Avenues Kindergarten

Education institution number:
5560
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
49
Telephone:
Address:

27 Botanical Road, Tauranga South, Tauranga

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1. Evaluation of Botanical Road Free Kindergarten

How well placed is Botanical Road Free 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

Botanical Road Free Kindergarten provides both school-day and sessional education for children from two years to school age. At the time of this ERO review 47 children were enrolled, and five identify as being of Māori descent.

The kindergarten philosophy emphasises the importance of children’s interests and family aspirations, along with a commitment to the Enviroschools and Healthy Heart programmes. In addition, whakaute, respect for people, places and things, including the natural environment are pivotal to the kaupapa of the kindergarten.

The kindergarten operates under the umbrella of Tauranga Regional Kindergartens (TRK), which is a not-for-profit early childhood education service, governed by a board of parent-elected community representatives. Senior teachers oversee and support the professional work of the kindergarten. This work is supplemented by a Resource Teacher Māori who provides professional learning and support for TRK staff in te ao Māori.

The association sets the strategic direction of its kindergartens with emphasis nurturing reciprocal relationships with whānau and communities, education for sustainability, meeting community needs, and honouring the Treaty of Waitangi. The TRK provides kindergarten staff with clear guidelines and expectations for practice. There is a good range of self-review practices to monitor and evaluate the quality of education and care provided by its kindergartens.

Consistent with TRK policy of only employing trained and registered teachers in regulated positions the kindergarten is staffed by four qualified and registered teachers along with an administrator. Support for children with identified special educational needs, above that provided by the Ministry of Education is available from the TRK.

This review was part of a cluster of four kindergarten reviews in the Tauranga Regional Kindergarten Association.

The Review Findings

The teaching team has a clearly documented, shared and well-implemented vision and philosophy. Dispositions of whakaute (respect), whanaungatanga (relationships), arahina (leadership) and kawenga (responsibility) provide an effective framework for kindergarten practices and culture to positively influence learning outcomes for children and families. Highly effective self review is focused on strengthening teachers’ practice, children’s learning and strategic kindergarten development. A key feature of self review is the collaborative nature of reviews that are underpinned by research and current educational theory.

The kindergarten community benefits from the highly effective, visionary educational leadership that is provided by the head teacher. An unrelenting focus on improvement is demonstrated by the teaching team. Shared leadership is resulting in teachers’ skills, knowledge and experiences being maximised to enrich the curriculum for children, build individual teacher capability and the leadership capacity within the kindergarten. In addition, the senior teacher team makes a significant contribution to growing teachers’ capability. Responsive mentoring and constructive professional challenge are pivotal to their motivation and ongoing professional learning and development.

The kindergarten curriculum is strongly reflective of both Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and Te Whatu Pokeka, Bicultural Assessment, Planning and Evaluation for Early Childhood Education. The inclusion of teaching practices and interactions that grow children’s social competence and problem solving, Enviroschools and the Healthy Heart programme are contributing to their knowledge, skills and view of themselves as capable and confident learners. In addition, children have many opportunities to be involved in, and develop relationships within, the local and wider communities. Parents who spoke with ERO appreciate the high-quality learning opportunities experienced by their children. Teachers welcome and actively encourage parents to be involved as active partners in the learning process.

The inclusion of Mātauranga Māori enables all children to experience the Māori language and culture. This is achieved through including Māori knowledge in relation to the natural, physical and spiritual worlds. Māori children can see that their language and culture is important and valued.

Children’s individual puka puka (assessment records) show continuity of their learning, contributed to by regular goal setting that includes their parent’s ideas and aspirations. These records are highly valued by children and families. Children confidently share their learning, enjoy revisiting previous experiences and making comparisons in their own interests, growth and development. Practices and processes for assessment, planning and evaluation are well established. Teachers agree there would be benefit in strengthening culturally responsive assessment practice to more deliberately capture children’s own cultures and build on learnings from home.

