Betty Montford Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5553
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
53
Telephone:
Address:

46 York Street, Levin

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Betty Montford Kindergarten - 08/10/2019

1 Evaluation of Betty Montford Kindergarten

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

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Betty Montford Kindergarten is well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children.

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

Background

Betty Montford Kindergarten, located in Levin, provides whānau-based all-day education and care for up to 42 children aged over two years. Sessions run daily through the week from 8.30am to 2.30 pm. There are 53 children on the roll, of which Māori children make up about a third of the roll.

The kindergarten's philosophy emphasises the importance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, empowering and nurturing the holistic development of tamariki, caring for Papatūānuku and the environment, and valuing diversity and whānau partnerships. Teachers are long-serving, and all are fully qualified.

Since the June 2015 ERO review, the kindergarten has joined the Taitoko Kāhui Ako|Community of Learning.

Betty Montford Kindergarten is operated by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association (the association). A team of senior teachers oversee and support the professional practice of the teaching team. The association governs 102 kindergartens which includes three Pacific kindergartens and a Pacific home-based service with two networks.

ERO’s June 2015 report identified areas requiring further development. These included self review and evaluation, assessment for learning, and the bicultural curriculum. Promoting ways for Māori to achieve success as Māori, and Pacific learners to achieve success as Pacific was also required. Good progress has been made in strengthening assessment for learning, self-review and evaluation. While some progress has been made, other areas continue to require development.

Progress has been made by the association to improve the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system.

This review was one of four in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Kindergarten Association in Levin.

The Review Findings

Children confidently lead their learning with support from teachers. The environment is thoughtfully managed with freely available resources for children. They are able to have choice and make decisions about their learning. Their independence and friendships are promoted. Staff are responsive to the emerging interests of individuals and groups. They effectively support children to sustain and extend their play.

Positive, respectful interactions are highly evident. Younger children have many opportunities to learn and play alongside their older peers.

Children with additional learning needs are identified and effectively supported to participate in the curriculum. Leaders and teachers track, monitor and plan for their learning and development. They work alongside families and whānau to access association and external agencies' support when required.

Teachers know children and families very well. They purposefully build warm and supportive learning-focused relationships with them. Whānau are well supported to see themselves as part of the kindergarten community. A recent focus on parent aspirations has supported teachers to respond to learning outcomes that matter most to families. Resilience, self-care, persistence and social skills and the development of a sense of belonging are effectively prioritised.

Assessment, planning and evaluation practices are well developed. Teachers tailor their planning to individual children and track their progress and success based on clear evidence. Systematic information-sharing and clear documentation of assessment supports a cohesive approach to promoting positive outcomes for children. An on-line tool is effectively used by the team to share information and strengthen partnerships with families.

Leaders and teachers acknowledge that the bicultural programme continues to be an area requiring development. ERO agrees that children would benefit from increased opportunities to hear te reo Māori and learn about their dual heritage as citizens of Aotearoa. Over time, this learning should be clearly evident in children’s learning portfolios and throughout the enacted and documented curriculum.

Teachers are committed to increasing their understanding and practices which specifically respond to the cultures, languages and identities of Māori learners, and of Pacific learners, and acknowledge that this is a continuing next step. Professional learning in these areas including making connections with local iwi, and with aiga, is underway. Teachers’ effective, whānau-focused relationship-building strategies are a very positive foundation for further development of their approach to these learners.

The kindergarten has well established relationships with the neighbouring school. Regular, reciprocal visits support children’s confidence and familiarity with the school context.

The association's governing documents guide teacher practice. These are appropriately used by leaders and teachers to plan and analyse practice, support assessment and underpin decision making.

An effective distributed leadership model is highly evident, and teachers are encouraged to take on a range of responsibilities. Teachers are highly reflective and access a useful range of professional learning and research to continually grow their understandings. Narrowing the scope of internal evaluation, and emphasising outcomes for children as indicators for success, are next steps for the kindergarten team. This should support teachers to more effectively measure the impact of their practices on outcomes for children.

A well-considered appraisal process has recently been enhanced to grow and develop teacher practice. Teachers are expected to inquire into the effectiveness of their teaching. Purposeful appraisal goals focus on improving aspects of leadership and practice to support children’s learning and wellbeing.

The senior teaching team are reflective and highly improvement focused. They successfully foster collective sense of responsibility to implement the vision, values and mission of the association. Systems and processes have been well developed to guide teacher’s capability and positively impact on children’s learning.

Senior leaders work effectively together, with a shared commitment to meeting strategic goals and objectives for the benefit of children, whānau and community. Well-considered resource allocation supports and enhances children’s learning and wellbeing.

Key Next Steps

The key next steps for leaders and teachers are to:

  • refine internal evaluation to focus more strongly on monitoring the impact of practices on outcomes for children

  • continue to strengthen and build on bicultural understanding, knowledge and practices across the teaching team

  • further develop specific, culturally responsive teaching strategies to support the learning of Māori learners and of Pacific learners.

ERO and senior leaders agree that the association's next step is to continue to follow the strategic direction set through Tūmanako, Te Tiriti o Waitangi based strategic priority framework.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Betty Montford 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.

