers, and parent help. 

The philosophy states that children will:

  • be nurtured, respectful and have reciprocal relationships with tamariki and whānau
  • benefit from integrated and strengthened bicultural practices
  • have close connections to the local community, the environment and sustainable practices
  • be encouraged to listen, be curious, deep thinkers and responsive.

Lees Street 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 2013 review a new teaching team has been appointed. The teachers have made good progress to meet the recommendations in the 2013 report. Planning and assessment practices have improved and closer links have been established between strategic goals, professional development and internal evaluation. 

This review was part of a cluster of seven reviews in KS.

The Review Findings

Children are supported to be deep thinkers, active problem solvers and listeners. Teachers use a range of effective approaches to help children question, explore and take risks to achieve success in their learning, understandings and knowledge building. 

Children are respectful and responsive as they confidently engage with adults and each other. They listen carefully, willingly share their ideas and work cooperatively. Teachers model the expectations that they have for children in their relationships with each other, whānau and tamariki. 

Children work confidently in the kindergarten environment. They lead their learning, ask for assistance when needed and skilfully share their learning, discoveries and theories with others. Teachers ensure the environment is well set out and resourced to promote curiosity, active exploration and individual and group work. The programme provides children with the time and space that they need, to be creative, take pride in and complete their work. 

Some of the kindergarten curriculum priorities are very evident in all aspects of the programme. Enviroschools and sustainable practices provide a strong foundation for children's learning. Te reo and tikanga Māori are often integrated into the programme. Children are recognised as confident and competent learners who plan the programme with their teachers. Teachers skilfully encourage children to use their interests to extend their understandings and knowledge of the world. 

Parents are active participants in the programme and in their children's learning. Teachers regularly seek parent input into their children's learning and goal setting. They keep parents well informed about their children's progress and kindergarten events. 

Assessment and planning for individual children is used well to identify, plan for and monitor children's learning and progress. Teachers work well as a team, they share their expertise, and support each other in the programme to achieve the best outcomes for each child. Teachers have an in-depth knowledge of each child and his or her learning. They effectively use this information in consultation with parents/whānau to: 

  • set goals
  • plan and implement programmes
  • monitor progress and identify the learning that is occurring for the child.

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 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 is to: 

  • evaluate the curriculum design to ensure the learning purpose and the outcomes for children are clearly documented
  • develop a more in-depth understanding of internal evaluation, and ensure the process is rigorous and focused on outcomes for children
  • strengthen te ao Māori in all aspects of the curriculum.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Alan Wynyard
Director Review and Improvement Services Southern
Southern Region

18 February 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

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

5536

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

37

Gender composition

Boys: 22

Girls: 15

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Other ethnicities

  4
29
  4

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

18 February 2019

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

January 2014

Education Review

October 2010

Education Review

April 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 Lees Street Kindergarten

How well placed is Lees Street 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

Lees Street Kindergarten is licensed for 30 children. The children attend the morning and/or afternoon sessions. The head teacher is responsible for the the day-to-day management of the centre and is supported by two teachers.

The kindergarten aims for all children to learn skills and knowledge, and develop dispositions that will help them become more competent social beings. They provide a caring environment that encourages cooperative learning.

A key feature of the curriculum is to develop the skills and attitudes of problem solving, risk taking and children managing their own learning. To further enhance the curriculum, teachers have recently become an enviro-kindergarten and introduced a nature-discovery programme.

The teachers have developed an appropriate vision to support the philosophy. ERO observed that the vision and philosophy are highly evident in practice.

Since the 2010 ERO report, significant progress has been made in:

  • planning for and assessment of children’s learning
  • the integration of Māori perspectives throughout the programme
  • using effective self-review practices.

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

The Review Findings

Children work and play well together. They are respectful of each other and of adults. Teachers are collegial and value each others’ strengths and interests. They have established useful learning partnerships with parents and whānau. Teachers appreciate and value the input from parents and use this information when planning future learning steps. Parents are well informed about the programmes their children are receiving.

Children are seen as competent and capable learners. Teachers assist children in their learning, follow their interests and allow them to drive their own learning. Teachers are very skilled in knowing when to involve themselves in the children’s play and learning, and when to step back.

Children who require extra help with their learning are well supported.

Children benefit from a wide range of learning experiences many of which are instigated by them. They work and play in an unhurried, settled and stimulating environment. They have many authentic opportunities to develop their literacy and numeracy skills and knowledge.

Teachers make good use of the learning environment to create interesting spaces. They carefully set out areas and resources to allow children to be able to interact independently with the environment.

The teachers have made significant progress in providing a rich bicultural environment. They have increased their knowledge and confidence of Te Ao Māori. They meaningfully integrate Māori perspectives into learning programmes. This is very evident in the enviro-kindergarten and nature-discovery programmes. The following Māori concepts are integral to all that happens in the kindergarten:

  • kaitiako - the children learning their role in being guardians of the land and resources
  • ako - when teaching and learning is reciprocal
  • manaakitanga - when all children and their families are respected and included into the kindergarten whānau.

The kindergarten has very strong practices that support children as they move on to school. Teachers have established useful relationships with neighbouring schools, that include visits, sharing and receiving newsletters and sharing relevant information with parents. Teachers reflect on the school visits and make adjustments to their practices and resources so that children can see similarities between kindergarten and school. This should lead to children having a greater awareness of their new school. The kindergarten programme makes deliberate links between Te Whāriki and the New Zealand Curriculum, in particular the dispositions and key competencies.

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

There is strong alignment between the Southland Kindergarten Association’s strategic priorities and this kindergarten’s philosophy and vision, and the learning programmes for children.

The head teacher and teachers use effective processes to review the centre’s practices. These processes include asking evaluative questions, gathering and analysing relevant information, and making useful recommendations for next steps.

Key Next Steps

  1. The head teacher has identified, and ERO agrees, that a next step for the teaching team is to continue to strengthen the planning and assessment practices, in particular evaluating the impact of teaching.
  2. Another next step is to develop and implement long and short-term planning to strategically achieve the centre’s vision over time. This planning should include making specific links to professional learning and development, budgeting and review.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

13 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

Invercargill

Ministry of Education profile number

5536

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

43

Gender composition

Girls: 28 Boys: 15

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other

2

40

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

October 2013

Date of this report

13 January 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

October 2010

 

Education Review

April 2007

 

Education Review

November 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.