Children enjoy positive and reciprocal interactions and relationships with their teachers. ERO observed many examples of effective teaching, these include:

  • designing and implementing a curriculum that empowers children to be confident and capable to make decisions about their learning and make contribution to the programme
  • supporting children to develop complex social and communication skills for a range of purposes
  • the meaningful and skilful integration of literacy, mathematics, science and technology based on children’s interests, strengths and exploration
  • fostering children’s development through planned and spontaneous opportunities for them to develop and demonstrate leadership (arahina).

Key Next Steps

The teaching team has a current focus on being more attuned with children to bring their passions and interest to life in the emergent curriculum. ERO affirms this direction and the potential this action research has to deepen teachers’ responses and children’s role as partners in planning for their own learning.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Botanical Road Free 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 Botanical Road Free Kindergarten will be in four years.

Dale Bailey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

17 April 2015

2. Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Tauranga

Ministry of Education profile number

5560

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

42 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

47

Gender composition

Boys 28

Girls 19

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Bangladeshi

Indian

Asian

Tongan

5

33

4

3

1

1

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

17 April 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

These are available at www.ero.govt.nz

Education Review

September 2011

 

Education Review

October 2008

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. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

Botanical Road Free Kindergarten is situated in Tauranga and operates under the umbrella of the Tauranga Regional Kindergarten Association. It operates five mornings and two afternoons a week and is licensed to provide sessional education and care for children from two years old to school age.

There have been significant staff changes over the past year. The development of a new teaching team is providing an opportunity to review current kindergarten teaching, learning and administration practices. Teachers are committed to the Enviroschools initiative and to developing a culture of respect.

The newly appointed head teacher is a highly experienced leader with a sound knowledge of early childhood practices and programmes. She provides an effective model of teaching and management, and is successfully creating a team culture where teachers work collaboratively in the interests of children. Current appraisal processes are based on teacher self-reflection. A more focused approach, including documented observation of teaching, focused development goals, and ongoing feedback to individual teachers, is likely to further enhance the quality of education.

The programme is well developed and interesting. A suitable variety of open-ended activities promotes creativity and self expression. Mathematics and literacy are suitably integrated. Children are increasingly able to make decisions, pursue interests and direct their own learning. Teachers are now focusing on developing a shared understanding of assessment practices and increasing teacher confidence in integrating te reo and tikanga Māori into the daily programme.

Teachers are responsive, respectful and caring. Expectations for children’s behaviour are well established, and positive guidance is used effectively to foster social competence and self management. The consistently calm and inclusive tone promotes children’s well-being and the way they quickly settle into routines. Teacher’s interventions are carefully timed to support developing ideas and extend thinking. Children demonstrate high levels of engagement in sustained play and learning.

Parents spoken to during this Education Review expressed confidence that their children’s diverse needs were being catered for. They feel well informed through regular newsletters and informal conversations with staff.

An appropriate range of regularly reviewed policies and practices contribute to an emotionally and physically safe environment for children and employees.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

2. Review Priorities

The Focus of the Review

Before the review, the management of Botanical Road Free Kindergarten was invited to consider its priorities for review using guidelines and resources provided by ERO. ERO also used documentation provided by the centre to contribute to the scope of the review.

The detailed priorities for review were then determined following a discussion between the ERO review team and the management and staff. This discussion focused on existing information held by the centre (including self-review information) and the extent to which potential issues for review contributed to positive outcomes for children atBotanical Road Free Kindergarten.

All ERO education reviews in early childhood focus on the quality of education. For ERO this includes the quality of:

  • the programme provided for children;
  • the learning environment; and
  • the interactions between children and adults.

ERO’s findings in these areas are set out below.

The Quality of Education

Background

There have been significant staff changes over the past year including the recent employment of a new head teacher. The development of a new teaching team is providing the opportunity to review current kindergarten teaching, learning and administration practices. The kindergarten has a commitment to Enviroschools and to developing a culture of respect. The outdoor area is being redeveloped to reflect a more natural environment and the bathroom area has been renovated.