Dr Lesley Patterson

Director Review and Improvement Services Te Tai Tini

Southern Region

8 October 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

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

5553

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children aged over 2 years

Service roll

53

Gender composition

Females 28, Males 25

Ethnic composition

Māori
NZ European/Pākehā
Pacific
Other ethnic groups

19
27
4
3

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2019

Date of this report

8 October 2019

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

June 2015

Education Review

May 2012

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

The overall judgement that ERO makes will depend on how well the service promotes positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed

  • Well placed

  • Requires further development

  • Not well placed

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.

Betty Montford Kindergarten - 09/06/2015

1 Evaluation of Betty Montford Kindergarten

How well placed is Betty Montford 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

Betty Montford Kindergarten, located in Levin, is adjacent to Levin North School. Since the May 2012 ERO report, the kindergarten has made changes to session times to meet community needs. Of the total roll of 64 children, 15 are Māori and two come from Pacific nations. The kindergarten philosophy includes shared beliefs that support children to become competent, confident learners and communicators. Partnerships with parents, whānau and fanau are valued.

Betty Montford Kindergarten is one of 85 kindergartens and three home-based education and care networks governed and managed by He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (the association). This is a new kindergarten association created from joining the Rimutaka and Wellington Kindergarten Associations in 2014. The transition to the new association is expected to be a three-year process.

The board and managers provide governance for the organisation. Senior teachers have delegated kindergartens. Their role is to provide regular support and a range of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.

All teachers at Betty Montford Kindergarten are qualified and registered. The head teacher has been at the kindergarten for a number of years. Several staffing changes have occurred since the previous ERO report. The kindergarten currently has five permanent fulltime teachers.

The previous ERO report identified at centre level, that assessment, bicultural practices and
self review needed further development. Areas where the Wellington Kindergarten Association needed to strengthen its support for teachers were also identified. Improvement continues to be needed in some of these areas that the association has plans to address. These feature as key next steps in this report. The alignment of individual kindergarten’s annual plans with the association’s strategic priorities has now been appropriately addressed

This review was part of a cluster of 12 reviews in the He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergartens Association Incorporated. 

The Review Findings

Child-initiated, play-based activities form the basis of the programme for the majority of the day. Children select and engage enthusiastically with a range of familiar resources to extend their emerging interests and ideas. These experiences allow children to make choices and lead their own learning.

Teachers are warm and responsive. Children and their families show a positive sense of belonging and teachers know them well. Relationships between staff, parents and whānau are supportive and encouraging. Children play cooperatively in groups of their own choosing. Their independence skills are promoted. Teachers are involved in children’s learning for extended periods of time and have fun together. They provide clear expectations that maintain children’s wellbeing.

Children with additional needs join in all aspects of the programme alongside their peers. They are well supported by teachers and other adults. Teachers are inclusive, and make appropriate use of a variety of successful approaches to meet the needs of all learners.

The head teacher's leadership is responsive to the context of the kindergarten. She encourages a team culture where staff reflect on their teaching to make changes that support children’s learning. ERO observed the new team working collaboratively and communicating well.

Positive connections support smooth transitions to school for children and families. The use of established links to the local community benefits children and their families. A range of opportunities encourages parents and whānau involvement in the life of the kindergarten. Teachers value their input.

In 2012, the association developed a framework to guide the implementation of its curriculum, Te Manawa. This document outlines criteria for curriculum delivery including expectations for assessment and planning for children’s learning. Teachers at Betty Montford kindergarten use a range of positive strategies to support children's interests and ongoing learning. They should continue to strengthen analysis of assessment information to reflect the deepening complexity of children’s learning.

The previous ERO report identified that the association needed to improve the appraisal processes. This continues to require strengthening. A recently revised appraisal model, yet to be implemented, includes: more focused goals that build teacher and leader capability; more regular and targeted feedback and feed forward about teaching practice; and clearer links with the Registered Teacher Criteria.

Senior teachers provide termly written reports that outline agreed development priorities and progress in relation to the quality of teaching and learning. The association has recently implemented new reports that should more deliberately focus on outcomes for children, teacher and leader performance. ERO's evaluation affirms this development.

Children have opportunities to learn about Aotearoa New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage. Teachers and leaders acknowledge that they should continue to build their capability to be responsive to Māori children’s culture, language and identity. This development should include establishing relationships with mana whenua and making use of Ministry of Education resources such as,
Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success 2013-2017 and Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners. 

Key Next Steps

The senior teacher, head teacher, teachers and ERO agree on the following key next steps:

  • continuing to develop and improve understandings of self review and evaluation
  • enhancing aspects of assessment for learning
  • extending the bicultural curriculum for all learners; and further promoting ways for Māori to achieve success as Māori, and Pacific learners to achieve success as Pacific.

The senior management team of He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua should continue to improve processes for growing and developing the practice of teachers, head teachers and senior teachers. These should include:

  • improvements to the quality and monitoring of processes to support individual kindergartens and regular implementation of a robust appraisal system
  • building teachers' capability to be more responsive to Māori children's culture, language and identity.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

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

Joyce Gebbie
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

9 June 2015 

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

Levin

Ministry of Education profile number

5553

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40 children, aged over 2

Service roll

64

Gender composition

Boys 36, Girls 28

Ethnic composition

Māori
Pākehā
Samoan
Other ethnic groups

15
42
  2
  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

February 2015

Date of this report

9 June 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2012

Education Review

May 2008

Education Review

August 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.