Areas of strength

Learning environment: Children benefit from a high quality, stimulating environment that provides a wide range of resources and learning experiences. The environment is well organised and planned to support children to revisit their current learning interests and extend their ideas. Purposeful play spaces encourage children’s curiosity and exploration. Attractive wall displays inform parents and others of children’s learning interests and special events in the kindergarten and community. The spacious outdoor area provides many physical challenges and opportunities to learn about sustainability and the natural world. Literacy and numeracy are strongly integrated into the learning environment.

Programme: The programme is well developed and interesting. Children are able to make decisions about their level of participation. Mathematics and literacy are well integrated into the programme in appropriate contexts. A suitable variety of open-ended activities promotes creativity and self expression. Transition into and through the kindergarten is carefully considered to meet the needs of individuals. Teachers continue to review and develop their approach to programme planning. They regularly take note of, and discuss, individuals and strategies that they might try to support children’s learning.

Interactions: Teachers are responsive, respectful and caring. They know children well and provide appropriate support to help them settle into the routines of the day. Expectations for behaviour are well established and positive guidance encourages children’s self management. Teachers carefully observe children at play. Teaching interventions are well timed to support developing ideas and extending thinking. As a result, children demonstrate high levels of engagement in their play.

Self review: Effective self review is contributing to ongoing improvement to the quality of education and responsiveness to centre stakeholders. Self review is well understood and leads to evidence-based decision making. Processes are both formal and informal, and ongoing reflection highlights successes and identifies future challenges.

Areas for development and review

The newly established team has identified, and ERO agrees, that the next steps for the kindergarten are:

  • developing a shared understanding of assessment practices; and
  • increasing teacher confidence in integrating te reo and tikanga Māori into the daily programme.

Appraisal process: Due to staff changes the annual appraisal process for 2010 was not completed. A new appraisal process has recently been introduced. While the current appraisal process is based on teacher self reflection, more focused feedback to individuals is now needed. Specific goals, relating to teaching practice and ongoing observations to monitor progress towards these goals, are likely to improve the quality of teaching and education provided.

3. National Evaluation Topic

Overview

ERO provides information about the education system as a whole through its national reports. This information will be used as the basis for long term and systemic educational improvement.

Inclusion of children with moderate to severe special needs

As part of this review ERO evaluated the extent to which:

  • transitions ensure the continuing wellbeing, learning, and development of children with moderate to severe special needs
  • children with moderate to severe special needs supported to be confident and capable learners
  • the service is inclusive of children with moderate to severe special needs

Background

Botanical Road Free Kindergarten is inclusive of all children and welcomes children with special needs. A close association with outside agencies enhances the ability for teachers to provide the extra support children require.

Areas of strength

Individual programmes: Individual programmes are developed with families/whānau and professionals in a collaborative way. Families are consulted when setting goals or making decisions about children with special needs. These programmes are closely linked to Te Whāriki, and open communication with parents is ongoing. There is a team approach to implementing individual programmes.

Inclusion: Teachers review and develop strategies that are appropriate for children with special needs. They encourage all children to be accepting of others and to help those needing support. Teachers see the potential in every child and celebrate their achievements. Children with special needs are involved in all kindergarten activities, including daily programmes and special events.

4. Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff of Botanical Road Free Kindergarten completed an ERO CentreAssurance Statement andSelf-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • administration;
  • health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management; and
  • financial and property management.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s documentation, including policies, procedures and records of recent use of procedures. ERO also checked elements of the following areas that have a potentially high impact on outcomes for children:

  • emotional safety (including behaviour management, prevention of bullying and abuse);
  • physical safety (including behaviour management, sleeping and supervision practices; accidents and medication; hygiene and routines; travel and excursion policies and procedures);
  • staff qualifications and organisation; and
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

5. Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

About the Centre

Type

Sessional Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998

Number licensed for

40 children, over the age of 2

Roll number

67

Gender composition

Boys 37

Girls 30

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 50

New Zealand Māori 13

Other 4

Review team on site

August 2011

Date of this report

14 September 2011

Previous three ERO reports

 

Education Review October 2008

Education Review December 2005

Education Review December 2002

14 September 2011

To the Parents and Community of Botanical Road Free Kindergarten

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Botanical Road Free Kindergarten.

Botanical Road Free Kindergarten is situated in Tauranga and operates under the umbrella of the Tauranga Regional Kindergarten Association. It operates five mornings and two afternoons a week and is licensed to provide sessional education and care for children from two years old to school age.

There have been significant staff changes over the past year. The development of a new teaching team is providing an opportunity to review current kindergarten teaching, learning and administration practices. Teachers are committed to the Enviroschools initiative and to developing a culture of respect.

The newly appointed head teacher is a highly experienced leader with a sound knowledge of early childhood practices and programmes. She provides an effective model of teaching and management, and is successfully creating a team culture where teachers work collaboratively in the interests of children. Current appraisal processes are based on teacher self-reflection. A more focused approach, including documented observation of teaching, focused development goals, and ongoing feedback to individual teachers, is likely to further enhance the quality of education.

The programme is well developed and interesting. A suitable variety of open-ended activities promotes creativity and self expression. Mathematics and literacy are suitably integrated. Children are increasingly able to make decisions, pursue interests and direct their own learning. Teachers are now focusing on developing a shared understanding of assessment practices and increasing teacher confidence in integrating te reo and tikanga Māori into the daily programme.

Teachers are responsive, respectful and caring. Expectations for children’s behaviour are well established, and positive guidance is used effectively to foster social competence and self management. The consistently calm and inclusive tone promotes children’s well-being and the way they quickly settle into routines. Teacher’s interventions are carefully timed to support developing ideas and extend thinking. Children demonstrate high levels of engagement in sustained play and learning.

Parents spoken to during this Education Review expressed confidence that their children’s diverse needs were being catered for. They feel well informed through regular newsletters and informal conversations with staff.

An appropriate range of regularly reviewed policies and practices contribute to an emotionally and physically safe environment for children and employees.

Future Action

ERO is confident that the service is being managed in the interest of the children. Therefore ERO is likely to review the service again in three years.

When ERO has reviewed an early childhood centre we encourage management to inform their community of any follow up action they plan to take. You should talk to the management or contact person if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the centre or see the ERO website, http://www.ero.govt.nz.

Richard Thornton

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT REVIEWS

About ERO

ERO is an independent, external evaluation agency that undertakes reviews of schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

About ERO Reviews

ERO follows a set of standard procedures to conduct reviews. The purpose of each review is to:

  • improve quality of education for children in early childhood centres; and
  • provide information to parents, communities and the Government.

Reviews are intended to focus on outcomes for children and build on each centre’s self review.

Review Focus

ERO’s framework for reviewing and reporting is based on four review strands.

  • Quality of Education – including the quality of the programme provided for children, the quality of the learning environment and the quality of the interactions between staff and children and how these impact on outcomes for children.
  • Additional Review Priorities – other aspects of the operation of a centre, may be included in the review. ERO will not include this strand in all reviews.
  • National Evaluation Topics – This strand contributes to the development of education policies and their effective implementation. The information from this strand is aggregated by ERO for its national evaluation reports. Topics for investigation are changed regularly to provide up-to-date information.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements – assurance that this centre has taken all reasonable steps to meet legal requirements.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of centre performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to this centre.

Review Recommendations

Most ERO reports include recommendations for improvement. A recommendation on a particular issue does not necessarily mean that a centre is performing poorly in relation to that issue. There is no direct link between the number of recommendations in this report and the overall performance of this centre.